Pros and Cons: Joe Biden as Barack Obama’s Running Mate

May 24 2008 Published by under Featured News

In the third part of our continuing series profiling the potential running mates for Barack Obama, I take a look at Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE). Biden is a popular Democratic senator, but would he be the perfect running mate for Obama?

Resume: Joe Biden is the sixth longest serving member of the United States Senate. Currently, Biden is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and he also was a candidate for the 2008 Democratic nomination, but Biden dropped out of the race after a poor performance in the Iowa caucuses. Biden also serves on several other committees in the Senate including the Judiciary Committee. He has crafted several crime bills while on this committee including the famous Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 a.k.a. the Biden Crime Law.

On the foreign relations front, Biden has used his position on the Foreign Relations Committee to try and reduce the violence in the Balkans in the 1990s. Biden has advocated splitting Iraq into three parts based on sectarian lines. Biden is also a strong advocate for U.S. action to help stop the violence, and genocide in Darfur.

Pros to Picking Biden: Biden is a veteran of the U.S. Senate, and a man who is respected by Democrats everywhere. He understands both the legislative process, and foreign policy. His presence on the ticket could help with conservative Democrats who are concerned about Obama’s experience and foreign policy positions.

Cons for Picking Biden: The biggest con of all might be that Biden isn’t interested in the job. He seems like a Senate lifer who is happy with his work in the legislative branch. From an electoral point of view, it would be difficult to find anyone who is more of a Washington insider than a man who has been there since 1973. Plus Biden has no executive experience, so the idea of two Senators with no executive experience on the same ticket, could be a problem. Obama will carry Delaware in the fall, and it is doubtful that Biden could help in many swing states. Also, Biden has run for president on four previous occasions and never gathered much traction in any of his campaigns.

Odds of Obama Selecting Biden: I know that Biden has his supporters, but it really seems that he is not interested in the job, and even if he was, picking a Washington insider isn’t the best move for a campaign that is running on a fresh face and change. Biden has Cabinet Secretary written all over him. He openly has said that he doesn’t want to be VP, but he tends to dance around the idea of him being Secretary of State. If he or Richardson isn’t selected for VP, then they should be the top two choices for State.

The Choice O Meter Says: (1 O = No Chance – 10 Os = A Sure Thing)
OO (2 Os out of 10 for Joe Biden)

UPDATE: Biden does seem to want the job, and that changes everything. His new Choice-O-Meter Ranking (OOOOOOOO) 8 out of 10 O’s for Joe Biden

Previous Installments:

Pros and Cons:
Hillary Clinton

Pros and Cons: Bill Richardson

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