Barack Obama and Joe Biden gave their first joint interview which will air on 60 Minutes tomorrow night. While Obama went out of his way to say nice things about John McCain’s running mate Sarah Palin, he also contrasted her with Biden’s experience and readiness to be commander in chief.
Obama listed three reasons why he chose Biden,” Let me tell you the reason I picked Joe Biden. Number one– he can step in and become president. And I don’t think anybody has any doubt about that. Number two is that if I’m in the room making the kinds of tough decisions that the next president’s going to have to make both on domestic policy and on international policy, then I want the counsel and advice of somebody who’s not going to agree with me a 100 percent of time. In fact, somebody what’s independent enough that can push back and give me different perspectives and make sure that I’m catching any blind spots that I have. And Joe Biden doesn’t bite his tongue. Number three– is somebody who I know in his heart cares about the American people and the American dream, and is willing to fight for them as hard as he can. And Joe Biden fit that bill.”
The Democrat called Palin an up and comer, “Well, I– I don’t know Governor Palin I have not met her before. I had a brief conversation with her– after she was selected to congratulate her and– and wish her luck. But, not too much luck on the campaign trail. And– she seems to have a compelling life story. Obviously, she’s– a fine– mother and– a up and coming public servant.”
He also guessed that she subscribes to McCain’s agenda, “So, it– it’s too early for me to gauge– what kind of running mate she’ll be. My sense is that she subscribes to John McCain’s agenda. And ultimately, this is going to be about where I want to take, the country and where Joe Biden wants to take the country, and where John McCain and his running mate want to take the country.”
It is odd how this race has turned in a day. It is now Obama making the experience argument, while John McCain is trying to sell himself as an agent of change. Hillary Clinton tried to drop the experience argument and become the agent of change, and we all remember how well that worked out. I don’t understand this because McCain had made great progress with the experience argument, so why would he abandon it by selecting Palin?
Republicans can try to avoid the subject, but it is difficult to feel comfortable with a 72 year old man as president, when his running mate is a national political novice. McCain’s choice of running mate did a better job of raising the age and judgment questions than Obama ever could. It is the correct strategy not to attack Palin, but to raise the contrast between her and Joe Biden in terms of experience. I think that John McCain has made Barack Obama’s job a whole lot easier.