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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

Bagging for Biden (for Veep)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Today's New York Times has a profile of our favored presidential candidate of old, the Senator from Delaware, Joe Biden, positing that his strengths and weaknesses as a vice-presidential are glaringly obvious and that they are, more importantly, the same: his age, his lengthy legislative experience, and his mouth.

I fell in love with Biden a year ago after watching him in the early Democratic primary debates. I devoured his memoir and set to blogging about why he's the guy the country needs. Readers of NPH were quick to note, after Biden's candidacy failed, the deleterious effect which the blog may have had on the Senator's try. We're pressing our luck here that a similar endorsement for vice-president won't have do likewise. We're giddy at the notion.

A couple of things to clarify from the Times' profile, though:
He first told Brian Williams of NBC on “Meet the Press,” “I am not interested in the vice presidency.” But with very little prodding, a moment later he said that if Mr. Obama asked him to be his running mate, “Of course I’ll say yes.”
I saw that interview (below), and Biden's answer was the only honest one to give. "I'm not seeking it," he said, "but if asked I'll serve." That falls short of "wanting the job" in the way the profile suggests. It was a great answer.

Mr. Biden’s appeal as a national candidate is suspect. His first bid for the presidency, beginning in 1987, famously flamed out after he was caught stealing passages from a speech by Neil Kinnock, the leader of the Labor Party in Britain at the time.
The passage of Kinnock's that Biden used (the famous "platform on which to stand" line) he used repeatedly, and every time he used it he cited Kinnock as the source. In one appearance he failed to do that, and that was the appearance that got him. He acknowledges he fell down on it, but to say that he was "caught stealing" misses the mark significantly.

Whatever. Go Joe, go.


posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 4:20 PM


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