The Spectacle Blog

The Biden Challenge

By on 8.23.08 | 6:42PM

The difficulty for an Obama-Biden ticket will be leveraging Joe Biden's assetts without them turning into liabilities. (No, that's not a dirty joke.) One of the benefits of choosing Biden is that he is charismatic, funny, and can come across as a normal guy on the stump -- all problem areas for Obama. But the same shoot-from-the-hip tendency has produced a long list of Biden gaffes. Let Biden be a loose canon and the Obama camp will run into trouble. Rein him in too tightly and you might as well have picked ultra-boring Kathelen Sebelius.

Another upside to Biden is his Washingotn experience and foreign-policy cred. But these same qualities can undermine Obama's change narrative and dull the distinctions on foreign policy. In his famous 2004 Democratic National Convention speech, Obama said patriots both supported and opposed the Iraq war. In 2008, that might not be good enough for some antiwar Dems who see Biden as too hawkish and conventional. If you let Biden be Biden, you run the risk of inflaming these tensions. If you soft-pedal his record or try to push him in a less hawkish direction, you might as well have picked commander-in-chief Tim Kaine.

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