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Not a Washington insider?

Obama's selection of Joe Biden presents a number of problems, but one of the biggest I can foresee if the "Washington insider" role the Obama campaign wants to paint McCain as playing. Obama's released several ads labeling John McCain as nothing but another Washington insider. Obama's whole campaign revolves around the hope-changeyness he can supposedly bring to Washington. It's his attempt to turn his lack of experience into a positive. He's not inexperienced, he's just not a Washington insider! Washington's broken, so we need someone fresh and new -- a savior, even! -- to come in and fix our political system!

The thing is, no one denies there are problems in Washington. Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, liberals: we all agree that a lot of changes need to be made. The difference of opinion is on what changes need to be made and how. And if Barack Obama wants to run his entire campaign on the empty rhetoric of "change", then how does Joe Biden fit into that? As Erik Erickson points out at Redstate:


1. When Joe Biden entered the United States Senate, John McCain was in his fifth year of captivity at the Hanoi Hilton.

2. Barry Obama was eight when Biden began his Senate career.

3. Nixon was starting his second term as President.


Joe Biden is more of a Washington insider than McCain is. I don't necessarily see that as a negative, but Barack Obama has been portraying it as something terrible for his entire campaign. What now? Does he change his attitude about "Washington insiders", or does he just ignore the contradiction? It's just another sign that Biden was not the best pick for Obama to make.


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Comments (16)

"The One's" 1st explanation... (Below threshold)

"The One's" 1st explanation for this discrepency between his earlier insider charges and Biden's decades-long Washington experience was that while Biden has been there, he has not been "changed by the atmosphere"....

Hogwash for any who have ever heard Slow Joe speak!

Saying Biden is an 'outside... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Saying Biden is an 'outsider' because he has the luxury of living so close to his residence he can hop on a train and go home is BS. He's been there since January 3, 1973.

Biden's been a Senator for ... (Below threshold)

Biden's been a Senator for my entire life. What's frightening is that I'm not so young anymore that saying that is a silly comment. Washington's broken, you say? Democrat answer? More power to the breakers. Yeah, baby.

I'm sure Barry will just sa... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I'm sure Barry will just say that this is all just "a distraction" from the REAL issues.

As for the insider charge w... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

As for the insider charge with Biden as veep. I don`t see Biden`s nomination of blunting Obama`s message of change. Biden can act as counsellor, an `eminience grise`, a deputy minister, a resource person especially in foreign crisises. He knows what we can change, where we can change, which will make Obama more effective at making the changes.

And everyone who works for Obama says Obama is very thoughtful, unlike Bush asks a lot of questions asks for a lot of imput, before making his mind up. I don`t see Biden in the role of being the secretive, powerful, Cheney decision-maker that Bush encouraged.

Gee, 1973, that's when I en... (Below threshold)
Glenn M. Cassel AMH1(AW) USN RETIRED:

Gee, 1973, that's when I enlisted(September 29)
Seems like I REALLY DID SOMETHING FOR MY COUNTRY. obama and biden can go pound sand,

"unlike Bush asks a lot.."<... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"unlike Bush asks a lot.."

That would almost be on-topic if Bush were running, but he's not.

BDS in every comment no matter what the topic is boring.

Minor nit... Barry was 11 w... (Below threshold)
The Exposer:

Minor nit... Barry was 11 when Biden was elected Senator.

He knows what we c... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:
He knows what we can change, where we can change, which will make Obama more effective at making the changes.

The problem with the your theory is, IF Biden knows what needs changing, where it should be changed and which changes are most effective, why hasn't he done it so far? He was elected senator from the state of Delaware and has had a responsibility to those people since Obama was 8.

If he was so all-knowing, then waiting till now indicates that he failed in his first responsiblity to the people of Delaware.

(I am just following Steve's line of thought here. IMO, Biden is a typical Washington insider slightly more ethical than some and somewhat less ethical than others, but hardly an agent for "change".)

And everyone who works for Obama says Obama is very thoughtful, unlike Bush asks a lot of questions asks for a lot of imput, before making his mind up. I don`t see Biden in the role of being the secretive, powerful, Cheney decision-maker that Bush encouraged.

A little comparison here ... during the recent uproar about Edwards alleged (now admitted to) affair, mainstream media said that they didn't report it because "everyone says" isn't proof - it's gossip.

In rebuttal I could point to the "everyone" who work for the DNC who have been saying that Obama's campaign doesn't ask opinions and doesn't listen to the advice given.

Neither comment would be worth the keystrokes it took to post them.

Crickmore said"I d... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Crickmore said

"I don`t see Biden`s nomination of blunting Obama`s message of change. Biden can act as counsellor, an `eminience grise`, a deputy minister, a resource person especially in foreign crisises. He knows what we can change, where we can change, which will make Obama more effective at making the changes.
"

a. And Biden's qualifications for this is what? His having been in Congress for 35 years? If that is true why didnt Obama pick Robert Byrd? For that matter McCain has almost as much time in the Senate and has first hand experience with the evil that communist and socialist countries can do.

b. As was pointed out above, If Biden is uniquely qualified becuase he knows the who, what, where, why and when of the changes needed why didnt he run on the change platform? Tried to implement changes before now? and how did Barrack get along without him before now? Or was Barrack simply uttering talking points with no clue how to do things until Biden came along.

c. Change cant be affected without Congress going along for the ride. The thing is with Obama's crackpot ideas the Congressman have more than 4 years to worry about than Obama does. It is easier for them to get reelected and they know that bad decisions will come back to haunt them.

d. Are you saying that Biden gives the ticket "gravitas"? Can we puke now?

"And everyone who works for Obama says Obama is very thoughtful, unlike Bush asks a lot of questions asks for a lot of imput, before making his mind up. I don`t see Biden in the role of being the secretive, powerful, Cheney decision-maker that Bush encouraged."

e. Have to love the "everyone" phrase. Makes the phrase sound so grand as if it is common knowledge and we shouldnt even question it. Please refine it a bit more. There are literally thousands of people in Obama's organaization now. Are you saying that each and every one of those people have said this?

f. As I recall, Kerry asked a lot of folks for input and advice quite a bit. In fact, per the biographer who was with the campaign, his staff literally had to take the phone away from him due to his phoning all his friends to ask if a decision was a right one.

g. If Biden is going to be the "all knowing seer" of the ticket than I wonder if you are saying that he is going to be the nonsecretive, powerful decision maker that Obama encourages??

This may be relevant. The t... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

This may be relevant. The thorough, careful way Obama went about choosing his veep, unlike Bush Junior, who asked Cheney to find a veep and after Cheney could find no one suitable, looked in the mirror, and came back with guess who? Bush Senior`s choice wasn`t any more inspired- Dan Quayle. This gives you an idea of what the Bushes prized most ...loyalty like George W. nominating his personal lawyer Miers to the Supreme Court. Obama doesn`t necessarily pick his friends or sychophants. Biden only endorsed Obama after Clinton dropped out.

To me, Biden seems like a good compromise choice, about 7.5/8 out of 10. The things he lacks; having much of a popular following, being reserved, or having charisma are exactly why has never seriously been touted as a major candidate, but for the vice-president rung, the choice makes sense.

"Bush Senior`s choice wasn`... (Below threshold)
John S:

"Bush Senior`s choice wasn`t any more inspired- Dan Quayle..."

Considering depth of experience, Obama makes Dan Quayle look like Henry Kissinger. And Barry Hussein is at the top of the ticket.

It all seems to come down t... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

It all seems to come down to this intangible called experience. McCain gives much or most of his executive experience qualification as being a flight commander and a prisoner of war 40 years ago, as if the longer removed from it the greater it becomes the touchstone qualification for the highest political office. Hey if we were electing a president in 1972 or 1976, that would be extremely relevant but I would much rather have a president who has used a computer once in his life than one who talks about the past as if almost nothing has changed in the last 40 years.

Oh, I agree that if you are... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:

Oh, I agree that if you are saying that your ONLY experience was as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, then it would be ridiculous.

That's why John Kerry was such a joke in 2004 - but it didn't stop the Democrats from running him as their candidate. Given that John Kerry had less than 5 months in country versus John McCains' 5+ years as a prisoner of war, Kerry's candidacy was even more ludicrous.

But, of course, making the claim that John McCain's ONLY foreign policy experience was as a prisoner of war (or that McCain has ever made that claim himself) is a somewhat less than the truth and Steve know that.

McCain doesn't give me the ... (Below threshold)
Allen Hammer:

McCain doesn't give me the warm and fuzzy feelings.

But he's fresh air compared to Osama (whoops Obama)

It all comes down to McCains VP pick!

"Obama doesn't necessari... (Below threshold)

"Obama doesn't necessarily pick his friends or sychophants."

No. He just throws them under the bus.

As far as Bush selecting Cheney and your bemoaning his "secret, powerful decision-making"; There was never anything secret about Cheney. There was never any surprise about who he was or where he stood or what advice he would offer to the president. You're making it sound as if Cheney's been running the country for the last 8 years. And it's not the first time. Regardless of your conspiratorial imagining that we have a "Republican Imperial Vice-Presidency", you admitted that Bush was the senior decision-maker. No, for you it's a bad idea (or something worse) that Bush and Cheney were in agreement on issues. It's a clear indicator that Cheney is running the show. Not that a president should EVER choose a running mate that shares his philosophies. It's probably because Bush is, you know, dumb.




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