The Associated Press just confirmed that Barack Obama has picked Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware as his running mate. It is a good choice.
From the AP:
The Associated Press has learned that Delaware Senator Joe Biden is Barack Obama’s choice to be his vice presidential running mate.
Biden, who has served in the Senate since being elected at the age of 29, is the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and will add his foreign policy expertise to the Democratic ticket.
In recent years, he has traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan two times and to Iraq eight times. He returned Monday from a fact-finding trip to Georgia.
In the end it came down to Joe Biden, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, and Indiana Senator Evan Bayh. Bayh was never really a contender. Indiana was never going to be in play and the Hillary Clinton die-hards will not be appeased by getting a Clinton confidant on the ticket. Although Virginia is definitely in play this year Kaine would not add any more electoral prowess to the ticket that Mark Warner cannot already deliver by being on the ballot in Virginia as a Senate candidate. Obama can ride what is likely to be a Mark Warner landslide victory to get the edge in Virginia. In terms of name recognition within the commonwealth of Virginia, the current governor lags significantly behind the popular ex-Governor Mark Warner.
The pundits says that Joe Biden may help Obama with the so-called "working class vote" – but I doubt it. This euphemism of a voting block will not vote for Obama because, euphemistically, he doesn’t look like them. Joe Biden will not make them change their minds. Where Joe Biden can help Obama is in negotiating the thorny foreign policy challenges that George W Bush will leave the next president. This is most especially true in Iraq. The powder keg that is Iraq is being held together by over a hundred thousand American soldiers on the ground. This current situation is not sustainable. The next president will face the delicate challenge of withdrawing forces from Iraq without lighting the powder keg. The potential is there for Iraq to consume the entire term of the next president.
Joseph Biden is one of the very few political leaders in the United States who have given serious thought to what comes next in Iraq. Back in 2006 he, along with Leslie Gelb, proposed a vision for what Iraq may look like after an American withdrawal. It wasn’t pretty, but it was thoughtful and in many way prescient. Joe Biden will bring his expertise into the next administration as it struggles to extricate America from George W Bush’s quagmire.
And perhaps, Vice President Biden will find time to follow up on the letter he sent to the military junta in Bangladesh telling them to rethink their subjugation of 150 million people. When the letter was received in Dhaka back in May 2007, the junta shrugged off the letter from US legislators as unimportant. Perhaps a similar letter on White House stationary will not be taken so lightly.
Good choice, Senator Obama.
UPDATE (8/23/2008 11:30 AM): This morning at 4:53 AM I finally got the email from the Barack Obama campaign. I guess the networks kind of spoiled the VP rollout. But it was fun nonetheless. Yesterday I was out all day with my daughter, but kept checking my email on my PDA (not yet an iPhone), every 15 minutes or so looking for that email. Here’s the much anticipated email from the Obama campaign entitled "The Next Vice President":
I have some important news that I want to make official.
I’ve chosen Joe Biden to be my running mate.
Joe and I will appear for the first time as running mates this afternoon in Springfield, Illinois — the same place this campaign began more than 19 months ago.
I’m excited about hitting the campaign trail with Joe, but the two of us can’t do this alone. We need your help to keep building this movement for change.
Please let Joe know that you’re glad he’s part of our team. Share your personal welcome note and we’ll make sure he gets it:
Thanks for your support,
P.S. — Make sure to turn on your TV at 2:00 p.m. Central Time to join us or watch online at http://www.BarackObama.com.