Barack Obama has ended months of speculation and picked his co-candidate for change… veteran Democrat Joe Biden. As much as one has to respect Mr Biden’s experience, his selection flies in the face of the fundamental message of the Obama campaign, the message that was supposed to have set him apart from Hillary Clinton: change.
Barack Obama vowed to be the candidate of change, which as many in America and around the world know was a false promise based on nothing more than clever rhetoric and inspirational oratory performances. However when push came to shove the candidate of change went with the status quo.
Obama is running scared. With the polls increasingly showing his lead narrowing, particularly in swing states, he has understandibly sought to shore up his weakness, experience, rather than underline his strength as a new-generation candidate defying political convention and tradition.
As most of you will be aware I believe Hillary Clinton should have been his nominee, if only out of respect to the other 49% of Democrats who voted for her. Instead arrogance has gone to Obama’s head and his weakness and insecurity has been exposed through his selection of Biden. The Obama camp and its supporters will no doubt say that after such a bitter campaign Clinton could never be chosen. This is absolute tosh.
It was precisely because of that Clinton should have been chosen. In times of ‘war’ one cannot effectively lead a divided army in to battle. After all the jousting of the nomination battle the Democratic party looked increasingly divided with many Clinton supporters bitter that Obama had shunned their candidate and many vowed to vote for McCain. Clinton herself made a great deal of reconcilliatory efforts and many of Clintons supporters were reluctantly coming to terms with the fact that Obama was the nominee but held on to the possibility she could be his veep.
By selecting Clinton as his number 2 many of her supporters would have felt more comfortable in voting for him. With her at his side Obama could have had it all and underlined his message of change: the first black president, the first female vice President, the younger, the older, the inexerienced, the experienced. Ultimately however Clinton lost the nomination fair and square, today however she has been cheated. Her supporters bitterness towards Obama I am sure will be a whole lot deeper today.
Obama should have embraced Clinton and her loyal support base but instead he has gone for someone else who incidently was also a fierce critic of his. For example when he unveiled his counterterrorism agenda, the Biden camp fired off a snarky email congratulating him for his “Johnny-come-lately position” on Afghanistan. Most intriguingly however is the fact that Biden heavily criticised Obama’s plans for Iraq which may indicate a reversal of policy on Obama’s part.
Last September Biden painted Obama’s plan for troop withdrawal as unrealistically rosy. “My impression is he thinks that if we leave, somehow the Iraqis are going to have an epiphany of peaceful coexistence among warring sects. I’ve seen zero evidence of that which is why this policy will fail.” Ultimately by dismissing Clinton and undermining his whole message of change Obama has proven once again he is incapable of leadership and I’m sure has made this election a whole lot tighter.