the least complicated
Sigh. I'm still trying to figure out the rationale for announcing your v-p pick at 3am on a Saturday morning during the Olympics via text message, when all the top journalists are asleep. Maybe it was a bit of a retort to Hillary's 3am ad that was so successful in the primaries. Whatever. Delaware Senator Joe Biden is Obama's running mate.
My distaste for Joe Biden knows no bounds. He is, in the words of one Democratic activist, "a ridiculous, overbearing blowhard." And his Yankee accent and northeastern liberalism aren't going to bring many disaffected conservative Southerners over to Obama's side. He knows his stuff, but he also can't shut up. Many, many years ago, when I was a Senate Committee on Foreign Relations intern and Jim Jeffords defected from the Republican party, Biden became committee chair. I swear the hearings doubled in length.
Obama's making a gamble with this. Delaware was already on his side, and this veep pick has no chance of bringing in an extra state, though he might help with Pennsylvania. Picking another northeastern liberal rather than a Southerner with some conservative credentials is a risky, risky move. And McCain's already got a doozy of an ad up, pointing out that Biden was pretty critical of Obama during the primaries.
I tell my students that this year should be a perfect storm for the D's. The economy's tanked, the war is unpopular, and everyone's just waiting for W to go back to Dallas (What, you think that ranch will stay in the family after its political purposes are spent?). But I also teach them to never underestimate the Democratic party's capacity to screw things up. If Obama loses this election, it will likely be because Biden says something so noxious and offensive on the campaign trail that the voters think twice. I know this choice has made me do so.