So says conservative columnist David Brooks in a column from yesterday, and I can’t say that I disagree. Because when you look at Biden’s resume, it may be just the thing to help Obama create the type of change in Washington he’s hoping for.
When Obama talks about postpartisanship, he talks about a grass-roots movement that will arise and sweep away the old ways of Washington. When John McCain talks about it, he describes a meeting of wise old heads who get together to craft compromises. Obamaâ€™s vision is more romantic, but McCainâ€™s is more realistic.
When Biden was a young senator, he was mentored by Hubert Humphrey, Mike Mansfield and the like. He was schooled in senatorial procedure in the days when the Senate was less gridlocked. If Obama hopes to pass energy and health care legislation, heâ€™s going to need someone with that kind of legislative knowledge who can bring the battered old senators together, as in days of yore.
Reports say that Obama has taken a while to select his VP because he was really struggling with the “change vs. experience” thing. On one hand, if he picks somebody like Tim Kaine, it’ll send a clear signal to Washington that change is on the way. On the other hand, if he picks a Biden, he’ll be admitting that to change things, you may need a little bit more experience to back it up.
Personally, I think if Obama picked a Beltway insider like Biden, it would provide even more evidence that he’s as pragmatic as advertised.
And while it may seem like Obama is sacrificing his message of change for a more experienced voice, I can guarantee you that Biden wants to change the way things are done in Washington too, and he’ll make that case better than any other Veep candidate I can think of. Many weren’t necessarily paying attention to Biden during the primary season, but he came off as one of the more genuine voices on the stage at the debates. So I can’t think of anybody else who can speak with the kind of passion and honesty he brings to the table.
I agree with Brooks. I’m hoping for Biden.