Joe Biden should be the next president of the United States. I've thought it since he informally announced many months ago. I continued to think it even after his official announcement-day gaffe. I still think it after watching the YouTube Debates.
Look at this graphic. Who won the debate? Clinton, Clinton, Clinton. Who seemed to know the most about the issues. Biden, Biden, Biden. Um, hello?
My case for Biden is both objective and subjective, rational and irrational.
On the objective side, the guy is smart in a blue-collar intellect (not blue-blood Bostonian) kind of way. I trust his command of the facts. I trust the fact that he seems to care about the facts. Like Richardson, he's truly experienced. He's been in the Senate since, like, 1852. He's made mistakes, and he's owns up to them. He actually has the nerve to acknowledge that some of the positions he took when he was younger turned about to be wrong. What a concept.
On the irrational side, I like a guy who's been there, done that and still wants the job. This guy lost his wife and daughter. He's had a brush with death himself. He's seen a lot of life. He's already run and lost. He knows he has very little chance, and yet he still wants it.
This is what separates him from Obama in my mind. Obama has all the idealism, and he can even sound pragmatic when talking about his ideals, but he hasn't been there. You can trust someone to effect change through great disruption, or you can trust someone to do the same thing without disruption because they already know the system and how to work with their opponents. Maybe I'm getting old, but I trust the experienced navigator (a trait Bob Dole brought to the Senate) a little more than the New Kennedy, who, like Clinton in his first term, inevitably overreaches and faces a marketplace correction that wastes everybody's time.
A bonus: Biden has a real sense of humor and is naturally self-deprecating. I don't trust anyone, especially a leader, who doesn't have both of these traits. And finally, I'll admit it, the same words coming from a guy who looks like Joe Biden vs. a guy who looks like Dennis Kucinich... I'm sorry, it has an effect on me.
P.S. I saw Biden in person at Notre Dame in 1988, just coming off his plagiarism scandal. When he was done speaking, you didn't care. He answers the questions that are given to him, and he answers honestly. He's the only person I've heard truly speak eloquently on abortion, and his position infuriates both sides in the bumper-sticker wars. He should be elected for that fact alone.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Posted by Marc Conklin at 9:44 AM