iOS app Android app More

Christina Bellantoni

Christina Bellantoni

Posted: August 23, 2008 03:48 AM

'The best Biden I can be'


That's what Sen. Joe Biden told us would be his political strategy when he announced his presidential bid in January 2007. A year later, he finished fifth in the Iowa caucus and ended his bid.

 

Tonight, he has been chosen as Sen. Barack Obama's running mate. The AP has confirmed with a Democratic source. Team Obama is silent, preferring to send their planned text message.

 

(Read my recent profile of Biden here.)

 

From the beginning, Biden was the one who did not play coy with his intentions. Instead of "exploring," or testing the waters, he told people directly that he wanted to run. As I noted last night, Biden told me this summer instead of being "considered" for the running mate race, he would prefer a "direct discussion face-to-face."

 

He said he would ask: "Am I likely to be picked" if I "pass all those tests in terms of my not having skeletons."


"If you can't look me in the eye and tell me that then ... don't put me through the audition," he said.

But if that offer is made, "You'd have to say yes. I don't know how the hell you'd say no at this historic moment."

 

Biden's announcement last year did not go off as planned - a New York Observer article came out that day where he was quoted saying Obama was "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."

 

When doing damage control, he said he meant Obama was an inspiring politician, adding the flowery: "This is a very special guy. This is like catching lightning in a jar. That was the point of everything I was saying."

 

Back then, Kos declared Biden's career should be over. Now he's about to be the No. 2 on the fall ticket.

 

Here's some video that reminds me of the good 'ol days in Iowa, and shows a bit of the enthusiam for the candidate with "ears" of experience.

 

 

There also was his use of vivid descriptions on the trail, and his bizarre habits when talking to voters, such as sometimes touching them forehead to forehead.

 

 

Last night I told BBlog readers my gut told me Biden was the guy, and the conventional wisdom focused on him all day long.

 

Biden also told me earlier this summer that Obama had asked him to play a "prominent" role in the campaign.

 

Team McCain is out with a response:

 

"There has been no harsher critic of Barack Obama's lack of experience than Joe Biden. Biden has denounced Barack Obama’s poor foreign policy judgment and has strongly argued in his own words what Americans are quickly realizing -- that Barack Obama is not ready to be President," said spokesman Ben Porritt.

 

In reality, that's not exactly how Biden operated during his campaing.

 

Instead of really bashing the others, he lavished praise on himself, saying in Iowa, "I've initiated more change than all the Democratic candidates combined," and putting out this ad:

 

 

 

Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter,
The Washington Times

 

Bookmark my blog at http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/bellantoni


Find my latest stories here and visit my YouTube page.