Tag Archives: Obama running mate
by Reinout van Wagtendonk
Barack Obama is officially the Democratic Party’s candidate for the US presidency. On the third day of the Democratic convention in Denver his defeated rival, Hillary Clinton, submitted a motion to elect Obama the winner by acclamation, and in his speech her husband Bill Clinton expressed his unconditional support for Obama. Later in the day, Joe Biden was officially elected as Barack Obama’s running mate for the vice-presidency.
A roll call like this, coming forward state by state to vote for the presidential candidate, is largely just a tradition. The result is known in advance. This time too Barack Obama had for months been the unofficial Democratic candidate. But the long and bitter battle with Hillary Clinton for that nomination had left wounds. That’s why the tradition had to take a dramatic turn. Orchestrated drama, of course, since it had been negotiated in advance and arranged precisely so it could be shown live in the half-hour around mealtime when the big three TV networks have their evening news.
Hillary Clinton interrupted the voting ritual with a motion calling for Obama to be elected by acclamation as a united party’s candidate to face the final battle against John McCain:
“I move Senator Barack Obama of Illinois be selected of this Convention by acclamation as the nominee of the Democratic Party for President of the United States.”
With a rapid blow of her gavel, convention chairwoman Nancy Pelosi ensured that whatever opposition remained would not be heard. The convention now belonged to Barack Obama. Most of Hillary’s supporters resigned themselves to the situation.
Ovation for Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton showed no trace of disappointment or resentment whatever. The former president’s speech was received by the Democrats with a lengthy ovation. Until recently Clinton seemed inclined to undermine Obama’s campaign. But on Wednesday evening he said he was convinced that Obama has what it takes to be the leader of the United States:
“My fellow democrats, I say to you, Barack Obama is ready to lead America and to restore American leadership in the world.”Clinton referred to his own presidential campaign in 1992, when the Republicans tried to write him off as an inexperienced lightweight, just as they are doing with Obama today. Clinton didn’t do too badly, as he modestly pointed out. So that should work again in 2008. The speech was the perfect launching pad for vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden and for Barack Obama’s acceptance speech which will round off the convention on Thursday evening.
Obama appears briefly
Obama appeared briefly in the convention hall on Wednesday night, following Joe Biden’s speech. He explained that he would be holding his speech in a huge stadium, before an audience of 80.000 people, because they are the people who will help him to bring about change in America:
“Change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things, and so we want to open up this Convention to make sure that everybody who wants to come can join in the party and join in the effort to take America back.”
August 23rd, 2008 by DORIAN DE WIND
With the Obama-Biden Democratic ticket now set in stone, it is interesting to investigate who predicted such a pairing the earliest.
I came across a web site, ObamaBiden08.org, that published an article on January 14, 2008, titled “Congratulations President Obama and VP Biden!” The article originally appeared on InnocentEnglish.com and was dated January 4, 2008.
This is, in part, what it said:
Let me be the first to congratulate President elect Barack Obama and Vice President elect Senator Joseph Biden. Since it is January 4th 2008 tonight, some of you might be a bit sceptical (sic). But just remember, you heard it here first.
So, on January 4th 2008, I’d like to be the first to congratulate Obama and Biden for their victory and for becoming the next President and Vice President of the United States.
Now, the writer is skipping ahead to the general elections and predicting an Obama-Biden win, but, of course, for that to happen, Obama had to first pick Biden to be his running mate—which the author did predict.
There are other predictions about the results of the primaries by the writer that have come true, including: “So McCain and Obama will be an interesting match up…”
And about McCain’s running mate:
… but McCain (with Romney as VP) just won’t be able to compete with the swelling of grass roots support and impassioned backing of Obama.
We’ll soon find out if the writer was right on his prediction for McCain’s running mate.
If he is right on this second one, too, who knows, he may also have the third prediction right. Hope, hope!
Any other earlier predictions?
from the Washingtonpost.com
By Michael D. Shear, Paul Kane and Jonathan Weisman
By selecting Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate, Barack Obama has picked a Senate colleague who has a long and friendly rivalry with Obama’s Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain.
From their perches on the leading foreign policy committees, Biden and McCain have shadowboxed across the globe, building reputations as experts in their respective parties on war and peace.
But their clash over the direction of the war in Iraq — and now the prospect of a high-stakes political campaign this fall — has strained that collegial relationship, leaving both men more than willing to do battle with the other.
“He has respect for McCain but he’ll be the first to angered by the sort of cheap shots they’re throwing at Obama now,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who predicted that Biden will relish the role of playing a lead attack dog on McCain.
Over the years, Biden and McCain have traveled broadly, often returning from war zones to spar with each other on the Sunday morning talk shows. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs committee, Biden visited Iraq more than 7 times; McCain has returned to Iraq eight times as the senior Republican on the Armed Services committee.
The result was a rivalry — and a friendship — built on respect, people in both parties said. In 2005, Biden told comedian Jon Stewart that “John McCain is a personal friend, a great friend. I would be honored to run with or against John McCain because I think the country
would be better off.”
Asked in 1999 what he would do on the first day of his presidency, McCain said he would “call in Joe Biden and John Kerry and Zbigniew Brzezinski and Carl Levin and like-minded Republicans” for a frank discussion about the need for a bipartisan foreign policy.
“They actually have a long and good relationship. They’re friends,” a senior Biden aide said Saturday morning.
McCain called his colleague early Saturday morning to congratulate him, aides said. In his first speech as Obama’s running mate, Biden acknowledged that McCain is “genuinely a friend of mine” before proceeding to blast his friend for being a wholehearted backer of the Bush-McCain policies that Biden said threaten the future.
That friendship dates back decades, to the time that a young John McCain served as a staffer to senators like Biden. It was then, McCain has said, that he first wanted to become a member of Congress.
In a biography of McCain, author Robert Timberg wrote that “McCain was much in demand for overseas escort duty…He was fun to be around, his wit appealing, his natural exuberance infectious. In an Athens taverna he danced on a table with Senator Joseph Biden’s wife, Jill, a red bandanna clenched in his teeth.”
Later, as senators, the pair sometimes joined forces, especially on military and foreign policy matters. In 1999, a “McCain-Biden” bill would have authorized President Bill Clinton to use “all necessary force,” including ground troops, in Yugoslavia.
Democrats and the Republican Senate leadership opposed the bill as too broad and too open-ended, and rejected it, but the partnership was an example of their willingness to work collaboratively.
Biden and McCain both have sons in the military, giving each a personal connection to the war they see so differently. McCain’s son, Jimmy is a Marine who served in Iraq until Feburuary. Biden’s son, Beau, a reserve officer who is the Attorney General of Delaware, reports to Iraq in October.
They are also both shaped by tragedy. McCain spent five-and-a-half years in a Vietnamese prison after being captured when his plane was shot down. Biden’s wife and infant daughter were killed in an auto accident shortly after his first election.
On a lighter note, both Biden and McCain were among the most frequent guests on Don Imus’ radio show, often heaping praise on each other. During one show in 2006, Biden was effusive about McCain’s efforts to stop the Bush Administration’s torture policy.
“You know, I mean, thank God for John McCain in saying, whoa, what are you guys talking about?,” Biden told Imus.
But that friendship is likely to be strained further during the
upcoming election, as Biden is tasked by Obama to attack McCain. It is a task he had already begun even before being picked.
In April, Biden gave a speech at Georgetown University in which he said there is “no daylight between John McCain and George Bush. They are joined at the hip.”
In the speech, he called McCain “a man I greatly admire, a man I consider a personal and close friend.” But he went on to slam what he called a “myopic” view of foreign policy and said that “fundamental change” will require “more than a great soldier. It’s going to require a wise leader.”
Last month, in another speech, Biden accused McCain of “profound confusion” and “twisted logic” on the fight against terrorism and urged him to “study history” on the subject.
It is on terrorism and Iraq that there are likely to be the greatest clashes.
Both supported the authorization for war in Iraq, though Biden argues he was trying to give Bush the strongest hand possible force United Nations weapons inspectors back in. After the invasion, Biden preceded McCain in arguing for additional troops.
But in 2006, the two broke irrevocably. With sectarian violence spiraling, Biden argued that 500,000 troops wouldn’t bring peace if the Iraqis couldn’t reconcile.
Since then, they have traveled separately and returned with
opposite conclusions. About the time McCain earned criticism walking around a Baghdad Market in a flak jacket and offering a rosy assessment, Biden was marooned in Fallujah in a sand storm. Stuck in a room with Iraqi politicians, he was struck by the discord and lack of
will to reconcile.
Staff researchers Alice Crites and Lucy Shackelford contributed to this report.
By Sarah Lai Stirland
Barack Obama’s campaign finally texted his choice for vice president in the wee hours of Saturday morning: As reported, he’s chosen Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware as his vice presidential running mate.
Though he’s known best for his foreign policy credentials, the 66-year-old senator’s work on the Senate Judiciary Committee has put him in the middle of most of the defining issues of the internet age — epic fights over intellectual property, privacy and antitrust law.
The role of the vice president in influencing an administration’s tone and policy varies with the character of the executive teams occupying the White House, but as Al Gore demonstrated while Bill Clinton’s vice president, there are plenty of opportunities for the veep to push specific items to the top of the agenda.
“They can be a thought leader, a convener, a driver of national strategy, an exhorter to industry,” said Larry Irving, a former adviser to the Clinton White House, earlier this week.
Biden, a 30-plus-year veteran of the senate, has been a strong supporter of civil liberties. Most recently, he diverged from Obama’s position when he voted in July against a controversial bill that legalized President Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program. The legislation also provided legal immunity to the telecommunications providers subjected of dozens of lawsuits for participating in the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program.
And during the fall 2005 senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Biden grilled Roberts in his views of privacy in the high-tech age — an issue Biden said was of equal importance to Roe v. Wade.
But Biden’s most-recent reputation in D.C. on telecom issues is more ambiguous, particularly when it comes to net neutrality. Though he ostensibly supported the concept as a presidential candidate during this election cycle, in hearings on Capitol Hill he’s been a hesitant supporter for pro net-neutrality legislation.
On the intellectual property front, Biden doesn’t seem to have strayed from the rest of the judiciary committee democrats’ stance of being more of a friend to Hollywood than to Silicon Valley.
Like many other members of congress, on the relatively infrequent occasions when he does talk about intellectual property, his focus is on piracy. He co-chairs the congressional international anti-piracy caucus. Earlier this year, the group fingered specific trading partners, countries where it said digital-copyright piracy had reached “alarming levels.” The group of countries included China, Russia, Canada, Mexico, Greece and Spain.
The group didn’t recommend any specific sanctions against the countries, but Biden repeated an often-heard line on the Hill at the time.
“Our ideas, our music, our books, our movies, our innovations are just as precious as any tangible property,” he said. “With new technologies coming out at warp speed, this global problem will only get worse.”
Back in 2002, Biden also authored a controversial anti-counterfeiting bill that was amended to include a draconian provision that would have made it a de facto crime to replicate a digital-rights management under any circumstances. Critics decried the idea because they said it would crimp individuals’ ability to play their media on devices of their choosing. Violators of the law would have faced prison sentences of up to five years and civil penalties of up to $25,000.
Though he might be known for his foreign policy credentials, Biden often is no diplomat.
As Slate‘s John Dickerson joked in a recent Twitter post, Obama might introduce the senator from Delaware and explain his pick by saying that he’s a “clean and articulate” and “a nice-looking guy.”
Biden caused a furor in February 2007 when he was quoted on Obama by The New York Observer.
At the time, he said: “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”
Biden subsequently apologized for the remark.
But when they’re timed right, his blunt remarks can also be a riot. During the CNN YouTube debate last July, when asked about what they liked about the candidate next to them, Biden quipped that he didn’t like anything about Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio.
Then he added: “But the thing I like about him most is his wife.”
Kucinich is married to 31-year-old Elizabeth Kucinich, who’s six foot tall and made a striking impression on the campaign trail with her long red hair and good looks.
In an obvious ploy to build its databases of voter contact information, the Obama campaign promised that it would let supporters know about his vice presidential pick via text message.
The campaign has drawn out the release of its announcement for so long that some people started to prank each other with fake texting announcements.
Twitter became an often hilarious watercooler network of Obama VP pick jokes as people frittered away their Friday wondering who it would be.
“Just warning you Obama, if your txt wakes me up I’ll be much less enthusiastic about your veep choice,” tweeted Joel Davis late Friday night.
The warning, it turned out, was prescient: Obama texted his choice for Biden at 3 am Saturday morning East Coast time.
The message urged supporters to watch the first Obama-Biden rally at 3 pm Eastern on Barackobama.com.