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Saturday, August 23, 2008

 7:27 PM 

Delegate Diary: Thoughts on the Biden pick

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Stan Davis
My phone woke me up at 1:42am (MDT) to notify me that Sen. Obama had selected Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware to be his running mate and the Democratic nominee to be vice president of the United States (I refuse to use the term "Veep" here or anywhere else). Before we get into any substance, let's play six degrees of separation with Joe Biden. Back in the mid-90s when I was living in D.C. and working for Sen. Paul Wellstone, I lived in the basement apartment of an attorney named Sara Jones. While I lived there, Sara began to date and eventually married a gentleman named Jim Biden. Jim Biden is the younger brother of the man who hopes to be the next vice president. Is that three degrees?

As far as the pick is concerned, I think Sen. Obama made a great choice. Biden brings experience, but also has maintained an everyman image during his time in Washington. Far from not being able to tell you how many houses he owns, Biden still takes the train home to Wilmington from D.C. every night with the rest of the commuters. His foreign policy background serves as a great compliment to the judgment that Obama has demonstrated regarding national security issues when many with much more experience got things very, very wrong. Biden's experience in the ways of Washington will also be essential to actually implementing the change that Barack will bring to the country.

You either pick your V.P. to help you win a state or run the country. This pick is clearly intended to accomplish the latter. Just as President Bush did not select Dick Cheney to win Wyoming's three electoral votes, Obama was probably not too concerned about winning Delaware. Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia or Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico would have had an interesting impact on the electoral map by possibly helping Obama win those states. However, they all had their pros and cons, and I appreciate the decision to put the emphasis on successfully governing instead of pure electoral math.

Obama/Biden '08 - it has a nice ring to it.

-- Davis is a government relations partner at Axley Brynelson LLP.

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