Over the last couple of weeks, with the excitement in certain parts over Sarah Palin, many commentators have taken to denouncing for Barack Obama for selecting Joe Biden as his running mate. Why didn't he pick Hillary Clinton, some wondered? Even Senator Biden said that Obama should have picked Hillary. Why didn't he pick a celebrity, someone new like Palin, others asked.
But the right person to pick was Joe Biden. And not just for all the reasons stated ad nauseum - his experience, his middle-class attitude, his fiery speaking style; but because Senator Biden is steady. Palin represents the bubble, like Lehman Brothers, a reach too far; Biden represents the steady old-fashioned bank, doing the business it was intended to do, not paying attention to the flashy hype of the new, new thing.
In the end, Palin's New Coke-ness will wear off. They already are, and they have to, for a reason brought about by Palin herself: her steady nonsense about the "Bridge to Nowhere," in which she says, "I told them, 'Thanks, but no thanks.'" It's a-not true, and b-it's repetitiveness means she does not have much to say. If the story were true, her repetition of the same line, heard nightly on the news and talk shows, still would make her look bad. It's a cute line the first time it's delivered; so was "Nanu-Nanu."
As Sarah Palin returns to earth, Senator Biden will continue to hold steady. After all, he does not really need to engage Palin, even at the debate where the two will face off. He needs to talk about John McCain, as he has done. He needs to continue to speak about how McCain has gone off the rails and become a tool of the right-wing, and he needs to talk about Senator Obama in a way that humanizes the Senator. Specifically, Senator Obama was abandoned by his father and raised by a single mom on food stamps. This is the introduction of the narrative that the nation needs to hear in order to relate to Senator Obama and to believe that Obama gets it.
Senator Biden may not get the big crowds that Sarah Palin receives; he may not have people buying the ties he wears, and there may be no Joe Biden action figures for sale on the Internet. But Senator Biden is the slow, steady hand that Barack Obama needs in a VP nominee.