Tuesday, August 26, 2008

an Obama/Biden ticket, and a few questions

So I did some research on Barack Obama's running mate, Joe Biden. Here's what I found out:
  • He's been a senator since he was 30, which is the youngest you can possibly be a senator. He was actually elected when he was 29.
  • He's worked in Washington for 35 years.
  • He's voted with Democrats over 96% of the time.
  • He authored the Violence Against Women Act.
  • He's one of the least wealthy Senators, with a net worth between $59,000 and $366,000, and commutes on the train to work every day.
  • He's a long-time member of the Judiciary Committee and Foreign Relations Committee, and currently chairs the latter.
  • Is considered by many (Democrats) to be a foreign policy expert.
  • He originally voted for the War in Iraq, supported it longer than most Democrats, and is now opposed to it.
  • His son is being deployed to Iraq this fall.
  • He says things. Sometimes they are awesome. Sometimes not so much.
There are some that are calling Biden Obama's Dick Cheney: the older, more experienced VP pulling strings behind the scenes of the younger president's administration. Others are just pissed that Obama didn't choose Hillary Clinton.

Personally, I'm hoping we get some answers this week at the convention. I mean, Biden famously said that he didn't think Obama was ready to be Commander in Chief--a concern 42% of the country has as well. What does he say now, and why is he saying it? Will we get some answers behind this choice, or just sales? And what about Hillary? I honestly never expected her to be the choice, was never really convinced that she wanted the VP spot, and think it could have done the ticket more harm than good, in the end. Not that picking up all those votes wouldn't have been valuable, but she was way harder on Obama in the primaries than Biden ever was, and I don't know if some of that damage was reparable enough to put her on the ticket. Plus there's the suck-tastic reality that America just might not be ready for a ticket with both a black man and a woman on it. Which is awful to say, but these are the times and this is the country we live in. And, I mean, Vice President is not the only answer for Hillary Clinton. She is still a badass with a grand future in Washington--Secretary of State, Supreme Court Justice, people are throwing out all kinds of suggestions for her. She's not done kicking butt yet, not by long shot.

In the meantime, Democrats have an Obama/Biden ticket, and a few questions about it. Until we get some more answers/clarification, all we can do is speculate. Based on what I've read, heard and watched, it seems like the right choice for a Vice President is someone who balances the Presidential nominee. Someone whose personality is a good fit, but whose skills might fill in the blanks. I mean, that's what I do when I hire people. I look for experience that matches the job, skills that complement and balance out mine and my team's, and a personality I can get along with. I kind of like finding people that are different from me or the team, or that I might disagree with on different things, because I think it's healthy and ultimately more productive to be surrounded by people who aren't afraid to challenge the status quo. It's the different between George Lucas movies where he's surrounded by a variety of different people who are trusted to be good at what they do even when they don't have the exact same vision as him (original Star Wars trilogy), and George Lucas movies where he's only surrounded by sycophants dedicated to supporting and praising his one, singular vision (Star Wars prequels).

I digress, but the point is, you pick someone who balances you so you can do the best job possible, as a team. Presumably. So, based on preliminary research, a little speculation, and my own hiring practices, it looks like Biden was a pretty good idea.

I guess we'll see, huh?

My sources:
The Washington Post
The Boston Globe
Official Joe Biden Site
My friend kashe

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