I’m probably giving Obama’s people too much credit, but I took the timing of the text message as a belated jab at the “3 AM” ad. Although, not as good as this one:
What most people know about Biden is that he’s solid on foreign affairs and never shuts up at confirmation hearings. There’s been less talk about his domestic legislative record. Biden pretty much wrote the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, and S. 1515 (currently sitting in the Senate) has the right enemies as well. Senator Biden is a huge proponant of Amtrak, which he commutes to work on. Unfortunately, his support for the vampiric bankruptcy bill is wholly indefensible. (Sure the credit card companies are all headquartered in Delaware, but a safe-seat six-term Senator shouldn’t pander like that.) His 1994 Crime Bill, while providing useful funding for more police on the street, expanded the application of the death penalty and cut off the availability of Pell Grants to prisoners. From a purely left/right perspective, the sum of Biden’s long voting record puts him squarely in the center of the Democratic Party. He isn’t Paul Wellstone, but he isn’t Sam Nunn either.
Fivethirtyeight thinks Biden’s tactically useful with the old folks. The GOP is already hitting on his previous criticism of Obama, and they’ve got an ad out. (I have to assume Obama’s camp saw that coming and figured it’s not likely to matter more than three days after the announcement.) Biden is verbose, brash, whip-smart, and kind of a dick:
That’s the one thing that stands out about Joe Biden compared to Kaine, Bayh, Sibelius, and Reed: Joe Biden will fuck your shit up. He’s an attack dog, and it’s about time we had one of those. Obama’s post-partisan hope/change/ponies campaign was nice, but history has shown that things turn nasty right-quick. With this comparatively high-risk pick, Obama shows confidence and strengthens his Stand-up, fight-back approach.
On balance, I like this.