Re: So

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Good analysis.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-22-08 10:53 PM
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I hear he's articulate.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-22-08 10:57 PM
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I admire the way that the Obama campaign manipulated the media so that I would experience this as good news instead of bad news.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-22-08 11:06 PM
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What Walt said.

Flirting with Bayh was effective: I find myself thinking it could have been so much worse. Still: a history bad health; a wholly owned subsidiary of the banking/credit card lobby; he voted for the war; he has a history of racially charged gaffes; there's that whole plagiarism thing: and probably, given his years of service in the Senate, a raft of other bad votes.

What's not to like?

I wonder what his relationship with McCain is like. They've worked together for a VERY long time. Only Daniel Webster knows McCain better.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-22-08 11:12 PM
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who?


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 08-22-08 11:13 PM
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what?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-22-08 11:15 PM
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They've worked together for a VERY long time. Only Daniel Webster knows McCain better.

David Brooks says Biden can "bring the battered old senators together, as in days of yore." Days of yore?! I mean, how far back are we going here, anyway?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08-22-08 11:18 PM
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David Brooks is high. I suspect that this is the calculation:

The Obama camp realizes that they can't win this on the high road. And they're almost certainly right, given the campaign that McCain's running. So Obama's chosen someone to do his wet work, someone with an ugly past, someone who'll invite attacks and can respond in kind.

In short, it's going to be ugly as hell. But really, I don't think anyone's going to not vote for Obama because of Biden's past or present blunders. On the other hand, if Biden can say all the things about McCain that people need to hear, while Obama shakes his head sadly and says, "Well, they said some pretty tough stuff about Joe. And Joe's a fighter. They had to know that he'd fight back." a lot of people might not vote for McCain. Or so I'm telling myself right now.

That and Biden's easy on the eyes. And it could have been Bayh.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-22-08 11:24 PM
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Flirting with Bayh was effective: I find myself thinking it could have been so much worse. Still: a history bad health; a wholly owned subsidiary of the banking/credit card lobby; he voted for the war; he has a history of racially charged gaffes; there's that whole plagiarism thing: and probably, given his years of service in the Senate, a raft of other bad votes.

I find myself thinking it won't matter so much; McCrazy's pick is going to be way more important.

max
['Man, I already lived through 1988 once.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-22-08 11:36 PM
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McCain's base takes care of the oppo research so that he doesn't have to get his hands dirty. I wonder if they sent flowers to Cindy before they hit "publish" on that piece?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-22-08 11:47 PM
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Ari's interpretation is persuasive. Biden knows how to throw a kidney punch.

Biden's pro-war vote bothers me a lot less than, say, Hillary's. The stance he took at the time (offering amendments that put narrow conditions on the use of force) were pretty close to my own feelings at the time. With benefit of hindsight, I am wiser, and I hope Biden is as well.

My major disappointment is that Obama will not be able to run against the credit card companies and their abusive practices. If ever there was an issue tailor-made for a Dem campaign in the current environment...

If the Rove-spawn on the McCain campaign are smart, THEY will pick up this issue to parry Obama's populist attacks.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-22-08 11:54 PM
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McCain's base takes care of the oppo research so that he doesn't have to get his hands dirty.

'Didn't everybody already know that?'

I wonder if they sent flowers to Cindy before they hit "publish" on that piece?

Naw. McCain hands out blowjobs on the bus; he's way ahead on his payments.

max
['I hear Costa Rica is nice.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-22-08 11:55 PM
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He shoulda gone with Hillary, but Biden's not a bad choice. Those of you who think that Biden's position and Obama's are really far off on the war still don't grasp Obama's actual position - or Biden's.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-22-08 11:56 PM
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My major disappointment is that Obama will not be able to run against the credit card companies and their abusive practices. If ever there was an issue tailor-made for a Dem campaign in the current environment...

By their own lights, Tennesseans were right not to vote for Al Gore for president, and it's unclear to me that Arkansans would vote for Bill Clinton for president today. Once a politician arrives on the national stage, he or she sometimes leaves behind parochial concerns. Would Texas have gone for LBJ if he hadn't dropped out in '68? (I honestly don't know the answer to that.)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:00 AM
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Would Texas have gone for LBJ if he hadn't dropped out in '68?

My professional opinion is yes. But we've had this argument before.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:07 AM
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Once a politician arrives on the national stage, he or she sometimes leaves behind parochial concerns.

I'm not talking about governance: I'm talking about the campaign we are currently engaged in. Could Bill Clinton have run against WalMart in 1992 (not that he would have; one could still make a credible case that WalMart had a net positive balance of good vs. evil in 1992)? Could LBJ have run against the space program?

Also, enough Dems are in the pockets of the credit card issuers that the only way anything happens legislatively in 2009 is if Obama runs on the issue and puts his credibility at stake. I'd kinda like to see the bankruptcy bill rescinded or gutted, and I don't see much chance of that if it's not a signature issue in the campaign.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:09 AM
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there's that whole plagiarism thing

This is actually the thing that gets me. I'm usually not someone who gets upset about lying politicians because - guess what - they all lie. But holy shit, borrowing somebody else's life story? Lying that badly ought to disqualify you from national politics for life.

But hey, things aren't the way they were when I was a kid. Politicians who tell ludicrous lies aren't stigmatized the way they once were.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:10 AM
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I'd kinda like to see the bankruptcy bill rescinded or gutted, and I don't see much chance of that if it's not a signature issue in the campaign.

If you need a loan, KR, all you have to do is ask.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:12 AM
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Like he'd ask for a loan from a usurer.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:13 AM
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I prefer "money changer", thanks.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:14 AM
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16: I don't disagree with any of that. My only point is that Biden changes nothing. If Obama wanted to run against that stuff, he still could - he certainly won't stop bringing up his oppposition to the AUMF, despite Biden's vote.

Edwards (for example) both voted for the bankruptcy bill and campaigned in 2008 against it.

But yeah, Obama's choice of Biden is not an auspicious one in that regard.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:15 AM
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If you need a loan, KR, all you have to do is ask.

You're just trying to trap me into a tarpit of high interest rates, late fees, and minimum payments, from which there is no escape. No thanks, Shylock.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:16 AM
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Don't see how thats worse than making up 'life story' by buying a ranch or whatevr


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:19 AM
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Kinda slow off the mark there, KR.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:19 AM
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Anti-semite. And I thought moving to a pound-of-flesh minimum payment would make the customers happy.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:19 AM
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Those of you who think that Biden's position and Obama's are really far off on the war still don't grasp Obama's actual position - or Biden's.

Possibly I sense some of that, but trading that for a win would probably be worth it, but you have to win for that to matter.

[Texas] My professional opinion is yes. But we've had this argument before.

Almost certainly. LBJ's problem was winning in any states other than Texas.

max
['But it is interesting that in that era the most corrupt of politicians (Nixon & LBJ) were willing to quit voluntarily.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:20 AM
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25 to 22. But, while we're talking, has Ben's self-hatred been troubling anyone else?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:21 AM
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Not me.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:22 AM
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Only Daniel Webster knows McCain better.

Huh. So McCain was the mysterious Mr. Scratch.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:24 AM
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It's hard for me to express how much I regret having not written, "Only Daniel Webster knew McCain better." Lost opportunities kick my ass.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:30 AM
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has Ben's self-hatred been troubling anyone else

Not at all. I am delighted by my hatred of Ben.

And I thought moving to a pound-of-flesh minimum payment would make the customers happy.

That part's OK. It's the mandatory arbitration before the Sanhedren clause that I can't stomach.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:34 AM
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Usury bill. I don't claim to understand it entirely, but it looks like a step in the right direction.

One advantage, if you can call it that, of Biden over someone like Dodd who probably is better on financial, is Biden's name didn't come up as part of the "friend" of Countrywide program. Or did I miss Biden's name? (I remember there being at least one other Democratic Senator, I think from South Dakota).


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:44 AM
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That is, Dodd is better on financial policy, but has an easy line of campaign attack against him.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:45 AM
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eb, I mostly agree. But all long-serving Senators have easy lines of attack against them. It's the nature of the institution to have to vote for a lot of really terrible legislation.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:47 AM
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But all long-serving Senators have easy lines of attack against them. It's the nature of the institution to have to vote for a lot of really terrible legislation.

That's what we hear, but when your name is John McCain, the media understands that your history of maverick-style flip-flopping and centrist-style lack of any principles whatsoever means that it would be silly to think the things you voted for five or ten years ago, or even longer, somehow reflect the person we're voting for now.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:50 AM
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Yeah, I just mean that the story about Dodd is quite recent. I would prefer Dodd anyway, if we're comparing just those two, but I have no say.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:51 AM
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Dodd is better on financial policy, but has an easy line of campaign attack against him.

"No easy line of attack" is overrated as a VP criterion, methinks. The Party of Rove would find a devastating line of attack against any Dem candidate ("It seems that Mr. Christ has been telling another one of his 'parables' again. Well I'm going to give you some straight talk: turning the other cheek is a sure way to get two black eyes, and John McCain has the scars from five and a half years in a prison camp to prove it.")

Nonetheless, I think Biden's a pretty safe pick. His foibles are well-known, and unlikely to tip many votes (except perhaps for Indian American). And we could do much worse as far as who could potentially take the oath of office if, God forbid, something happens to BHO.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:59 AM
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The trouble with Dodd is that a Republican would replace him in the Senate, and then Connecticut would have two.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:01 AM
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One's an independent!


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:02 AM
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I would expect the governor to appoint someone from the Connecticut for Lieberman party. Maybe Hadassah?


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:04 AM
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Now everyone says McCain would be wise to pick someone who is a governor, and younger than he is.

Interestingly, 49 out of 50 governors in the US are younger than he is. Guess which one is (slightly) older! No cheating.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:10 AM
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41: Haley Barbour?


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:14 AM
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Gouverneur Morris?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:18 AM
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So McCain picks Jindal, the McCain-Jindal ticket pushes the Biden-insults-Indian-Americans angle really hard, the G.O.P. heavily targets the Hindu-American community on the basis of a shared hatred of taxes and Muslims. Plausible?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:18 AM
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41: Delaware's governor's super old. Sp that's my guess, with added coincidencey goodness. But I can't for the life of me remember her name. Ruth something, right?

43: Yay!

44: You're like a latter-day Mark Hanna.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:29 AM
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When I can no longer spell "so," that's a good clue that it's time to stop working/screwing around and go to sleep.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:30 AM
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Things I was told tonight, after politics was unfortunately brought up (my dad asked whether there was any news of Obama's pick, and after that it was unavoidable):

1. The immigrants are responsible for California's budget crisis.
2. Obama is a socialist.
3. Obama will make it so you're assigned a doctor.
4. Obama wants gas to be $8-$10 / gallon.
5. Obama will raise taxes through the roof.
6. Obama is "best friends" with Bill Ayers.
7. The mainstream press only covers McCain when he's made a gaffe.

There were more, but you get the picture. Ah, the joys of returning to the ancestral homeland. These are from the same relation who stated at last year's Christmas Eve dinner that she was "afraid of Muslims."


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:32 AM
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Here's the billmon DKos Diary diary about Georgia that pissed me off at Biden.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:47 AM
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And KR at 16.2 understates by miles the reassuring message the Biden pick sends to the Finance industry. Fuck war, always follow the money. Trillions maybe of taxpayer dollars kinds of money to bail out the investment banks.

And fuck Obama for for making the lesser of two evils so utterly repulsive to me. I really really don't want Biden a heartbeat away.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 3:01 AM
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44,
I think the GOP cannot target hindu-americans with a Jindal pick. He is a converted, fundamentalist evangelical christian and there seems to be a fair amount of mistrust among them towards him.

Anyway, the Biden pick is very disappointing. It gives considerable weight to the criticism made by Clinton supporters regarding Obama' s antiwar stance, that it was simply a matter of convenience, and he did not really believe in his own stance on Iraq. Also, on the economic front, Biden is no progressive and he is very much part of the existing establishment.


Posted by: TBF | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 3:27 AM
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The odd thing about the view from the bleachers is that 6 months ago this would have been regarded as a near disaster. So far and so fast have expectations fallen.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 4:12 AM
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50.1 Actually I think Jindal is Roman Catholic, not evangelical. And don't underestimate the power of ethnic loyalty: Dukakis raised tons of money from and was broadly supported by Greek-Americans, a demographic that normally skews republican.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 4:21 AM
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I just heard the news this morning on NPR, and I came here to check in right away. I wasn't sure whether anyone would have commented, and I'm impressed to see that there's already a thread up.

I haven't even read it yet. I will in a minute, but I will first repeat my initial reaction:

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 6:09 AM
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Fifty comments and no one's mentioned that Biden's plan for Iraq is to partition and ethnically cleanse the country?


Posted by: griping grouper | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 6:29 AM
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Okay, having read the thread, I agree with KR. Where's Tim? Sebelius would have been awesome. He must be slightly disappointed. Why no Sebelius?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 6:29 AM
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54: Yeah, I think his proposal on Iraq is insane.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 6:30 AM
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National Journal ranked Joe Biden as the third most liberal U.S. Senator in 2007. Bernie Sanders came in fourth.

Okay, okay, the National Journal is full of shit, but Biden's not that bad a guy. (And, as OFE notes, Obama has shown he ain't all that good a guy.)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 6:33 AM
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I think I would have preferred Dodd as well, but maybe there's no chemistry. No surprise it's not Hillary, of course.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 6:40 AM
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I didn't think that it would be as clear as it is as early as this, but supposing Obama wins decisively and the Democrats do well in the house and the Senate, we're going to have to hit the ground running to try to make it hard for Obama to govern as David Broder, and we won't necessarily have much of leverage.

That's an exaggeration as per my usual, since we don't have any real idea what Obama actually intends, but most of the signs so far have been bad.

My opinion is that going after Blue Dog types in the primaries will be the most productive thing we can do, which will mean that we'll mostly just be watching during the first two years.

By "we" I mean most of the progressive blogospere. Even the most centrist of them (us), Drum and Yglesias and Marshall, seem pretty worried that Obama will disappoint everyone with bipartisanship and caution.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 6:50 AM
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Since Biden is Catholic, does this mean we're going to be treated to the nauseating spectacle of priests denying him the Eucharist?


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 6:55 AM
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Kaine or Bayh would presumably have been the nominee in 2016.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 6:56 AM
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He'll take the Eucharist from PZ Myers if necessary.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 6:56 AM
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My earliest & strongest memories of Biden are as Judiciary Chairman during the Clarence Thomas hearings. The retrospective linked gives some of Biden's recollections contrasted with those of Charles Ogletree (who also advises Obama, and who I like a lot).

I honestly don't remember it that clearly, and had to do some research. But Biden did frustrate & infuriate me. You had the usual slavering beasts on the Repub side, and weaseling waffling Biden et al on the other.

And I suppose that's why I have this gut contempt for the man. But twenty years after, I can see he is just an average Democratic Senator.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 7:07 AM
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Why no Sebelius?

I'm guessing:
1) Weak post SoTU response.
2) No foreign policy experience.
3) Too many barriers for one ticket.
4) If not 3), then having to explain why if we're going for that barrier, we're not bringing along Clinton.

I think she would have been fantastic, though.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 7:22 AM
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Kaine or Bayh would presumably have been the nominee in 2016.

Ugh, that's a nasty thought.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 7:27 AM
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I wonder if McCain will put a woman on the GOP ticket.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 7:30 AM
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Does anyone remember the details of the plagarism thing from way back when? I recall seeing a exculpatory take on it -- that Biden had apparently used the anecdote, fully credited to Kinnock, to illustrate something repeatedly over an extended period of time. What he got dinged for was being sloppy -- he gave a speech including the anecdote, properly credited to Kinnock, on, say, Monday and Wednesday, but on Tuesday dropped the credit and got slammed for plagarism.

But I can't remember where I read this so I have no idea if it's really true.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 7:33 AM
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Everything you need to know about the name Sibelius.

Sebelius is unlikely to be related to the composer, unfortunately. Sebelius's family is Swedish, whereas Sibelius's was Finnish-Swedish. Furthermore, surnames in Sweden and Finland came along rather late (which was why you have all the Andersons and Johnsons) and "Sibelius" and "Sebelius" were probably formed by adding a Latin -ius suffix to two different place names. (Names formed by -ius are fairly common in Scandinavia and may indicate education. Fabricius is another example.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 7:35 AM
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Didn't Biden once say that he was not interested in being VP? I mean, after he dropped out of the presidential race.

He's running for re-election to the Senate at the same time. Just like another Joe.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 7:40 AM
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re: 67

The wikipedia article mentions it. It says the same thing as you: he had credited Kinnock at the preceding (and succeeding) events.

However, following the footnotes and looking at the NYT article, it looks like he credited him some of the time and not others. He used parts of Kinnock's speech several times without crediting him. That said, he had talked publicly about Kinnock although the Times article suggests that he may not have explicitly credited the specific parts of Kinnock's speech that he borrowed.* So it doesn't look like plagiarism with intent to deceive but it doesn't look cut and dried in Biden's favour either.

* some of which were amusingly specific to Kinnock, too. Biden wasn't the one descended from generations of mining stock.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 7:42 AM
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The 3 AM bit was mildly amusing.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 7:43 AM
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Be disappointed by someone old!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 7:43 AM
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Biden wasn't the one descended from generations of mining stock.

Are you sure? He's from Scranton -- I could see having picked up the Kinnock speech literally for the reason that "Hey, that describes my family too!" But I don't know.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 7:46 AM
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Fortunately, while Biden is offputting in many ways, that's one of the few ways in which he is actively reminiscent of Lieberman.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 7:46 AM
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74 to 69, if it wasn't obvious.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 7:47 AM
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Generally, the pick doesn't bother me. It's got the one virtue of the Cheney pick, that it doesn't turn Biden into a heir apparent (at least I don't think it does). And Biden is at the least a good aggressive talker -- Obama can let him get savage with McCain and remain comparatively cool.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 7:48 AM
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Fuck Lieberman. (Just had to get that out there.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 7:49 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 7:53 AM
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re: 73

The NYT times article quotes one of his campaign people making a vague reference to a great-grandfather who once possibly worked for a mining firm but they couldn't give any details. It reads like bullshit.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 7:53 AM
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I was rooting for Schweitzer, personally, but of the names being bandied about, Biden was probably the best. Kaine is a non-entity and pro-life, and Bayh is unacceptable. Biden did coin "a verb, a noun, and 9/11" during the primaries, so I have faith that he'll be Obama's attack dog, which is a role that the campaign needed throughout August.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 7:53 AM
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The odd thing about the view from the bleachers is that 6 months ago this would have been regarded as a near disaster. So far and so fast have expectations fallen.

Gets it exactly right.

That said, I basically agree with ari in 8. Arguably, the Dems do better in both of the last elections with attack-dog VPs; I'm really looking forward to Biden ripping a Republican a new asshole (note that, if McCain does go with a governor, that helps Joe take the gloves off - no history of collegiality).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 7:54 AM
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79: That would be the article with the byline "Maureen Dowd", which inclines me to cut Biden slack under the assumption that it's a hit piece.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 7:58 AM
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re: 82

Possible. I don't know. I know bugger all about Biden so I have no axe to grind either way.

I did quite like Kinnock, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:00 AM
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On the other hand, a little more googling does make it look like Dowd had it right. Eh. It's the VP pick, which is not all that crazy important.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:01 AM
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Breaking: Joe Biden is the VP nominee. It's official! You heard it here first.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:02 AM
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One thing I'd note about Biden, big-picture: unlike pretty much every other likely choice, he doesn't lead to an additional Republican in power somewhere. Bayh and Dodd are under R governors; Sibelius and Schweitzer are irreplaceable in their states, as is Kaine to an extent. I suspect Chet Edwards, too (although, seriously - Chet?). Clinton is an exception, but I don't know that anyone ever thought she was a serious possibility.

That's a secondary considerations, obvs., but it makes me feel better - we have to fight like hell for every Dem Senator and red-state gov., so I don't like the idea of giving one away.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:02 AM
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although, seriously - Chet?

seriously.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:06 AM
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BTW, let's bet: when stras shows up, will he be furious, or shaking his head at all of us for expecting anything better? I lean towards the latter, unless more defenders of Biden-on-the-merits speak up.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:07 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:08 AM
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I think that if Ezra Klein seriously wants to be taken seriously as a serious pundit, he should post a different, serious photo. On the other hand, if he's mostly trying to score chicks, he should keep the present photo up.

UPDATE: "chicks or guys". We regret the omission.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:16 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:18 AM
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88: I'm finding it hard to get worked up over this one way or another. The only hope I had was that there was someone out there that I hadn't heard of who would be the surprise wonder-pick.(*) Otherwise, the pick was bound to be an older white man deeply embedded in the Washington power structure, with all the requisite compromises.


(*) She'd be female. With super powers. Really I wanted Buffy Summers as VP.(**)

(**) I officially pronounce the *Buffy Season 8* comic to be worthy of the franchise. I am, however, voting that *Angel: After the Fall* and *Spike: After the Fall* be de-canonized.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:20 AM
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Portman is under consideration for the Republican VP nomination. Tasty.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:20 AM
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Biden might appease some yankees, but BO can kiss dixie and probably the West mutha-f-n goodbye: he'd a done mo' bettah with HRC (hardly any mo conservative than Biden), or the Kansas skank. Commander Mc will take Cali, most likely.

Oh, definitely, and I recommend McCain/Romney start running ads in California as early and as frequently as possible, across all the media markets.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:21 AM
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It's got the one virtue of the Cheney pick, that it doesn't turn Biden into a heir apparent

Cheney might have behaved more sanely if he was going to have to care about what the voters thought. Whatever. I wish it had been Sebelius. I assume Obama had problems with the old white voters, and particularly older white male voters.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:31 AM
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OMG, I forgot Biden was the one with the 'Obama's the first clean articulate black candidate' line. It'll be interesting seeing that one get dredged up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:38 AM
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||

Saakashvilli eats his own tie.

Via majikthise.

I must be giddy for some reason this morning, because I find that video hilarious.

|>


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:39 AM
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I, too, was hoping for Sebelius, who has impressed me with her repeated vetos of coal power plants. An announcement of Sebelius would have let me feel like all the rhetoric of hope and change could mean something. But the choice of Biden just confirms what I already knew: that this is the real world, not magical liberal fairyland, and Obama has a real fight on his hands to win at all. Maybe it's the right choice from that point of view. If the campaign's strategists think Biden is who they need to win, they're probably right; he'll be a fighter, at least. Still I can't help feeling that it forebodes four years of disappointment, but better disappointment at an Obama presidency than utter despair at a McCain presidency.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:42 AM
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Our neighbor here is a pundit/commentator for local public radio and tv. All I am hearing through the walls -- and from the backyard -- is blahblahblahblahblahJOEBIDEN
blahblahblahblahBARACKOBAMAblahblahBIDEN
blahblahblahblahOBAMA.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:46 AM
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I'm with Ari. Biden can fight dirty, and that's what the Dems need. Seriously, no one gives a shit about a VP's track record. Cheney was batshit insane in Congress.

Also, thank god it wasn't Bayh or Tim "The Eyebrow" Kaine.


Posted by: gswit | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:46 AM
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give me my f back damnit


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:47 AM
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but better disappointment at an Obama presidency than utter despair at a McCain presidency.

Yes, that's true, of course, but I'm still really torn about whether I can vote for this ticket.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:51 AM
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102: I'm pretty sure you won't throw Massachusetts to McCain if you stay home on election day.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:55 AM
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I'm still really torn about whether I can vote for this ticket.

Happily, you live in MA!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:55 AM
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||

Can someone tell me what PUMA stands for? It seems to have something to do with Hillary voters who are disgruntled.

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:55 AM
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'm still really torn about whether I can vote for this ticket.

I figure that if I can pull the lever for a ticket with Lieberman on it, I sure as hell can do it for Biden.


Posted by: gswit | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:57 AM
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Party Unity My Ass


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:57 AM
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102: Seriously? Then try this thought experiment: imagine a world in which Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Paul Stevens retire from the Supreme Court. And John McCain chooses their replacements.

Does that help?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 9:04 AM
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I'm going to cut and paste something I wrote for Making Light:

{Other commenter's name redacted so that it doesn't look like behind-their-back sniping}: "And what were Biden's votes on FISA, Samuel Alita, Mr Roberts, the reworking of Medicare such that it was a giveaway of taxpayer money to the drug companies, etc.?" Well, Google tells me...

Biden voted against the FISA changes.

Biden voted against confirming Alito.

Biden voted against the Medicare drug-benefits fiasco.

That last link has a bunch of useful summaries and linkages, by the way. (Having dates really, really helps in trying to track down bill contents and votes.) My take: He's bad on abortion rights, mediocre on overall budget priorities, better than I'd realized on civil rights this decade and apparently actually learning something, fairly good on corporate oversight except when it's industries funding him, okay on crime and justice (and as with civil rights, seems to be learning), ditto on the War on Some Drugs, okay on education, pretty good on energy, quite good on the environment, ditto on family issues (in particular, strong on parental leave protection and more attention to domestic violence), so-so on foreign policy apart from war (learning, but more slowly than in other areas), very good indeed on trade (willing to back trade agreements that actually have environmental and worker protections with teeth in them, and not otherwise), so-so on gun control, very much better than I'd realized on health care, remarkably good overall on national security stuff with a few glaring failures to complement a generally strong record, not especially good on immigration though slowly drifting toward sanity, very good on labor, decent on social security, pretty good on tax policies and priorities, remarkably good on tech policy and infrastructure.

So, with a few minutes' searching, I find that there's a lot to like about Biden despite his supporting a vile, unjust war and toadying to the credit industry. I actually feel substantially better about his selection than I did last night.

I mean, I want an administration prepared to launch investigations and then impeachments and war crimes trials. But I already knew that Obama wasn't going to do that. And I already knew that his advisors will be pushing him away from peace and justice on that front. Biden doesn't actually make that any worse and turns out to be in favor of a bunch of things I am on other fronts. Very much making the best of an awful situation, and I remain unenthusiastic about the whole campaign...but there are things to approve of in this guy's history, and he may actually help prod an Obama administration toward good works it might otherwise neglect.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 9:05 AM
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"gswit" again, Fuck.

I want to win this time, and if it takes Biden, that's a small price to pay. The VP choice could be a golden policy child, but if he/she is up there getting smacked around on the campaign trail, it's all for nothing.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 9:05 AM
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Here's something no one else thought of: I think Clinton '16 would be pretty unsurprising even with an heir apparent. Now it seems quite likely.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 9:13 AM
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The 3 AM bit was ok, although I'm unsure how jerking the press around for 18 hours for a cheap gag represents a winning strategy, but if Obama wanted to be clever he'd announce his pick thus: "Senator Biden has a comprehensive understanding of foreign policy, and I know I can rely on him to articulate the case against a third Bush term and how we're going to clean up Washington.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 9:15 AM
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Who do you want with their finger on the text message button at 3:00 am?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 9:24 AM
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111: Not going to happen. She lost, and America (even Democrats) hate losers. She'll probably run again, but hell if she'll be nominated.


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 9:28 AM
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102:Hell, I'll punch the 'D' slot like I have for 35 years, but I think this is the least attractive Democratic ticket in my lifetime.

A University of Chicago Democrat and the Senator from Citigroup for the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

In the NYT Obamanomics article Obama said if he had been President in 1993 he wouldn't have tried to balance the budget at the expense of domestic initiatives. Leaving aside the possibility that Obama is just a tax-cutting Keynesian ("I don't like the word 'redistribution', Obama says), the story I heard is that Greenspan made Clinton an offer Clinton could not refuse. I guarantee Bernanke is gonna get evil if Obama is inaugurated and Obama may discover the virtues of fiscal conservatism.

Biden will not be helpful. We are so fucked.

(PS:I think the plan is to somehow turn the underwater mortgages into non-recourse loans that can't be escaped by mailing in the keys. The new modifications being mailed out, "just sign and send a check"...no read the fine print on that sucker and then see a lawyer. And remember how hard it is to declare bankruptcy now.

The plan is lifetime debt peonage for tens of millions.)

Here's tanta of calculated risk on the FDIC Mod Plan. No, I don't get my paranoid speculations from her.

And while I was there, I like couldn't help but notice:Freddie, Fannie Failure would be World Catastrophe, says Chinese dude


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 9:31 AM
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111:2016 hell. Progressives need to start thinking about a primary challenge in 2012.

Obama is gonna be Carter II. If he was a partisan carnivore, he could survive and I would help, but I think he really does love Republicans. So I will watch while the world & Republicans eat him for breakfast.

And look for a real Democrat.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 9:38 AM
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I figure that if I can pull the lever for a ticket with Lieberman on it, I sure as hell can do it for Biden.

You know, I had a complete 'whaaa?' moment wondering when you had moved to Connecticut, and what you had against Lamont.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 9:38 AM
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The odd thing about the view from the bleachers is that 6 months ago this would have been regarded as a near disaster. So far and so fast have expectations fallen.

Foreigners had unrealistic expectations, it seems. 6 months ago, that was early in the primary season. 9 months ago Hillary Clinton was the presumptive nominee.

Remember 4 years ago when this country reelected that "now watch this drive" guy?

The only way to beat that is to find nominees whom the media isn't prejudiced against. The only nominee who would have been better, and who wouldn't inspire immediate media revulsion as an unamerican liberal, was Sebelius. Maybe she said no. Maybe Hillary was offended y that idea.

I point out again that this would mean Delaware would have a new senator to represent the financial interests, who will not have the seniority Biden has.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 9:43 AM
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Bruce, you seem unaware of key internet traditions. Facts and logic have no place on the internet. You're treading on very thin ice here.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 9:44 AM
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the 'Obama's the first clean articulate black candidate' line. It'll be interesting seeing that one get dredged up.

I'd be surprised if the campaign doesn't do that soon preëmptively, like this weekend.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 9:47 AM
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Not going to happen. She lost, and America (even Democrats) hate losers. She'll probably run again, but hell if she'll be nominated.

Maybe she could continue the process of running as the next Nixon, like she was doing against Obama for a while.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 9:47 AM
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Not going to happen. She lost, and America (even Democrats) hate losers.

Exercise in modal logic. We hate past losers and love future losers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 9:51 AM
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120: And Obama forgave him for that! Obama is not playing the race card! Obama understands why white people are resentful about all the advantages black people have nowadays!

And as for Biden's constant compliments toward McCain over the years, geez, they were in the Senate together for 30 years, the Senate has longstanding traditions of interparty decorum.

Really, I am looking forward to having Biden on the attack now. Bayh would have been a much worse choice. He is as boring as all hell, also voted for the bankruptcy bill, resembles Dan Quayle in certain ways, and is young enough to be the heir in 2016. Biden is just the right guy to reassure elderly people, and he is literally the only person in the world who A) the press respects on foreign-policy issues, and B) disagrees with the Republicans on more than zero foreign-policy issues.

As for actual policy, the VP has no power that the president doesn't give him. (unless the president dies of course) Cheney seems to have power but that's because Bush is lazy and defers to him on everything. Gore had no power and neither did Quayle or the original Bush as VP.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 9:56 AM
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John: I'm willing to be embarrassed about it, if that helps.

I mean, Biden's not the sort of VP I want. But I'm happy to find that he's a significantly mitigated disaster.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 9:57 AM
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That's OK, Bruce, you've only been on the net for about 15 years. It takes time.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 9:58 AM
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Didn't say she'd win the nomination, just that she'll probably run.

Obama could pick a new veep in 12, I suppose.



Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 9:59 AM
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It's the having to drop out in my junior year of college. I am not familiar with all rhetorical traditions.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 9:59 AM
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It's the having to drop out in my junior year of college. I am not familiar with all rhetorical traditions.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 10:00 AM
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Didn't say she'd win the nomination, just that she'll probably run.

Eight years ago today, Barack Obama was an obscure Illinois state senator, Hillary Clinton was mopping the floor with Rick Lazio after Rudy! dropped out in her first crack at elected office, and John Edwards was two years into his first and only term in the Senate. Why do you think that the candidates in 2016 are going to be obvious this far out, especially given the advantages that governors usually have in presidential races? Hillary Clinton is going to be 69 years old on inauguration day 2017; looking that far out much more likely to be a Democratic governor of a southern or western state who isn't known on the national scene yet - a Jay Nixon, or some Arizona or Florida Democrat I've never heard of.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 10:14 AM
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snarkout!


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 10:20 AM
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Thanks, Knecht, but if nominated in 2016 I will not run, and if elected I will not serve.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 10:21 AM
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LB, here's more on the Biden plagiarism "scandal". I didn't recall that it was the Dukakis camp that released the video. Classy!


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 10:24 AM
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Hillary Clinton is going to be 69 years old on inauguration day 2017

Why don't you just call her a withered crone and be done with it, snarkout?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 10:26 AM
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A couple of features of Biden's policy that actually actively please me:

He is into pushing the (correct) notion that universal health care is something that Big Business should actually be thrilled about and eager to bring into being. This is not that surprising when you put together Senator from Delaware with Cares About Healthcare, but since it's an idea that seems to get much less voice than it deserves, I'm psyched at the notion that it could get more traction.

He loves trains and funding for trains.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 10:27 AM
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134: Yeah, the more I think about it, the happier I get. Also, his personal story (see the link in 132) really is compelling.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 10:30 AM
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if nominated in 2016 I will not run, and if elected I will not serve

So the oppo researchers already have their hands on the sex video, do they?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 10:30 AM
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132: That link in general is good for project Feel Okay About Where Things Are Going.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 10:35 AM
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Why don't you just call her a withered crone and be done with it, snarkout?

I prefer to use the word "beldam". (I actually kind of think the first woman candidate for president will be a Republican, although their bench is not particularly deep at the moment. 2016 is a long time away, though.)

So the oppo researchers already have their hands on the sex video, do they?

And that's change you can believe in, my friends. (By 2016, presidential candidates will be posting their sex videos to their MySpace pages to prove their electoral fitness, IYKWIM.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 10:39 AM
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People might like to know that we went out for drinks in different parts of Cleveland on Thursday and Friday, and in both cases got to overhear people at the table next to us saying "blah blah blah MCCAIN blah blah HOUSES blah blah SEVEN."


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 10:43 AM
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137 gets it right. But really: His native Pennsylvania is now a lock for Obama

I could buy this as being explained by Biden's rapport with old people, but the whole "native son" thing doesn't exist, does it? Look at Bush's percentage in North Carolina in 2000 vs. 2004.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 10:46 AM
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Maybe Biden got sick of running errands for credit card agencies while he was doing it and will turn. Sort of like LBJ and segregation.

Just a dream, but the pressures on him now are different now that he's out of Delaware his shitty little state.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 10:50 AM
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I could buy this as being explained by Biden's rapport with old people, but the whole "native son" thing doesn't exist, does it?

It's not the sole factor.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 11:02 AM
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141:Maybe. I have been googling & surfin and I have to say Biden does look great in many many policy areas. As in, wonderful. And I have always liked the guy as a person.

I am just a bit of a one-issue guy (tho economics eats all your social sciences, base, baby) and won't give an inch on the class war. It's about purity.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 11:02 AM
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Am I the only person looking at the Dem VP pick on the assumption there's a better than 50% chance of Obama getting assassinated? Remember the 1990s and the black helicopters and "Arkancide" and all that shite? Those assholes are still out there, still crazy, and better networked than they were back then, not to mention the fact that they've made serious inroads into the mainstream media via the shifting of the entire right wing wackjob spectrum in the direction of respectability.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 11:11 AM
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64: You forgot 'one white male short of quota.'


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 11:28 AM
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The fact that Biden is a known quantity, "accepted" by the media/establishment (even for a Washington insider) is a huge positive for the campaign strategery of the pick, maybe even moreso than the soothed nerves of voters of a certain age.


Posted by: babble | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 11:38 AM
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Sort of like LBJ and segregation.

Foul calumny, Emerson.

In my self-appointed role as the defender of LBJ* on this blog, I feel compelled to point out that LBJ never a segregationist, even if he wasn't always heroically brave on the subject of race.

Furthermore, Johnson's contributions to civil rights did not begin when he became President, or even when he became Vice President: the Civil Rights Act of 1957 owed its passage to Johnson. That legislation might seem like weak tea today, but it represented a dramatic, unprecedented (since Reconstruction) victory over the effective veto power of segregationists in the Senate.

*also of J.K. Galbraith and Max Weber. Consider yourselves forewarned.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:14 PM
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You want strong on defense? Consider this:

The young Joe Biden

Val Kilmer as "Iceman"


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:46 PM
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The only hope I had was that there was someone out there that I hadn't heard of who would be the surprise wonder-pick.

I was totally thinking this last night. Oh well.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:49 PM
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also of J.K. Galbraith

Does Galbraith need defending on this blog. I assumed he was more or less universally respected.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 12:58 PM
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Ecept by professional economists.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:04 PM
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-


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:10 PM
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Does Galbraith need defending on this blog.

You know how Bill O'Reilly is about Christmas? How Abe Foxman is about anti-semitism? That's me w/r/t JKG, m'kay?


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:13 PM
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J. K. Galbraith eats dog food.

I just predicted to my baby-mama that Biden's speech would be a half-hour attack on McCain. First five minutes have already been worthy of Lizzie Borden.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:20 PM
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Abe Foxman feels the compulsive need to defend anti-semitism?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:24 PM
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154: Pretty sweet. I'm feeling better about this. I'd so like to see him literally—"Literally! Not Figuratively!"—eviscerate Mitt Romney in the vice-presidential debate.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:24 PM
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J. K. Galbraith eats dog food.

Plus he wears army boots.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:24 PM
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First five minutes have already been worthy of Lizzie Borden.

Can one watch this online or something? Is someone transcribing or liveblogging it?

My god, am I actually interested in a politician's speech?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:27 PM
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I've heard that it's streaming on the Obama site.

He's doing a good job at addressing anticipated attacks.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:29 PM
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I just watched it on C-SPAN. The highlight was Biden saying something like, "Like many of you, my wife and I go home at night and sit at the kitchen table, and worry about how to make ends meet. John McCain doesn't do that. He has to choose which of his seven kitchen tables to sit at."


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:37 PM
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My god, am I actually interested in a politician's speech?

Pay close attention, and you might catch him on noun-verb agreement or faulty parallelism or something.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:42 PM
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Obama could pick a new veep in 12, I suppose.

I had that thought, although it would be pretty shitty for Biden - he's a bit young for retirement, but there's no place else to go.

I also had the HRC '16 thought, but I'm skeptical of that.

Now to find that speech.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:47 PM
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"Like many of you, my wife and I go home at night and sit at the kitchen table, and worry about how to make ends meet."

How many people here don't find that statement laughably improbable?


Posted by: Namond Withheldfield | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:48 PM
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he's a bit young for retirement, but there's no place else to go.

Ambassadorship!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:49 PM
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How many people here don't find that statement laughably improbable?

I, for one. When you're earning low six figures and keep company with millionaires, it's not hard to feel that way. Not that this makes Joe Biden especially deserving of sympathy, but it's not at all implausible as a statement of fact. Lots of Congresspeople (though not many Senators) are in the same situation.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:51 PM
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Yep. I was making more than Biden for three or four years, and while poormouthing about it would be ludicrous, there were certainly still concerns about money.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 1:58 PM
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167: I think the idea is simply that it doesn't play well.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:01 PM
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BTW, it's also plausible that Biden talks to his wife over the kitchen table, seeing as how he has commuted from D.C. to Wilmington on Amtrak for years.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:03 PM
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ari, if I lived in a state where there was even a remote possibility that McCain could win, I would vote for Obama. Given that I live in a deep blue state, I have the luxury of choosing to vote my conscience.

I'll still go to the polls. There are other races that day.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:04 PM
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167

167: I think the idea is simply that it doesn't play well.

170: I think people would like to believe that there is at least one person in congress who isn't an aristocrat. I


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:10 PM
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Given that I live in a deep blue state, I have the luxury of choosing to vote my conscience.

BG, with all due respect and affection, and with appropriate consideration to Christian charity and the fraternal feelings engendered by our alma mater, your conscience can bite me.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:11 PM
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BG, you're thinking too narrowly. Voting for the Obama/Biden ticket also endorses removing Biden from a position of real legislative power and influence in the Senate and storing him in a largely powerless and ceremonial Exec branch office. What's not to like?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:12 PM
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What's 167 in response to? You can look at the numbers yourself (Jill Biden's community college salary is not included, but you can make an educated guess). That's good money, but the Bidens don't seem to have much in the way of retirement savings, and it's certainly within the bounds of what an ordinary-type successful person would make as opposed to the Obamas' recent wealth or the Robin Leach-ean lifestyle of the McCains.

And how does McCain attack on that? If Joe Biden makes $193,000 a year, does McCain really want to hit him for poormouthing and keep his own finances in the news another cycle? That's the real gift of this attack line for Obama: McCain doesn't have good answers for changing the narrative.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:14 PM
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172 get sit right. 171 unnecessary.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:14 PM
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165, 166: To me at least, "making ends meet" means a little more than concerns over how to afford the latest luxury goods along with the usual package of car payments, giant-house mortgages and Ivy League tuitions. If you're making six figures, you're not about to starve or lose your house, and you shouldn't be claiming special kinship with people who are because you might not be able to pay for that vacation you wanted or whatever. It's especially noxious to hear this talk coming from Joe "Bankruptcy Bill" Biden, who did his damnedest to make sure a lot of genuinely poor people are financially screwed right now.


Posted by: Namond Withheldfield | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:16 PM
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175: Since you're objecting to the specific phrase "make ends meet", you should note that that was not a quote, it was a paraphrase in a sarcastic blog comment, for god's sake. Do we know what Biden actually said?


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:18 PM
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According to this, Biden is the least-wealthy member of the Senate.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:19 PM
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Voting for the Obama/Biden ticket also endorses removing Biden from a position of real legislative power and influence in the Senate and storing him in a largely powerless and ceremonial Exec branch office.

This assumes that Obama will treat Biden like Dan Quayle and not like Al Gore or, god help us, Dick Cheney.


Posted by: Namond Withheldfield | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:20 PM
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It's a paraphrase. I think it was closer to "paying the bills" than "making ends meet". I'm sure it will be parsed ad nauseum by the right-wing blogosphere soon enough.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:21 PM
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According to this, Biden is the least-wealthy member of the Senate.

He's not doing it right.


Posted by: M. Licinius Crassus | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:22 PM
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You know who else can bite me? Ron Fucking Fournier: "Obama's Pick Highlights His Weakness".


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:23 PM
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Since you're objecting to the specific phrase "make ends meet"

I'm not objecting to the specific phrase "make ends meet." I'm objecting to the notion that anyone in the United States Senate - and particularly a senator in the pocket of the credit card industry - is in any position of kinship with the poor or middle class in America.


Posted by: Namond Withheldfield | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:24 PM
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If there is indeed an all-out class war, Biden will be one of those whose pampered blood runs in the streets. But at the present moment he and Obama are in maybe the 90th percentile of wealth, while John McCain is in the 99.9th percentile of wealth which has experienced virtually all of the economic growth in recent years.

It's not stressed often enough that not only have the poor and middle class not benefited from the economy in any way during the Bush administration, but neither have most people even in the top 10% of wealth. The growing inequality is really between the top 0.01% and everyone else. CEOs and everyone else.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:29 PM
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"Obama's Pick Highlights His Weakness"

This headline was written two months ago.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:30 PM
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Maybe not top 0.01%. I've seen stats that say it's the top 0.1%.

Got ahead of myself there.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:32 PM
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Hey Fatman, was I correct to surmise that you hail from the 35th state?


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:35 PM
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183 is right. It's hard to say this without sounding like an ass, but high income middle class has a lot in common with low income middle class that it doesn't have with rich. For one thing, given his family background, he probably is literally in a position of kinship, in the genetic sense, with some people who are seriously middle middle or lower middle class.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:36 PM
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175

"... It's especially noxious to hear this talk coming from Joe "Bankruptcy Bill" Biden, who did his damnedest to make sure a lot of genuinely poor people are financially screwed right now."

I am under the impression that genuinely poor people were mostly unaffected by the new rules but that things were tightened up for people like Biden making 6 figures. Is this wrong?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:45 PM
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Not all that much in common, really. The guy makes 4-5 times the median income, right? Probably has health care? Had a paycheck in the last few months? It's a sad commentary that this is what passes for a regular guy in the Senate.

But, nevertheless, it does pass for a regular guy. I'm sure they'll try, because they've got a salad green I can buy at a schlummy city grocery store billed as a marker of elite status, but I can't see his income being Biden's problem, particularly because he's likely to point out that his income is half of what McCain spends on household servants.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:45 PM
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Some info on Biden's finances and financers.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:48 PM
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For one thing, given his family background, he probably is literally in a position of kinship, in the genetic sense, with some people who are seriously middle middle or lower middle class.

IME, that can cut both ways. On the one hand, you have the people from modest circumstances who end up doing well, but reflect back on their many acquaintances who didn't break free of the constraints of their birth and think "Surely fortune has smiled upon me; I am no more worthy of my good fortune than my kinfolks deserve their hardship."

OTOH, you have those who strike it rich and attribute their success to their own superior qualities, i.e. the ones who aver that anyone can mimic their success by dint of sheer effort, and that remaining poor is evididence of a character flaw.

I imagine that Biden is closer to the first category. But the second category is at least as populous as the first.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:54 PM
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187: Flipped the other way, that seems like a pretty compelling case for the Republican side of the argument:

"In today's America, even the Democrats admit that the low middle class does pretty much as well as people in 90th percentile. If you think doctors, lawyers, and vice presidents of companies are hurting and need government help, you should vote for the Democrats. If you think that doctors, lawyers, and vice presidents of companies can do without government assistance, vote for the Republicans."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 2:56 PM
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If you think that doctors, lawyers, and vice presidents of companies can do without government assistance, vote for the Republicans.

True only if you equate "government assistance" with "welfare". But welfare is pretty much off the table, for better or for worse, since 1996. The debate today is (or at least should be) about whether government needs to step in to ensure that everyone plays by the same rules, or that the rules don't unfairly tilt toward corporations or the wealthy. I give Obama credit for playing the long game here. Reagan gave us the "2/3 society" where the middle third felt solidarity with the upper third against the bottom third. Obama is trying the drive the wedge between the middle third and the upper third. God speed, I say.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 3:03 PM
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Mmm. "Upper third" is being denied, isn't it? Biden falls into that category, I'd bet. Upper 1/100th is Fatman's claim.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 3:14 PM
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182 - Good point. It's outrageous that Biden would express any imaginative sympathy for the middle class. It's better that he identify with the lifestyles of the rich and famous, like media does.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 3:16 PM
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The formulation I like is "Wealth versus work." Anyone who could maintain their lifestyle living off accumulated capital is in a very different place from someone who needs to work for a living (regardless of whether the first guy does work), There are very different issues within the people who are working for a living, but needing to have a job is a commonality.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 3:19 PM
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If John McCain can be assumed to be a regular guy because he was in the military 40 years ago, maybe Joe Biden can be assumed to be a regular guy because his name is "Joe", or because his wife is a community college teacher, or because he commutes to Washington instead of living there.

It all depends on what stereotype the media decides to use.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 3:19 PM
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I'm sure Biden and his wife really do worry about the bills, but I doubt it will be effective line of argument. But who knows? It has nothing to do with reality, and everything to do with what the media allows. By the media's calculus Tim Russert and Chris Matthews are salt-of-the-earth types, while George Bush is a cowboy you'd want to have a beer with. Maybe the media reporters think of Biden as a salt-of-the-earth type as well. I'm sure he makes less money than most of the national TV media.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 3:20 PM
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You're on notice, Fatman. Only arugula-sipping elitists pwn me like that.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 3:22 PM
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Unfortunately, even if we took all the money from the top 1%, it wouldn't be enough to recreate a decent America. We are in too big a hole.

So Obama has chosen $250k as the line. Everyone over that needs to take a pretty serious hit. Sorry, living on the coast or other beautiful place is a luxury, not a right. I wish I had a house in Aspen right now. The one I live in would be fine.

But what is not acceptable is an "austerity" that hits the households making under $50k. They have been hit very hard already with consumer inflation not matched by wage increases. They need massive help, and it must be paid for by the upper middle class. I think frankly Obama has that plan. Unfortunately, the UoC Democrat has been corrupted and deceived by a lifetime of neo-classical new monetarism.

If you are in the &250k+ bracket, you should join the class war. Every penny we can get from Cindy McCain is one that may keep you in NYC.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 3:30 PM
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196: I'm pretty sympathetic to both the claim, which I think is true, and the formulation, which seems to me to be the best face to put on it. OTOH, I wonder whether it sounds unlikely--or worse, insensitive in some sense--to low middle class folks, in the way that "I prefer thick women" (also, often enough, true) or a thin person saying "I have trouble with my weight, too," (again, sometimes true) sounds incredible to people who think themselves less than petite.

I don't really see this as a problem, as I think Joe has the necessary cultural markers, and his actual circumstances aren't enough to refute those markers. That's not the case with McCain's actual circs.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 3:35 PM
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Yglesias (not the best person to make the argument, I know) had a post on this the other day, one that I think was a fundamentally sound point: there's a very strong tendency among liberals to focus on the median (certainly preferable to mean) and percentiles for income. But that's a screwed-up perspective, because the reality is that, depending on number of children and location, anywhere up to $150k is FAR closer to someone earning $50k than they are to someone earning $1M - even though the percentiles say the opposite. Speaking as someone whose household income has fluctuated between the 25th and the 80th percentile over the past 3 years, I have never felt like I was getting ahead financially - at no point were luxury purchases on the table (for instance, our bed has needed to be replaced for all of that time, but we've never been able to afford a new one).

IOW, while I take Tim's point in 192, the reality is that "middle class" living (and Krugman had a useful take on this yesterday - if you're thinking about how to pay for things, you're living the middle class experience) reaches into the 90th percentile for anyone with kids ($150k/yr is quite comfortable, but in many places housing will chew up much disposable income, and you can't send 2 kids to college on that money without big loans).

Biden, living in Delaware on more money than that, isn't facing that monthly reality, but nor is he in a position to make significant purchases without planning.

I think the real problem is that all of us in the first 90 percentiles don't actually grasp what it's like for the truly rich - McCain's household servant bill is 150% of Biden's income - can any of you comprehend that? I can't. As a result, we lump in the merely comfortable with the actually-wealthy*.

* Note also that wealth vs. income is a critical concept - as we all know, African-American income levels approach native white income levels, but the wealth levels are a tiny fraction. Biden has AFAIK no wealth - other than his primary residence, I understand that he has effectively no holdings. If he lost his Senate seat, he would need to get a job, and soon. Not true for McCain or about 75 other Senators.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 3:38 PM
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A family that makes $50K may own a Hoover, and a family that makes $150K might own a Dyson, but both families still have to vacuum their own carpets. Families that make $1 million have people to do that.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 3:45 PM
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I see that my asterisk was pwned by LB; hardly surprising.

Interesting breakdown, looking at percentiles by $50k slots, not quintiles:

$0-50k: 55% of Americans
$50-100K: 30%
$100-150k: 10%
$150k+: 5%

That $100-150k group is a big chunk of Americans, and, as I say, not a wealthy one. The important fact to keep in mind is that the last 5% control, what, 30% of national income?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 3:48 PM
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202

"... If he lost his Senate seat, he would need to get a job, and soon. ..."

You don't think he could live on his pension? I think it would be about 80% of his salary.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 3:52 PM
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depending on number of children and location

Very true, especially considering purchasing power (e.g., housing in Pittsburgh vs. New York.)

On the other hand, though, sometimes a dollar is still a dollar; I think this shows up a lot in education costs, which aren't relativized to the cost of living in an area. My parents' income held right around the 40-50th %ile growing up, which was more than enough for a family of six and a nice house in a nice area, but college costs didn't scale the same way the housing market did.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 3:52 PM
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Oh yeah, pensions. I forgot those existed.

People don't think enough about the difference (in peace of mind, if nothing else) between having a pension and not having one. And consequently, the difference between a generation with pensions (people now aged 60 to 100) and a generation without pensions (everyone else in history, before or after).


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 3:57 PM
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Look I know we had that long thread the other day, which I didn't particpate in, but I have very mixed feelings about the $150k "middle class." My household more than likely could have moved (there were offers) to the coasts, done the same work for twice the pay (the offers) with twice the costs of living. We chose to stay in Dallas.

Am I supposed to feel sorry for people in LA or DC?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 3:57 PM
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204: I don't think my disagreement is a peculiarly strong one, and is primarily focused on the perceptions of people who are closer to the median. (That is, whatever the truth of it, how does it play?) That said, I believe Biden's Senate salary pushes him just into the 5%. (I'm not sure if your numbers are individual or HH.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 4:26 PM
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The formulation I like is "Wealth versus work."

I like the formulation too, but as a real measurement, it doesn't work so well. Someone who has a lot of capital (and I mean immense shitloads) has to work to maintain that capital... they have to work just to manage the capital they have. They might work in a comfy office with all the luxuries they can afford, but they can call it work (see Marty Peretz) and get away with it. It's a fishbowl problem; if you're in the fishbowl, the only people who look truly poor are the homeless, and the truly well-off have private jets, so in between everybody looks like you, unless you look really close.

They need massive help, and it must be paid for by the upper middle class. I think frankly Obama has that plan.

He probably does intend something along those lines, once he gets elected. That's why I can't dislike the guy the way you seem to (or seem to have), Bob. He certainly means well, whether he grasps the scale of the problem or not.

Look I know we had that long thread the other day, which I didn't particpate in, but I have very mixed feelings about the $150k "middle class."

If the de facto real inflation rate continues at this pace and worsens a bit next year, 150k will be lower middle class, or middle middle class and falling, anyways.

The problem is is that there will be a whole bunch of people making less than 150k. Don't get caught up in inflation confusion.

max
['One of those days.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 4:30 PM
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Am I supposed to feel sorry for people in LA or DC?

They feel sorry for you, so why not?


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 4:42 PM
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Someone who has a lot of capital (and I mean immense shitloads) has to work to maintain that capital... they have to work just to manage the capital they have.

Well, no, They can hire someone to manage it, or they can buy T-bills; with enough money you don't 'have to' work.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 4:50 PM
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That's why I can't dislike the guy the way you seem to

Sorry, busy. I went over to the Edge, which linked me to a re-reading of Sontag on Riefenstahl.

Golly, that open air stadium Obamaspasm is gonna be so exciting! FDR was never that...that...what's the word I'm looking for?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 4:52 PM
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That said, there are going to be serious economic dislocations from $4 gas. The upper-middle-class / kind-of-rich spend most of their money bidding up the price of real estate in cities, but now expensive gas is going to further depress the value of suburban and rural housing while draining the bank accounts of the people who live there. The economic structure of the US is probably going to be wildly different in a couple years, and may make plans laid now obsolete.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 4:53 PM
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FDR was never that...that...what's the word I'm looking for?

Well, black, for one.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 5:01 PM
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215: Bipedal?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 5:03 PM
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Holy shit. . The world is a very strange place.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 5:18 PM
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Well, no, They can hire someone to manage it, or they can buy T-bills; with enough money you don't 'have to' work.

And then they have work watching the managers. Unless they don't like having money, which is what usually happens to the third and fourth generations.

Golly, that open air stadium Obamaspasm is gonna be so exciting! FDR was never that...that...what's the word I'm looking for?

As opposed to the open-air Hillary-spasm that we would have gotten in Alternate World X? Seriously Bob, I haven't figured out where Hill & Bill differ from Obama, except that the thing with Obama is precisely that he wasn't KNOWN to be a member of the Own Goal presidential dynasty.

Well, now you [I] know.

SUCK.

max
['Not much else to say about it, is there?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 5:19 PM
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As opposed to the open-air Hillary-spasm that we would have gotten in Alternate World X?

Why is it always about HRC? I honestly don't even think about her until someone else brings her up.

I never watch or listen to any politics;pictures & voices lie. But I am interrested in how the Obamaspasm will be staged & televised.

My visual memories of 60s politics include a very strong contrast. Nixon always isolated (at his desk) or monumental (standing with arms up in a triumphant 'V')

The left visuals I remember are social, of crowds and people. The marches, the protests. Bobby I remember walking the streets, struggling thru crowds. MLK mostly the same, at the head of, but definitely in the crowd. The one exception might be the Washington Mall Speech, but the most famous pictures are from behind MLK, showing the crowd he is speaking to.

I think Obama admires some "superficial" aspects of Reagan's leadership, (he has said so often enough) without really understanding it. That style can't be transferred to the left without consequences.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 5:38 PM
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Max, I didn't realize this was your position on Obama. Not that your or my take on these things matters much, really. Still -- huh. I'm a little surprised, for some reason. Yes, sure, I think at this point we just want a Democrat in office.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 5:44 PM
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Am I supposed to feel sorry for people in LA or DC?

Oh, certainly not; just recognize that $150k doesn't always mean what it may in Dallas (although most urban areas are similar to each other relative to the sticks). The S-CHIP debate featured a lot of disingenuousness on this matter, as the only places where people with higher income were eligible were precisely the places where it was justified. It wasn't as if it was $80k across the board, or even $80k in broad regions. It was $80k in places where it was an established fact that COL was higher than elsewhere.

It's never been clear to me whether the additional $$ I'd earn elsewhere would make up for my very reasonable COL here; I suspect not, but I don't know.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 6:01 PM
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"So Obama has chosen $250k as the line. Everyone over that needs to take a pretty serious hit. Sorry, living on the coast or other beautiful place is a luxury, not a right. I wish I had a house in Aspen right now. The one I live in would be fine."

This is correct. I'd prefer vancouver, personally.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 6:03 PM
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So Obama has chosen $250k as the line. Everyone over that needs to take a pretty serious hit.

I do want to make one addendum to my previous comments - I don't have any problem with a tax hike on the over-$150k group, on principle or politics - it's a small chunk of the population, and pretty much consists entirely of people who can afford to chip in a bit more towards the commonweal. I'm not sure why Obama picked $250k - that's a pretty big jump, and I don't see who is supposed to find that line much preferable to $150 or $200 (other than the directly affected, obvs.). Below $150k, I think you're starting to trim people who will feel it. Of course, if we really want to get our shit together, better to tax the $100-150 group than to cut services for the under-$20ks. But I'm not sure there's a lot to be reaped in that segment - ~11M households, how much can you pull from each? $25B is chump change, and would represent taking an extra 1-2%/year from that group (if I'm doing my math right). Better to leave them be than to drive them into Nordquist's arms.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 7:36 PM
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[Replies to Bob and Parsimon get mixed up in here. Sorry.]

Why is it always about HRC? I honestly don't even think about her until someone else brings her up.

Because you talked about her bunches and bunches, Bob, along with some other people I think highly of (like Stirling), and it genuinely mystified me that people could think HRC was all that. (Or another way, most of the criticisms leveled at Obama seemed to apply even more squarely to Hill.) So I figured that was the direction you were going with it.

I never watch or listen to any politics;pictures & voices lie.

Same.

I think Obama admires some "superficial" aspects of Reagan's leadership, (he has said so often enough) without really understanding it. That style can't be transferred to the left without consequences.

I took that to mean that he understood the problem; to get anywhere like a majority, the D's have to essentially take over the old northern Lincoln Republican geography (West + Midwest + Northeast) and cut out the core South. Waving to the sort of people who might like Ford and Reagan, but who would see Gingrich & Bush as a bridge too far, is where you would make your compromises, since the D's have to make compromises somewhere. Beats compromising with Trent Lott. But any compromise is understandably going to make people unhappy.

Max, I didn't realize this was your position on Obama. Not that your or my take on these things matters much, really. Still -- huh. I'm a little surprised, for some reason. Yes, sure, I think at this point we just want a Democrat in office.

?

I wasn't entranced with Obama, but I wasn't entranced with anybody else in what seemed to me to be one of the weakest fields I had seen in awhile. Slightly more liberal, sure, but not neccessarily more effective. The only reason for optimism was that the R field was both weaker and basically insane. Said weakness in both fields seems symptomatic of the sort of rot in the leadership cadres you get in late/ collapsing empires. Or maybe it's all the fault of cable news.

At any rate, we already did the pseudo-Southern Democrat thing, and boy, that sucked. Might as well do the pseudo-Northern Republican thing. Beats losin' and there is (was?) some small outside chance that there would be some actual change from the trajectory of the nation's descent into stark raving madness. ('It's not the fall that kills you, it's the sudden stop at the end.')

I am really too cynical to believe in any politician. Because I am old and have read many many history books.

max
['But what do *I* know?! I am not in touch with Real America™!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:05 PM
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224 - See, that's why you need to put down your books, and start playing more video games. That's where you learn that you always win in the end.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:50 PM
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Well, either win or get bored and stop playing. Do I get to use cheat codes?


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 8:58 PM
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See, that's why you need to put down your books, and start playing more video games.

Medieval: Total War, dudes!

That's where you learn that you always win in the end.

After you die 10,000 times first.

max
['This is the real world version of Quake, isn't it?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08-23-08 9:12 PM
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91,94,147
Remember, Biden thinks he can win because he's from a slave state.


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 1:43 AM
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250 seems to me to be a very materially different spot than 150, in terms of what people are doing to get it. You can get to 150 with two 75s, and you can certainly get to 75, say 15-20 years in, without something 'elite.' 250? Either you've got two six figure incomes, or someone's pretty well paid. Even on the coast.

The fact that 150 doesn't really buy much on the coasts, and that at 250 you still have to think about what the big things cost (although not so much the little things) isn't, IMO, any part of the calculus on how these lines get drawn.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 5:43 AM
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Re 83. "I know bugger all about Biden" - there speaks a native Brit!

Does anyone in the US say "bugger all", "I'm buggered if I know", "bugger off", "bugger it", "what a bugger", "the little bugger", "well, I'll be buggered" or just "I'm buggered"?

Or is sodomy not mentioned in polite circles?


Posted by: Herr Torquewrench | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 9:56 AM
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Judging by the Biden intro video on Obama's website, these are the features the campaign wishes to highlight:

1. Catholic
2. Foreign-policy experience
3. Experience in general

They also want to win Alaska, Tennessee, and Virginia. Hm.

Also, I haven't watched a lot of these campaign videos. Is it customary to refer to him as "Barack"? I am casting my mind back to how Edwards talked about Kerry, or Gore talked about Clinton.

I dunno why it seemed sort of jarring to me -- well, I kind of do. Talking about a black leader by his first name only is something that I'm accustomed to hearing only in informal settings, among groups of black people. In "mixed company" or any kind of formal setting it instantly transitions to the full name and title (Rev. Jackson, Dr. King, Justice Thomas). But maybe it's just common as folksy, conversational marketing technique in campaigns?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 1:15 PM
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Talking about a black leader by his first name only is something that I'm accustomed to hearing only in informal settings, among groups of black people. In "mixed company" or any kind of formal setting it instantly transitions to the full name and title (Rev. Jackson, Dr. King, Justice Thomas).

In what settings are you used to a black President? Social customs are being rebuilt on the fly.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 1:20 PM
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Is it customary to refer to him as "Barack"?

I think the text message says, "Barack has chosen . . ." but I am not near enough to my phone to check.

A colleague's dad knew Dr. King and refers to him as "Martin," and that freaks me out a bit, not because I find it disrespectful, but rather because to someone like me, born after he was shot, MLK has nearly-unreal-legend status.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 1:22 PM
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I, too, knew sod all about Biden. Just looked him up. Bad luck.

However, if he meant it, is the implication of his "quotation" that the average duration of a generation in his family is around 2.5 years, or, that he's as thick as his "source"?


Posted by: tehmeh | Link to this comment | 08-24-08 2:23 PM
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Is Biden really the least rich member of the Senate? I would have guessed that it was Feingold.

The Clintons were not rich when he was elected president. Of course, they're completely loaded now.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 6:12 AM
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Isnt one of Biden's pluses that he was from Pennsylvania?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 6:18 AM
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Isnt one of Biden's pluses that he was from Pennsylvania?

Theoretically a plus. He was born in Scranton. Color me skeptical that that actually affects anybody's vote.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 6:38 AM
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They also want to win Alaska, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Virginia is a decent shot, Alaska is 50/50 at best, Tennessee is a complete pipe dream.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 6:40 AM
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McCain up by 25 points in TN.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 6:42 AM
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Just fyi, y'all: we make six figures, and we have no car payment and no cable tv. And until the big meltdown, we couldn't afford a house where we live. Even now it's still going to be a really bit stretch.

And yeah, sure, living on the coast is a "luxury"--it's always easy to tell other people that they should up and move. Not everyone in California moved there; a lot of people were born there.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 6:47 AM
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Is Biden really the least rich member of the Senate? I would have guessed that it was Feingold.

It's at times like this that I consider converting to Judaism for the jokes.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 6:47 AM
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Wow, B up early.

Oh, I guess actually in Denver now? Still fairly early.

Good luck with your crazy week(s), B.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 6:49 AM
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9% in TN think reporters will try to help John McCain. There ought to be some room there, for a surrogates working refs thing.

56% rate GWB as fair or better. I've thought for quite a while that the South is so far gone in tribalism, that Robert E. Lee couldn't win, if he ran as a Dem.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 6:52 AM
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239: Here's the tell in that Tennessee poll:

12* Looking ahead to the campaign between Barack Obama and John McCain, will most reporters try to help Barack Obama, offer unbiased coverage, or try to help John McCain?

57% Try to help Barack Obama
21% Offer unbiased coverage
9% Try to help John McCain
13% Not sure

And of course they know this from Fox, Rush and dozens of other daytime trash talkers as well as the sampling of columnists reprinted in their local newspapers.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 6:53 AM
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Theoretically a plus. He was born in Scranton. Color me skeptical that that actually affects anybody's vote.

I expect it to cement PA as blue (which it's going to be anyway, unless Obama tanks) - Christ, Vilsack would get extra press around here because he was born in Pittsburgh, even though he left as a kid IIRC.

IOW, Biden will do some extra campaign stops in NE PA, which will be more effective than, say, Bayh's would have been.

Also, "child of PA coal miners" is a pretty useful cultural marker in SW PA, WV, and NW VA.

It's all marginal, but it's nonetheless good optics. And since Biden himself isn't flashy, the optics work, in a way that Edwards' didn't.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 6:53 AM
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240: Yeah, but B when you were tenure-track, you were able to buy a house, but you ran out of cash on the road and couldn't afford to buy an icie for PK. Big difference.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 6:58 AM
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245: I agree that Biden will help on the margins in PA, as long as he doesn't go awry in his "plagiarism" with something like "I was born a poor black child".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 6:58 AM
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I've thought for quite a while that the South is so far gone in tribalism, that Robert E. Lee couldn't win, if he ran as a Dem.

Good line.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 7:01 AM
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243, 248: And you know who helps cement that "tribalism" in place? The new South, low tax-lovin', transplanted suburban Yankees.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 7:05 AM
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Is Biden really the least rich member of the Senate?

In terms of net worth, yes. It's actually negative, IIRC--for some reason he has a fair amount of unsecured debt. Maybe he feels an obligation as Delaware's senior Senator to max out all his credit cards.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 7:12 AM
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249 is so, so very true.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 7:13 AM
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Man turns his back on his family, well, he just ain't no good


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 7:15 AM
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Obama's new ad is pretty funny.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 7:20 AM
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When I was in Alaska, there editorials that actually said "those Washington boys are just trying to play politics with Ted! You know that Ted is honest. He used to be a prosecutor! He wouldnt violate the law."


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 7:21 AM
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253 is awesome. I hope it gets plastered an inch deep across the country.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 7:22 AM
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||

If somebody could put up a post titled "Why", we could have some hilarious "Dark Knight" meta-commenting over in the sidebar.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 7:34 AM
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256: Ha!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 7:36 AM
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I've thought for quite a while that the South is so far gone in tribalism, that Robert E. Lee couldn't win, if he ran as a Dem.

While that's still largely true in congressional and presidential races, it isn't necessarily the case in the state and local races.

There is a certain kind of person in the south for whom voting Republican is like wearing pants. My brother's step-father-in-law, for example, isn't a conservative true believer, isn't an evangelical, will even concede that the Republican party has performed disastrously over the last eight years, but wouldn't vote for a Democrat (or a Libertarian, for that matter) any more than he'd wear a suit to work without a tie. His political allegiances are all wrapped up in some notion of bourgeois piety. It just isn't done to vote for someone who isn't a Republican. Not Our Class, Dear. I cannot hear him so much as mention a political topic without wanting to punch him.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-25-08 7:50 AM
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