By Laura Acuff, Opinion Editor
People don’t vote for vice presidents. Best case scenario: a good VP selection wins a few wavering voters. Worst case scenario: a bad VP selection obliterates an entire campaign. That said, you’d think presidential candidate Barack Obama would have balked at the idea of inviting Delaware Sen. Joe Biden to join his crusade for the White House. Instead, Obama offered Biden the vice presidency, despite the fact that they’ve stood in opposition since the 2008 presidential race commenced.
Biden, who ran against Obama in the Democratic primaries, expressed his minimal faith in the young Illinois senator early on, citing his lack of experience and calling “on the job training” inappropriate for the presidency. Yet now that he’s on the ticket, Biden seems to find Obama’s shortcomings much less objectionable, and the former competitors expect America to view them as a united team.
Assuming they have, in fact, settled their differences, one viable reason for Obama’s vice president pick surfaces. Perhaps his selection of a former naysayer signifies a gutsy move to combine their skills and address the very objections Biden himself raised.
For example, international inexperience forms one of Obama’s primary, largely accepted weaknesses. Conversely, Biden claims substantial global know-how.
However, unfortunately for Obama, Biden’s most well known international incident, from his 1988 bid for the presidency, involved the severe plagiarizing of a prominent British politician’s speech-ironic, considering that both Biden’s 1988 and Obama’s current platform hinge on bolstering
But then, maybe plagiarizing is exactly the way to represent the United States to the global community. After all, “imitation is the highest form of flattery.” And isn’t it encouraging to know people who commit the same transgression that can get a student kicked out of ACU can still go on to be leaders of the free world?
Biden’s impressive credentials don’t end there. Even when he finally endorsed Obama’s campaign, he called Obama “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”
Supposing Biden was more well-intentioned than he sounded, and supposing people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson never took offense to a statement that might disparage their cleanliness, the statement still cannot be ignored when paired with yet another incriminating remark. Describing Delaware’s substantial Indian-American population, Biden commented, “You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.”
And the tactless wonder strikes again.
It’s interesting that Obama, a man who is supposed to be making such strides for racial equality, would invite a widely known, however unintentional, bigot onto his ticket. Republicans should take note and capitalize.
Inflicting the donkey-emblazoned Democratic Party with a persistent case of “hoof in mouth disease” since his 1988 bid for the presidency, Biden just can’t seem to keep his mouth shut.
And while I’m not na’ve enough to believe Obama’s vice president selection will singlehandedly lose him the election, I am optimistic enough to hope Obama’s clear disregard for the credibility of his running mate will weaken his own.
As the saying goes, sometimes life hands you lemons. The Obama campaign just handed his Republican competitors a tall, cool glass of lemonade.