The Corner

Obama-Biden in Springfield

I wonder if that will be one of the most disciplined performances we’ll see from Biden this election season (besides his convention speech). What I was most struck by was how much they both emphasized middle-class and economic themes, and how hard Biden went after McCain as a clone of Bush. I assume this is a preview of the Democratic convention, and if so, it’s exactly the right approach. None of Biden’s foreign-policy experience is going to rub off on Obama. If anything, the optics will kind of hurt–the older guy with the experience that makes him, in Obama’s words, “ready to step in and be president,” with a much, much younger man with no experience to speak of. But the economy is dominating in the election, and Obama is going to try to squeeze every bit of working-class cred he can out of Biden.

The Biden selection might tilt McCain’s VP playing field toward Romney. The former Massachusetts governor is as energetic an attack dog as Biden; Pawlenty might have a gravitis gap with Biden, whereas Romney wouldn’t; the VP debate isn’t particularly important, but Romney would be a good match for Biden; given that Biden and Obama have no executive experience and neither Biden nor Obama (nor McCain) has any private-sector experience to speak of, Romney the former business man and government is a nice contrast.

But I think if McCain picks Romney, who has an investment-banker vibe to him, it makes it all more imperative for McCain to endorse a significant middle-class tax cut. Especially given his houses gaffe and how the Dems will emphasize the working-class roots of Biden. I wrote about this yesterday.

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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