The Corner

Quick Two Cents

I am quite surprised — nearly shocked — at the pick of Biden. I believe Obama has made an error — not just hope so, believe. And he had so many good options for the veep slot (unlike John McCain). He could have gone Kaine, Bayh, Sebelius, Boren, Edwards (Chet) — he had many good options. It was practically impossible to screw up.

I never thought that Biden was a decent option. James J. Kilpatrick used to call Howard Metzenbaum “Senator Obnoxious.” (He would write, “Senator Obnoxious (D., Ohio).”) Biden is another Senator Obnoxious — boastful, boorish, self-loving. The file on Biden is very thick.

Pat Caddell, back when he was a golden-boy political handler, loved Biden — thought he could make him president. Biden always looked good on paper — but then got in his own way.

I believe that Barack Obama will not wear well. Indeed, I think his act has been wearing thin for weeks. And I think that his vice-presidential nominee will wear even worse. I’m not sure why he went with Biden — maybe he likes him, personally, which is not the worst thing in the world. It’s helpful if a president likes his vice president (or at least doesn’t dislike him). But I don’t see what Biden gains him. Biden is a slightly risible figure, what with his hair plugs (or whatever) and his many, many examples of public obnoxiousness.

All politicians have sizable egos, but this may be the most self-loving ticket ever. There’s an old saying, “He’ll die in his own arms” — that can apply to both of them. (I’ve thought of it in connection with McCain, too.) And Obama and Biden are two of the gassiest politicians in all the land — they are rhetorically impossible.

The verbiage ticket, this is, and the arrogance ticket, and the emptiness ticket. McCain and his running-mate-to-be should really take them. Don’t you think?

Of course, McCain can screw up, too. And I caution that I’ve been wrong before: I thought Bill Clinton would be a one-term president, an accident of the Perot candidacy, which won almost a fifth of the vote. Still: I don’t believe that Obama’s choice will serve him well.

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