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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Biden pick draws Democratic praise, GOP criticism

(Yahoo News) - Democrats coalesced around Barack Obama's selection of Joe Biden as his running mate on Saturday while Republicans quickly seized on the Delaware senator's past criticism of the presidential candidate's inexperience.

Former rival Hillary Rodham Clinton, an also-ran in Obama's search for a vice presidential choice, called Biden "an exceptionally strong, experienced leader and devoted public servant." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Obama-Biden ticket will bring the change the country needs, including a filibuster-proof Senate majority.

The campaign of Republican rival John McCain wasted no time, immediately producing an ad featuring Biden's previous praise for McCain and comments critical of Obama from an ABC News interview last year. Biden had said he stood by an earlier statement that Obama wasn't yet ready to be president and "the presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training."


Anonymous Jay Nordlinger said...

From National Review Online:

I am quite surprised — nearly shocked — at the pick of Biden. I believe Obama has made an error — not just hope so, believe. And he had so many good options for the veep slot (unlike John McCain). He could have gone Kaine, Bayh, Sebelius, Boren, Edwards (Chet) — he had many good options. It was practically impossible to screw up.

I never thought that Biden was a decent option. James J. Kilpatrick used to call Howard Metzenbaum “Senator Obnoxious.” (He would write, “Senator Obnoxious (D., Ohio).”) Biden is another Senator Obnoxious — boastful, boorish, self-loving. The file on Biden is very thick.

Pat Caddell, back when he was a golden-boy political handler, loved Biden — thought he could make him president. Biden always looked good on paper — but then got in his own way.

I believe that Barack Obama will not wear well. Indeed, I think his act has been wearing thin for weeks. And I think that his vice-presidential nominee will wear even worse. I’m not sure why he went with Biden — maybe he likes him, personally, which is not the worst thing in the world. It’s helpful if a president likes his vice president (or at least doesn’t dislike him). But I don’t see what Biden gains him. Biden is a slightly risible figure, what with his hair plugs (or whatever) and his many, many examples of public obnoxiousness.

All politicians have sizable egos, but this may be the most self-loving ticket ever. There’s an old saying, “He’ll die in his own arms” — that can apply to both of them. (I’ve thought of it in connection with McCain, too.) And Obama and Biden are two of the gassiest politicians in all the land — they are rhetorically impossible.

The verbiage ticket, this is, and the arrogance ticket, and the emptiness ticket. McCain and his running-mate-to-be should really take them. Don’t you think?

Of course, McCain can screw up, too. And I caution that I’ve been wrong before: I thought Bill Clinton would be a one-term president, an accident of the Perot candidacy, which won almost a fifth of the vote. Still: I don’t believe that Obama’s choice will serve him well.

Saturday, August 23, 2008 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Strother said...

"Biden pick draws Democratic praise, GOP criticism"

Really? How surprising.

Could this election be any more predictable at this point?

Despite what some say about Obama's pick revealing weakness, etc., it enamors hardcore Democrats (and Midwestern Democrats) to have a guy like Biden on board. It could be a winning move.

Besides, Biden is a smart guy; I can think of far worse VPs (Cheney, for instance)?

This is a challenge to McCain: step up because it’s time to perform.

So, who’s his secret weapon? If their egos weren’t so big as to compete with each other, Romney would be a likely pick.

Saturday, August 23, 2008 11:43:00 PM  
Blogger Andy W. Rogers said...

Why would Midwestern Democrats be thrilled with Joe Biden? Biden is a liberal from Deleware. Obama picked him over Sen. Evan Bayh from Indiana.

Actually, a lot of people think Obama's pick of Biden is like Bush's pick of Cheney in 2000. They were picked to make up for the shortfalls in the top candidates.

Why do you think Cheney's been such a bad VP? To be honest, he has changed that office forever. I think the Biden pick reflects that change.

Actually, McCain has stepped up to the plate for the last month, whereas Obama has faltered. This is the first time since 1984 that a Democrat hasn't had a sizable lead going into their convention. In '04, John Kerry had a good lead going into his convention, then a double-digit lead coming out of it, but on election day, he loses by 3.5 points.

Sunday, August 24, 2008 9:25:00 PM  

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