Monday, August 25, 2008

Well, the weekend was pretty good, although it went by pretty quickly. Among the highlights: a farewell dinner at Suzi's Chinese restaurant with Heather Wagner before she returns to Lubbock to finish her final year of speech pathology school, a trip down to Barton Creek with Cassidy for some swimming and playing around, a trip to Austin Books with Roundball, and the My Morning Jacket concert last night at Stubb's (Mandy, Sig, and Greg in attendance).

And so Obama has picked Joe Biden as his vic presidential running mate. I think Joe Biden is a good guy and a strong leader with lots of experience both in beltway politics and in dealing with foreign affairs issues (areas where Obama has been criticized as lacking), but to be honest, I really don't know that much about the guy. When I've seen him speak, he's always seemed to be pretty intelligent, level headed, and articulate. He also seems pretty comfortable on the attack, which is something Obama doesn't really seem very comfortable with.
I still have a few misgivings about not giving Clinton the nomination, to be honest. I've been supporting Obama all along, but I think the sheer number of Hillary Clinton supporters and their extremely high level of dedication should have been something that was not only recognized but appreciated by Obama. I know that there's been some bad blood between Obama and the Clintons, but it would have shown a tremendous strength of character and a willingness to go to great lengths in order to meet the needs of the people if Obama could have overlooked some of his personal feelings and picked Clinton as a running mate. (Plus, I just think it would have been the best way to unify the party and to help insure a Democrat victory in November-as things stand now I think this thing is very much up for grabs. No matter how much the Democrats crow about unity during the convention, I think there are Clinton supporters out there who just aren't going to vote for Barack. As a matter of fact, I know a few of them. I think that for these people, Obama's refusal to seriously consider Clinton as a running mate probably seems to show an unattractive amount of vanity)
On the other hand, Clinton's attacks on Obama during the primary are now being used as centerpieces for Republican attack ads, so one might see how Obama might not feel that Clinton is his best choice for a running mate. It's kind of hard to put someone on the podium beside you and claim that they support you 100% when that person previously told the entire country that you didn't have the chops for the job. (you'd be setting your VP up for the whole, "Were you lying then or are you lying now?" line of questions)
Anyway, I think Biden's a good man, and I think he will do a good job, but I think a Clinton nomination would have been good for the Democratic party. I'm not sure that a week long pep rally in Denver is going to cure all of the hurt that was caused during the primary.
That being said, hopefully Clinton's supporters can set aside emotion and look at this race rationally. Clinton and Obama always did agree on the vast majority of their policy positions. Their debates oftentime left them repeating that they supported the same positions as each other, with minor details and nuances of their plans often providing only minor points of contention (to a certain extent, I think this is why the primary got sort of ugly- without major policy differences to differentiate themselves, Clinton and Obama turned to attacks on the judgment, experience, and character of the other). If you lay Clinton and Obama's policy positions side by side and compare them, however, they really have very similar beliefs and want to work for the same things. Which would make it a tremendous shame if Obama lost the votes of Clinton supporters because of a personality conflict (because there really are very significant differences between McCain and Obama in many areas).

Anyway, I'm not feeling great today, so I'm going to sign off. Hope you guys had a good weekend.

1 comment:

The League said...

I have to imagine that part of why Obama didn't choose Hillary was because of the way the GOP could (rightfully) use the words she'd used during the primaries against them both. There have already been ads pulling footage from the early debates with Biden questioning Obama's readiness, etc...

Part of the nature of such a prolonged and emotional primary, I think.

I'm not 100% comfortable with the Biden selection. I just don't know if he brings much to the table for a good chunk of the country.