Saturday, August 23, 2008

Obama Chooses Biden: a GREAT CHOICE!

by Brent Budowsky
Budowsky served as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen

In his first truly presidential decision, Barack Obama acted like a president and chose a presidential-caliber candidate for vice president. I recently wrote that this choice would speak volumes about the kind of president he would be, that if he chose one of the heavyweight contenders, such as Sam Nunn or Joe Biden, over the less-qualified candidates it would be an enormously positive sign. Obama came through, big time. Joe Biden's arc began when his first wife and one of his children were sadly killed in a tragic auto accident before he was sworn into the Senate; today his son is headed to Iraq in uniform: Biden is a military dad.

Here is a big thought about Barack Obama: He usually takes a while, but then gets the big decisions right. The pundits will soon label Biden "the good Cheney," but the truth is far different. Obama has a world vision; now he has a proven statesman to make it happen. The world will soon see what those of us who have seen Biden up close have seen: Joe is a regular guy. He not only commutes by Amtrak back home, almost every night, instead of living in Washington, but he knows the conductors on a first-name basis, and many are his pals. Little things often tell us big things.

Joe Biden is a family man, a real guy, a Catholic who will have enormous appeal in the Rust Belt and heartland of America. Joe Biden has an international reputation as a serious, thoughtful and substantial man with deep knowledge of the world, boasts of long relationships with many world leaders, and would be described in the JFK tradition of "idealists without illusions.”

No knock on Evan Bayh or Tim Kaine, but their choice would have been very troubling to me and I could not have written these words about them. This was the first and only presidential decision Barack Obama would make from the moment he announced his candidacy until the moment voters choose in November.

In his first presidential decision, Barack Obama acted like a president. Barack Obama chose a vice president of presidential stature, substance, experience and depth. The voters will like Joe Biden, trust Joe Biden, and think even more highly of Barack Obama for making a decision worthy of a president.