Obama plays it safe and selects Joe Biden (65) the loquacious, buffoonish Democratic senator from Delaware.
Well, I was wrong.
And NYT’s David Brook was right.
With more than 30 years in the Senate, it seems to me that Biden, an old Washington insider, brings more expertise and connections than change.
Last January, he described Obama — on the very day that the Illinois senator launched his candidacy — as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”
Unfortunately, pragmatism has prevailed.
Biden has accepted $5,133,072 in contributions from lawyers and lobbyists since 2003. Obama does not accept contributions from federally registered lobbyists.
CNN was the first with the news at 12:42 Eastern time.
John King went on air saying he had two sources confirming Biden’s selection.
At 3:29 a SMS came with the news:
The timing of the breaking news wasn’t the best for newspaper deadlines or TV stations that were waiting, and waiting, and waiting for hours.
Hours before, the Chicago Tribune was not sure, but took the risk with this front page:
And the New York Daily News was one of the few U.S. papers able to stop the presses and get the news in its final edition:
AP delivered the news at 3:25 a.m.
At 4:50 a.m. many of us got a message like this one:
I have some important news that I want to make official.
I’ve chosen Joe Biden to be my running mate.
Joe and I will appear for the first time as running mates this afternoon in Springfield, Illinois — the same place this campaign began more than 19 months ago.
I’m excited about hitting the campaign trail with Joe, but the two of us can’t do this alone. We need your help to keep building this movement for change.
P.S. — Make sure to turn on your TV at 2:00 p.m. Central Time to join us or watch online at http://www.BarackObama.com
Biden was born November 20, 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
He is a Roman Catholic man of blue-collar roots, with a generally liberal voting record and a reputation as a long-winded orator.
Biden is the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and a strong supporter of the United Nations.
He dropped out of the race for the Democratic Party’s nomination in the 2008 presidential election after the Iowa caucuses in January.
His candidacy for the U.S. presidency in the 1988 Presidential campaign went wrong when he was found to have plagiarized a speech from British Labour Party (UK) leader Neil Kinnock.
He admits to being compulsively ambitious.
Biden voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq in Oct. 2002.
He is, The New York Times says, garrulous and well-liked; the downside is Mr. Biden can be a bit too garrulous at times, with a tendency to get himself (and potentially Mr. Obama) in a bit of trouble.
According to POLITICO:
Garrulous, bigger-than-life and at times wonderfully honest and profane, Biden is one of Washington’s most likable pols and an ever-quotable source for several generations of political journalists.
We will have a lot of fun.
He is, for sure, a tremendous speaker.
So he will be the attack dog against John McCain.
Biden takes Amtrak home to Delaware every night and knows the name of all the conductors and ticket agents on the route.
Read Joe Biden’s posts on Twitter here.
Watch his interview on Jon Stewart’s show here.
And some pictures:
AP reports that;
Biden confronted tragedy five weeks after his first election. In 1972, his first wife, Neilia, and 13-month-old daughter, Naomi, were killed when a tractor-trailer broad-sided her station wagon as she drove home with a family Christmas tree. His sons Beau and Hunt were badly hurt.
He was sworn in from the hospital bedside of one his sons and still won’t work on Dec. 18, the date of the accident.
In 1977, Biden married Jill Tracy Jacobs. They have a daughter, Ashley. Both of his sons are lawyers, and the elder son, Beau, was elected state attorney general of Delaware in November.
Biden himself had a close brush with death in February 1988, when he was hospitalized for two brain aneurysms. It was seven months before he could return to the Senate.
In this picture by Cynthia Johnson, Joe Biden reflects minutes before his speech at Raccoon River Brewing Company in Des Moines, Iowa. At the time his sister Valerie Biden Owens is telling the crowd how he dealt with the death of his first wife and daughter in a highway car accident.