Saturday, August 23, 2008

Biden: A defensive pick

Barack Obama's fairy tale unraveled more this morning with his pick of Joe Biden as vice president. These scenarios are now officially dead:

1. Barack Obama is a great uniter. He couldn't pull off bridging the big divide in his own partyĆ¢€”between his supporters and Hillary's. Had he somehow brought the two together on the ticket, it would have been a powerful symbol about his future governance.

2. Barack Obama is a transformational figure. Instead of picking a new generation leader like Tim Kaine or Kathleen Sebelius, he picked a career senator. That reflects his weakening position in the polls and his gravitas deficit compared to John McCain.

3. Barack Obama will run a different kind of campaign. Biden brings little to the ticket except as a capable sparring partner with Republicans. Obama needs a person to sling mud back-and-forth and he knows it.

4. Barack Obama is headed for a wide victory. Picking Biden is acknowledgement that if he does win the race, it will be a tight victory. Although it is dubious assertion, it is telling that Democrats are saying that Biden will help carry Pennsylvania. If Obama needs help carrying Pennsylvania at this point, he's in trouble.

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