Sunday, August 24, 2008

Biden's Impact

While the world waited impatiently for the actual text message of Obama's VP selection to be sent out, word of Joe Biden's selection leaked out several hours in advance. The official announcement was in the end a non-event. So much for trying to appear hip and modern.

Obama's selection of Biden represented as safe a call as Obama could possibly have made. Biden is an eastern Pennsylvania/Delaware kind of guy, middle class, and ethnic Catholic (Irish descent) to boot. For goodness sakes, even today he commutes from Washington to Wilmington everyday by train. For this middle class ethnic Catholic with roots in Michigan and with time spent in eastern Pennsylvania and a firm believer in mass transit, Joe Biden is my kind of guy. Having Joe Biden on the ticket makes me a lot more comfortable somehow about pulling the lever for Obama.

And that's the point. Obama has picked Biden to solidify his base with liberals, particularly in the northeast. So much for adventure and so much for the 50-state strategy. With news that Obama has pulled ads out of a number of red states previously trumpeted to be in play, Obama has admitted even before the convention that the shape of this election is more likely to look a lot like the past two elections rather than a landscape of blue and purple. With this pick Obama has written off large swathes of the south and mountain west and instead will be focusing on the handful of states that are actually in play including Virginia, Ohio, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Missouri, Colorado and Nevada.

Biden's selection will enable McCain in turn to solidify his base. Expect a safe conservative pick such as Mitt Romney. So much for Change.

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