James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association, a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media, and a professor of communication studies at Whitworth University.

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Biden is right choice, even if timing could have been better

Posted by James McPherson on August 23, 2008

It has now been more than two months since I wrote that Barack Obama should name Joe Biden as his running mate. Though his choice comes at about the same time as most candidates name their choices, I still think he should have done so last month. That would have given Biden more time to do what good VP choices do best–attack the other side–and would have come when Obama was riding high so that Biden looked less like a choice based on insecurity about foreign policy. And Hillary would have energized many Dems, but probably even more Republicans, so I think Obama made the right choice, for the other reasons I discussed back in June.

I don’t think John McCain will favor my recommended choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. As a progressive, I hope he offends people on both sides by choosing his apparent foreign policy expert (or at least the guy who whispers corrections in his ear), Joe Lieberman. I now believe McCain will risk the ire of conservative Christians and strengthen his biggest perceived weakness (the economy) with Mitt Romney.

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4 Responses to “Biden is right choice, even if timing could have been better”

  1. Ted said

    Biden — the perfect foil for Palin!

  2. Luis Lopez said

    Now that the announcement has been out for the past few hours, I have begun to warm up to the prospect of Biden as VP. Personally, I was an advocate of Bill Richardson because of his background: current governor of New Mexico, former Secretary of Energy under Clinton and former United States Secretary to the United Nations. But, if had Obama picked Richardson, I think that voters would have been reticent to vote for a African-American as President and an Mexican-American as VP.

    Apart from that, Biden is very good choice, as you mentioned Jim, because of his foreign policy experience. Moreover, Biden can capture the older white-American vote, which Obama has had some trouble in capturing and, also, he is Catholic, which will help. Furthermore, as previously mentioned, Biden would make a great “attack dog.” I cannot wait to see how Biden will tear apart McCain’s nominee, whoever that may be.

  3. James McPherson said

    Richardson was actually my first choice for president, for the reasons you mentioned, Luis. With the VP slot I had the same race-related concern you did, though I was even more worried about Richardson’t ability to be an attack dog. He’s too nice a guy, and I think Obama needs someone nastier than he can afford to be. It certainly worked for Bush/Chaney.

    And I see that Biden didn’t waste any time in going to it: http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/08/23/obama-biden-make-first-appearance-together-as-running-mates/.

  4. […] me, her selection at this point is tinged with a bit of desperation, like the timing of Barack Obama’s selection of Joe Biden (whom I also had […]

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