Saturday, August 23, 2008

Biden-Obama would be better, but I'll settle for Obama-Biden

I fell asleep with the TV on. Early Saturday morning (around 4am) I awoke from a dream that Joe Biden was Barack Obama's running mate. A very confusing 30 seconds followed where I rubbed my eyes and cursed the television news for drawing out Obama's V.P. pick. If I could transcribe my 4am thoughts, it would read like this.
-He picked Biden!?!
-Wait, it's 3:45 am - he hasn't picked anyone yet.
-It must've been a dream, no one announces in the middle of the night.
-Dammit, I wish the media would just stop talking about this; it's seeping into my dreams.

[then, I looked at the TV and saw the headline, "Obama picks Biden"]

-Wait... but the clock says 3:45. Is it 3:45 pm? Did I sleep all day? Why is it still dark outside?

It was incredibly confusing to my sleepy and excited brain. I grabbed my cell phone to check the a.m. or p.m. and I had two text messages. I'm not an Obama supporter, so I didn't get his text message; but two friends had already texted me about it. Wow. It's really true! (and it's really 4am!)

If you know me, you know that I'm a huge supporter of Joe Biden. Today, dozens of people will hear the news and say, "I bet Kathleen's happy." Or perhaps they will say, "I bet that girl from the [Coralville precinct 4] caucus is happy." (Yes she is!) I should tell the story of my caucus experience, but it's a long one. I'll save it for another blog entry. The short version may be confusing, but it goes like this: I was a Democrat for a day. I registered at the caucus site. I was a precinct captain for Joe Biden. Biden and Richardson were not viable candidates. The Obama precinct captains were much smarter than Hillary Clinton's precinct captains. Most of the Biden and Richardson supporters moved over to caucus for Obama, winning him another delegate.

I say most because there were three or four stubborn Biden supporters (myself included) who made the choice to step aside. We knew our votes wouldn't count, but we couldn't bring ourselves to support a candidate who just wasn't good enough. Obama needs experience, and he's young. He would make a great V.P., but I still think it's ridiculous that Obama Fever carried him all the way to the nomination. Biden dropped his presidential bid the night of the Iowa caucus. The next day I mailed my voter registration to re-register as an independent.

That was back in January and we haven't heard much about Biden until the V.P. buzz. The thought of Biden as Obama's running mate was very exciting at first, and I was anxiously hoping he would get it. Lately I've had second thoughts. I thought Biden's Foot-in-mouth disease would keep him off the ticket. I came to terms with that and I was okay with it for two reasons. The first reason is that he was the most likely choice for Secretary of State, so he would still be in the Obama White House. The second reason is purely selfish: I didn't want to spend the next ten weeks defending Biden's honor when his name gets dragged through the dirt.

In the months before the Iowa caucus, I came to know all of the candidates from both parties. Biden's events drew small crowds, but anyone who listened to what he had to say knew he was the best candidate. Unfortunately, anyone who saw his campaign funds knew how unlikely that was. I attended several of his speeches, I met him numerous times, and I once had lunch with his wife. I'm very familiar with his history, his positions, and his character. So I do tend to get annoyed when I hear people judge him on his verbal gaffes or his idiotic mistakes from 20 years ago. It could get ugly in the next few months. The Hillary Clinton people are already trying my patience.

When I went to sleep last night I was convinced that Biden was not going to get the V.P. nod. Waking up in the wee hours of the morning and learning about the nomination was like waking up on Christmas and finding a shiny bike under the tree. He was such a great candidate and he just couldn't break through the hype of Clinton and Obama. Biden had great things to say, but no one was listening - including the media. In my heart, I knew he'd have so much support if he just had the exposure. Now, almost a year later, he has more paparazzi than Brittney Spears and he's the top story in the news. We'll soon find out if I was right. I can't wait for the Vice Presidential debates!

Right now C-Span is playing a clip from Biden's 1988 campaign. It's a terrible clip and he sounds like an arrogant punk. The weeks to come will be a constant reminder of the 1988 election and that he conceded in disgrace after admitting to plagiarism. On one hand -yes, it makes him look terrible. But on the other hand, it may just make him the perfect mentor. If Obama learns from Biden's mistakes, they'll do just fine together.

It is officially Obama-Biden for the 2008 Democratic ticket. While I would have preferred it the other way around, I think it's a winning ticket. After the emotional frustration of the Iowa caucus, this is a great feeling. Way to go Joe!

1 comment:

Derek said...

Hopefully this ticket will be unstoppable. How's it going lately?