It’s official. The leaks started last night late, and the most anticipated text message in history arrived at 1:42am Alaska time. All in all, I think it’s a good choice for several reasons:
- There is nobody who has more foreign policy experience and savvy than Joe Biden. No matter who the McCain camp selects, they won’t be able to hold a candle to Biden in the debate on foreign policy issues.
- He’s been around a long time. He pointed out in his speech that there are only four senators with more seniority than him (soon to be three after Stevens’ inevitable defeat), but that there are 44 who are older than him. Good chuckle line, and he makes the point. McCain is older and less experienced.
- The man takes the train to work in D.C. from Delaware every day. He’s from a working-class Catholic family from Scranton, PA. In the current climate of ‘House-Gate’, it can do nothing but help. No one’s going to call the Amtrak guy an elitist, especially after John McCain just got nabbed taking a nine car motorcade to Starbucks for a cappucchino. (low foam half-caff with a sprinkle of cinnamon perhaps?) In his speech today in Illinois, Biden invoked that iconic vision of sitting at the kitchen table worrying about finances. Then said McCain would have to decide which of his seven kitchen tables to sit at…Youch! Democrats aren’t used to fightin’ talk, and from the sound of the crowd, they liked it.
- Biden’s other classic line from the speech today: “These times require more than a good soldier, they require a wise leader.” Oof. Body blow. He recognized and commended McCain’s service to his country, and deftly shifted gears with the above line.
- He hit the ground running on day one with a scathing attack on the effects of Republican rule in Washington, and referred freuqently to the “Bush-McCain policies” of the last eight years. The more often people hear Bush-McCain in the same breath, the better for Democrats.
For all those who wish just for once, Obama would just get mad and lose his cool in a fit of moral outrage, this is as close as you’re going to get. The team is officially composed of one cool cucumber and a scrappy attack dog. The election just got a whole lot more interesting.