Obama Choice-Biden...A Good One...Or?...

Hi Readers!

So, it’s confirmed. Sen. Barack Obama has selected U.S. Senator Joseph Biden (D-Delaware) to be his Vice-Presidential running mate. Is this a good selection or one that the Senator from Illinois simply hasn’t thought through as well as he perhaps should have?

I suspect that only history will be the judge of this. However, in the meantime, let me make an observation or two. Granted, this is only my opinion, but my gut tells me that I’m probably not all that far removed from the mark on this one.

Yes, Joe Biden has been a member of the United States Senate for a long time and has more government experience than Carter has little liver pills. Sure, he apparently has a bunch of foreign policy experience too. But, is this really the true litmus test?

With all due respect to the gentleman from Delaware, he also seems to have a well-deserved reputation for speaking before he thinks about issues on which he is pontificating. He also is a long time Washington, D.C. insider.

I mean, c’mon, no one can NOT be an insider who has traveled the hallowed halls of Congress for this many years, without correctly being so labeled. I simply cannot fathom another label that more accurately describes him. He even makes John McCain look like a newcomer.

I find this latter issue more than a bit curious, particularly in view of the fact that Senator Obama staked out his respective turf as a U.S. Presidential candidate who promised to bring a new form of politics to our nation’s capitol if he were chosen to be the next elected resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Frankly, I’m not persuaded he is being forthright with this claim. Among other things he’s done as candidate Obama, he couldn’t wait to jump on the fact that John McCain’s admittedly wealthy wife owns several homes, making it look like the former Navy fly boy is too rich to be President.

Yeah sure, McCain did a lousy job answering that reporter’s question. But, really! The vapor surrounding McCain’s response was barely evaporating when a political commercial ran that ripped McCain because his wife has too much money and owns too many houses.

It’s Cindy’s $$$. So what? Does Senator Obama really see the typical American as that stupid and vapidly naive? Hmmm…for some reason, it makes me recall Bill Clinton’s comment about marijuana (“…I smoked marijuana once but didn’t inhale…”). Yeah, I drink Scotch but never swallow the stuff…I swear!

Are Obama’s people really so danged smart they can really bang out a commercial that quickly? Call me suspicious, but I cannot help but wonder if ol’ Johnny was set up. Considering how Obama got that $ million home he couldn’t otherwise afford, it also appears to me to be hypocritical at best.

Was the questioner actually an Obama ally who was cued to ask the question, with the hope McCain’s answer would be flawed enough that they could trot out an ad they had already created and were just waiting for the chance to pounce? Don’t know. Just speculation. However…

In any event, talk about a red herring! Reminds me of a story I was told when I was a brand new lawyer. I asked a local lawyer who was viewed as Mr. Trial Lawyer why he was so good, hoping I could borrow a secret or two for future reference.

This cagey courtroom brawler looked at me, grinned, then replied: “…son, the secret to success in the courtroom is simple. If the law is on your side, pound the law. If the facts are on your side, pound the facts. And, if nothing is on your side, pound the table…”.

Is Mr. Obama really this scared of John McCain’s recent rise in the polls that he would resort to this sort of slimy mudslinging? Since I am not able to find a single legitimate reason why he would so attack his opponent, perhaps yes. In any event, me thinks he doth protesteth too much.

It appears to this simple old country lawyer that Mr. Obama is talking out of at least two sides of his mouth. On the one hand, he has publicly declared that he doesn’t want his running mate to be a “yes person.”

Instead, he claims to insist that his #2 must be someone who can hold his own in any debates they may have on any given issue. Obama says he wants his veep to be able to intellectually challenge any proposed decision he would make as President.

Additionally, Obama says his choice for this position must also be someone who can step into the shoes that must tread the well worn carpet of the oval office, in the event it’s necessary for Obama to step aside for any reason, if he is elected as the next President of the United States (or POTUS in Secret Service-speak).

If this is true, how does someone lay claim to being a true outsider, if their running mate (who would take over in whatever eventuality might cause that to happen) is a bonafide insider of the historic city that overlooks the Potomac River?

Here’s an additional concern I have. On the one hand, Mr. Obama has undoubtedly received at least some mileage from the fact that he would make history as the first U.S. President of African-American ancestry and is no doubt hoping to attract like-minded voters. Makes perfect sense.

But, does anyone remember, just a few short months ago, when Biden stepped on his proverbial lip by describing Barack Obama as a “clean young black man,” or words to that effect? What in God’s name did he mean? Was this merely a media misquote? Or, did Senator Biden really say that?

Since I don’t recall any follow-up media coverage wherein Biden denied making such a comment, I have to assume, arguendo, that he in fact committed that particular gaffe. If he did, was this one of those classic Freudian slips?

Was Biden somehow suggesting, if Obama, in his opinion, is a clean young black man, that other young black males are not clean? What exactly did he mean by this? Was he suggesting physically clean…morally clean…ethically clean…no prison record…?

If so, such a repugnant perspective should be offensive to not only African-Americans but to any other American who believes certain aspects of our history are best never repeated, to say the very least. Perhaps Mr. Biden has some misgivings about people who don’t share his own ethnicity.

Is this merely a preview of the kind of faux pas we can routinely expect to hear, if the Democrats regain residency in the White House? If so, I shudder to think what impact this might have, not only on foreign relations, but on Americans as a group, with an Obama-Biden team running the show. Your thoughts?

Marty Brhel