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I guess I just don't find Sarah Palin's story all that compelling. So she's a "hockey mom", somehow got elected governor of Alaska after minimal political experience, and is an effective and articulate speaker.

Oh, and she chose to have the baby even though the kid was diagnosed as having Down's syndrome.  And she is a gun nut, radical Christian, anti-abortion, etc.  And has a "picture book family"--well, sort of.

I couldn't stand to watch CNN's story about Palin Saturday night, but the one on Biden reminded me of a lot of things about him that I had forgotten, even if I saw some of it from the Democratic convention not too long ago.  This is one TOUGH guy who has been through a lot of stuff that most people never experience.  And like Barack, he was not born on third base.  (I forget who remarked recently that George H.W. Bush was born on third base and thought he had hit a triple; George W. Bush was born on third base and then he stole second.)

I had doubts about Biden when he was being touted as the best pick for Obama's VP.  I kept thinking about the plagiarism business from 1987, and though I read Richard Ben Cramer's WHAT IT TAKES, one of the best books ever written about politics, I just did not recall very much about Biden.  I worried about his sometimes pompous style and grandstanding.  Maybe I got that from Cramer's book.  (Cramer issued the parts about Bob Dole as a separate tome in 1995; he should maybe rush out the Biden stuff now, if we can get people interested in Biden.)

The CNN story on Biden included excerpts from his book, and I am wondering if, like Barack, this is another politician who actually wrote his book.  (I doubt if George W. Bush could write a 1000 word essay on anything.)  When reading excerpts about how he was renewed by his love for Jill, whom he dated for two years, after losing his first wife and young daughter in a car accident just weeks after being elected to the Senate, Biden teared up and was sincere and moving.  I'd never seen him like this.  I'd like to see this on YouTube and in the campaign; it's way better in its appeal to women than anything Palin offers.  It's way better than Al Gore's prolonged--and seemingly programmed--kiss with Tipper at the 2000 convention.

And talk about "family values"!  After his first wife died, he considered not taking his Senate seat, so as to devote his time to his two severely injured young sons.  He was urged to go forward as a Senator, but determined to commute to D.C., as he still does.  This is a regular guy who worked his way up, just like Obama did.

Then there was Biden's bout with a brain aneurism.  He had two difficult surgeries, facing uncertainty whether he would live or die.

Oh, and then there is his experience. Two of the most intense judicial appointments ever--Bork and Thomas, when Biden was the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee.  Biden knows his stuff; the Bork business was pretty seriously substantive; the Thomas less so.  And Foreign Relations.

Though he was wrong on the Iraq war, I think Biden is the kind of guy who, together with Obama, will get us out of Afghanistan, which I think is potentially an even bigger blunder than Iraq.  (The effort should have  been and should be limited to taking out Al Qaeda operatives, not taking on the task of "nation building" with the implicit assumption that the nation to be built must be a U.S. client/puppet regime.)

Finally, as I have remarked in some comments recently, Biden was knocked out of the 1988 primaries by allegations of plagiarism that are trivial compared to the lies, exaggerations, and lies, and lies about and by Palin and McCain.  To reiterate, Biden used a litany in his 1987 stump speech about how he was the first person in his family to get a college degree, basically complaining about lack of opportunity in our society. He attributed the lines to Neil Kinnock, a British Labor party leader, most of the time.  Then, ONE time, in a speech in Iowa, he neglected to mention Kinnock.  The press, including "liberals" like Maureen Dowd and E.J.Dionne were all over that "story" and some other minor boo-boos comparable to Gore's in 2000.  (Gore was mistaken about the FEMA official with whom he surveyed flood damage, and he made a few other minor mistakes that the Bush campaign and a compliant press conflated into a "Serial Liar" charge.)

Too bad.  After we lost Gary Hart to  a stupid sex "scandal"--it wasn't even the proverbial career-ending "dead girl or live boy"--Biden might have been a really good candidate in '88. He would have known how to handle the kind of stupid question that Dukakis got from Bernard Shaw.
And he probably could have better handled that equally stupid question that Kerry got about homosexuality in 2004.

Timing is everything.  I wish Biden had been Gore's running mate in 2000, and he certainly would have been better than Edwards in 2004.  But better late than never.

So I say, "Here's to Joe Biden!"  And let's see some ads about him; there's no need to compare Palin.  The implication will be obvious.

Originally posted to a brain on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 01:08 AM PDT.


How compelling is Biden's story?

27%35 votes
30%39 votes
6%9 votes
3%4 votes
3%4 votes
18%24 votes
10%14 votes

| 129 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  we have a problem with mid/elder suburban women (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skywaker9, a brain, stacystace, eXtina, Floande

    WHITE women.

    this demographic would fall in love with joe biden and his story of Biden's family's car crash while getting a Christmas tree, and his wife's and daughter's deaths is a gripping one. Also the bills he passed; he was the leader in writing and passing the Violence Against Women Act, which was no small feat at the time. They need to put him out more to these people.

    The day of the pick, Andrew Sullivan dubbed him as "Mom's Boyfriend"

    A lot of emails in my in-tray today read a little like this one:


    "Mom's Boyfriend" Love it! Very apt.
       I went to bed with a wary soul, visions of OBAMA/KAINE bumper stickers dancing in my head. Thank God, it's Biden. Love the guy, love the pairing. Can't wait to see them together. I'm thinking it's like Astaire and Kelly, two equal but different talents.  Elegant cool versus muscular earthy.
       Now Lord, please give us Romney.

    And another:

       I think there really is something to this idea that older women voters love Biden.  My 65 yr. old mother adores him because "he's real and has been through a lot of stuff" (referring to the death of his wife and daughter.)

       Don't get me wrong. I think it's a great pick as well, but my mother is over the moon.

       Silver's analysis looks sharp to me - and in ways that help Biden.  He's only repeating the opinion that he could rope in eastern PA.  More importantly, he's spot-on about seniors, most especially senior women.  For years, we've referred to him as Mom's Boyfriend Biden.  Contrary to some, she loves to listen to him talk - the humor but, most imporantly, he knows what he's talking about.  I'd even say, for all of Biden's infamous loquaciousness, he doesn't talk out of his butt.  Biden always does his homework.

       If Biden is named Obama's VP, I'll cry tears of joy.  If not, I'll just cry.

    by robertacker13 on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 01:32:44 AM PDT

  •  I love Joe. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skywaker9, a brain, eXtina

    He was always my second choice. He's going to make a fantastic, active VP.

    May your entire existence be one sensuous, frolic-filled experience lived in defiance of care.

    by Fonsia on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 01:35:56 AM PDT

  •  Its compelling but is not new (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elwood Dowd

    Biden's been around so long the DC Press doesn't find him interesting...

    "Polls are like crack, political activists know they're bad for them but they read them anyways."-Unknown

    by skywaker9 on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 02:03:27 AM PDT

  •  The comment about Astaire and Kelly is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a brain

    precious and priceless!!  (although I'm not sure Biden can dance as well as Kelly!), but our team can certainly think rings about the Republican candidates.

  •  We need to get Biden out there to women voters (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, Hill Jill

    I hope to see his spot from CNN on YouTube.

  •  Biden is more of an asset than Palin (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a brain, eXtina, Floande, Hill Jill

    which is why he is out there campaigning and doing MTP on his own.

    Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties. Abraham Lincoln

    by Probus on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 03:25:18 AM PDT

  •  Biden (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Could not go wrong with this pick. The raw emotion of the guy balances out the Vulcan-like decision making prowess of Obama. I think that the campaign is using him and Jill very smartly. The two are basically going from battleground to battleground. I think hes in NC either today or tommorow. He'll play well in Florida as well.

  •  where the heck IS Biden these days? (0+ / 0-)

    he's not doing any of the talk shows this morning, and he hasn't been getting any media attention, except when they talk about his penchant for malapropisms.

    this guy needs to start being the pit bull.  that's his job, to do the dirty work barack can't be seen doing. start saying all the things about mccain and palin that we're thinking but obama can't say. stop saying what a great guy mccain is. we don't need any more of that crap.

    get out there and start swinging, joe!

    -7.75,-7.54; Sarah Palin: Bush with lipstick and hoop earrings. McCain: an equal opportunist who will do whatever it takes to steal this election.

    by erik in grayslake on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 06:37:55 AM PDT

  •  Questions of Character and Judgment. (0+ / 0-)

    It is entirely appropriate to look at the character and judgment and decision making process of prospective candidates.

    "After his first wife died, he considered not taking his Senate seat, so as to devote his time to his two severely injured young sons."

    Yes, Sen. Biden seriously thought about his responsibilities to his family and country. In effect - he blinked.

    This is the response of a person you  WANT who would be assuming the position of president in the event of a tragedy. Someone who understands the gravity of the job and considers implications and consequences. Who THINKS carefully before he ACTS.

    Unlike Sarah Palin, who admitted no hesitation - no thoughtful weighing of her own experience and the demands of the job. Hell, 2 months ago she admitted that she barely understands what the job of the VP or President entails and did spend much time thinking about national issues because her jobs have been restricted to that of a small town mayor and small time state!

    So insecure she can not admit to having doubts - or so self-centered she has none.

    Well Sarah Palin, even Jesus Christ had doubts about the ultimate role he was asked to. Yes, even he blinked - He struggled and questioned whether he was up to the task as he waited in the Garden.

    And Sarah Palin. You are no Jesus Christ.

    "Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph." (T. Paine)

    by dmmteacher on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 06:54:27 AM PDT

  •  Character and Judgment Part II (0+ / 0-)

    And you are also no Joe Biden.

    "Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph." (T. Paine)

    by dmmteacher on Sun Sep 14, 2008 at 06:56:22 AM PDT

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