Last November, as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton said that she'd be happy to have Joe Biden as her running mate.

I would consider Joe Biden for anything," Clinton said. "He's a friend of mine, he's a wonderful senator. I'm one of Joe's biggest fans."

Today Clinton praised Barack Obama's VP choice, saying Biden is "an exceptionally strong, experienced leader and devoted public servant". If there's any sense at all in political debate in this country, the nomination of Biden ought to put an end effectively to complaints that Obama is short on experience. It's the only consistent criticism of Obama that I've heard this year from truly persuadable voters.

Biden's nomination also will make it difficult for Clinton's supporters to feel aggrieved that she wasn't chosen instead. All along her candidacy was based on claims of (a) experience, and (b) expertise. Joe Biden has more of both than Hillary Clinton does, as even her more ardent supporters would have to admit. If you believe that the choice of a vice president should just be a question of merit, as many Clinton supporters have been arguing, then the selection of Joe Biden is highly merited.

That won't preclude a few PUMAs from continuing to nurse their grudges. Extremists aren't amenable to reason. But Biden's nomination will show their complaints to be ridiculous, in the extreme.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Aug 23, 2008 at 02:05 PM PDT.

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