August 23, 2008
Biden His Time (Bob Franken)
@ 9:00 am
Joe Biden has a lot going for him. First, there's his age. At 65, if Barack Obama is president for two terms, he could be the heir-apparent. He'd only be 73, the age of John McCain.
He is a Washington insider. As vice president he can apply his intimate knowledge of how all the mechanisms of government work to operate behind the scenes when political or legal obstacles get in the way, without even the president's awareness. After eight years of Dick Cheney, we all know how worthwhile that can be.
Unlike Cheney, he believes in explaining his decisions and thought processes in public. And explaining. And explaining. By the time he is through with a speech, we know every nuance, every intricacy that's involved, to say nothing of any childhood memory that might have something to do with it. Or not.
And if he is at a loss for words, he's shown a willingness to use someone else's.
This is somebody who absolutely believes in the public's right to know. He has appeared so many times on "Meet the Press" that it wouldn't be surprising if he was among those NBC was considering to be the next moderator.
None of these snarky observations will bother Joe Biden one bit. He has a great sense of humor. He'll need it when he's asked about his previous comment, that Barack Obama was "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” And if Mr. Racial Sensitivity gets past that one, he'll still have some explaining to do about his observation that Obama was "not yet ready" to be president.
But, as mentioned, Biden has a wonderful sense of humor, and the questions will give him a chance to show it off. At the same time, we'll get a quick look at Barack Obama's.
In all seriousness, Biden is a formidable choice. Not only does he have a depth of knowledge about the law, social issues and international relations — after decades of Senate leadership in all those areas, he is a truly nice guy, with a real, common touch.
He even gets along with his colleague, John McCain. In the Senate, that alone makes him a standout.