Further meditations on Biden and Palin

Courtesy Patterico and Andrew Sullivan, the stage is being set by some commentators for Joe Biden to drop out for “medical reasons” and be replaced on the Democratic ticket by Hillary Clinton

Now, Biden would not be a terrible Vice President, and Hillary would be a threat to Obama once they are elected. Still, Hillary Clinton is a good politician, so replacing Biden with Clinton on the Obama ticket would be all for the best. It would signal weakness in the Obama camp — but I think everyone’s figured out that Obama is in trouble now.

On the Republican side, I still have my suspicions about Sarah Palin serving as Vice President.. but she seems to be an effective campaigner.

Plus, Sarah allows McCain to hammer with this sort of ad:

Before McCain’s pick of Palin, only Barack could get away with that sort of touchiness.

28 thoughts on “Further meditations on Biden and Palin”

  1. Jeffrey, don’t be a jackass… the “old fish” line after the pig line gave it away that it was planned in advanced.

  2. BTW, the video would not play, so I assume this is the ad the the McCain campaign put out given the hint on Chicago Boyz.

  3. Jeffrey,

    Good link to use McCain using the metaphor. The McCain Camp’s outrage at the lipstick-on-a-pig comment is no more reasonable than the Obama Camp’s outrage at Bill Clinton saying that Jesse Jackson also won South Carolina.

    Tangentially, OpenLeft has links to both a much more valuable video [1] and a more interesting analysis [2] than the “omg obama’s a sexist!” nonsense we’re hearing with the McCain Camp.

    More also from RCP’s Horserace Blog. [3]

    [1] http://openleft.com/showDiary.do;jsessionid=D7AAA00796C2834FD6C02440A8A9018F?diaryId=8133
    [2] http://openleft.com/showDiary.do;jsessionid=D7AAA00796C2834FD6C02440A8A9018F?diaryId=8127
    [3] http://www.realclearpolitics.com/horseraceblog/2008/09/obama_on_his_heels.html

  4. yarr,

    Please be polite.

    What Obama said is no more offensive than someone criticizing Obama by calling him a boy… Pig is a common insult, and boy is a common diminutive.

    Neither’s politically correct though.

    Identity politics is a killer. Hillary used it [1], and while it didn’t work for her, it forced Obama to play down in the gutter. Now McCain is using it against him.

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/01/16/identity-politics-hillary-and-barack.html

  5. “Courtesy Patterico and Andrew Sullivan, the stage is being set by some commentators for Joe Biden to drop out for “medical reasons” and be replaced on the Democratic ticket by Hillary Clinton.”

    As a political junkie I think that sounds interesting, but the realist in me screamed that it’s just an Internet rumor. Then I cruise on over the FoxNews.com and notice that Biden may be floating a trial balloon: [1]

    “Joe Biden said Wednesday that Hillary Clinton “might have been a better pick than me” to be Barack Obama’s running mate.

    The Delaware senator was responding to an audience member at a town hall meeting in Nashua, N.H., who criticized Clinton and said it’s a good thing Obama chose Biden over her.

    “Make no mistake about this, Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America. Lets get that straight,” Biden said in Clinton’s defense.

    “She’s easily qualified to be vice president … and quite frankly, might have been a better pick than me. But she’s first rate. I mean that sincerely. She is first rate. So let’s get that straight,” he said.”

    My bet is that if Obama really looks that desperate, and if the Clinton camp has their own polls telling them that Obama is going down, Hillary will turn down the offer. Better (from her perspective) to let Obama crash. Then she can come out on November 5th to say I-told-you-so.

    [1] http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/09/10/biden-hillary-clinton-might-have-been-a-better-pick-for-vp/

  6. There’s no reason that Obama has to play by McCain’s rules. If McCain can have an inexplicable ‘trick play’ VP choice in Palin, then Obama can have an inexplicable switcharoo and name Clinton.

    If Obama does this, he will essentially be buying a fox to guard his henhouse. Still, McCain put politically expediency over theoretical issues of governance. Obama is free to do so, too.

  7. Fascinating possibilities. No word yet on Biden’s medical records apparently. It is a possibility that this could happen after the debates and be one hell of an October surprise for most Democrats. I can see it helping him in MI & OH while probably putting him over the top in FL.

    Otherwise, he is going to have to focus on winning Colorado, NM, IA and NH while holding MI, WI and MN. Whether he can eke a win out of FL or VA is close to 50/50.

    Then again, who knows what the debates could bring? Or if Obama ever regains a viable voice? This outrage of the day is losing it for him.
    McCain/Palin is beating him down right now.

  8. The Obama campaign is pulling out of states and consulting with the Clintons. [1]

    One good effect of the McCain bounce has been to rid the Obama campaign of its overconfidence. Obama has now pulled out of Georgia, and I suspect North Carolina will be next, and is focusing on states he can win. He has removed the leash from the 527s. And he is meeting with Bill Clinton to get him on the trail. That’s all to the good. I was excited at the time about Obama’s convention speech, but I worry that he has done little to solidify the impression it created. He may need to be much more concrete about he plans to do, and to frame those plans in a way that will create a sharp contrast with McCain–the way Clinton did in ’92 with George H.W. Bush.

    I am flabbergasted by the success that Palin has had so far.

    [1] http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2008/09/10/obama-s-polldrums.aspx

  9. i saw the vid of biden preparing his own place under the bus on another blog. brent’s right — hillary won’t hitch her wagon to obama’s falling star. i predict biden has an “event” and that sebelius will take his place. won’t do any good — clinton vs palin 08.

  10. I think a switch at this point would be a horrible idea. Politically, you can only get one bite at that apple.

    From some of the polls I’ve seen McCain is steadily winning over independent votes and is seen as a leader of action instead of rhetoric. An Obama switch (for whatever stated reason, it would still be seen or billed by the opposition as a desperation attempt to stop falling poll numbers) from Biden to Clinton would generate a horrible backlash. This is supposed to be the first ‘presidential’ decision a nominee gets to make. Switching would destroy Obama’s leadership and decisionmaking credibility, and Republicans would clap with glee as they cruficied him for it.

  11. arherring, i agree w/ everything you say, but i think obama will do it anyway because he saw how everyone thought it was so brilliant of a maneuver on mccain’s part. he will want to seem capable of taking a risk, too. it won’t be hill though. re the tnr article, anyone who thinks any clinton will campaign for obama is no longer living in reality.

  12. The Biden-Step-Down/Biden-Unqualified meme is spread [1,2]. Either it will die a quick death, like the Palin pregnancy rumors, ultimately happen… or both.

    On intrade.net [3], shares for the next President of the United States
    John McCain = 49.5%
    Barack Obama = 49.9%
    Hillary Clinton = 3%
    Mitt Romney 0.4%

    and also…
    Joe Biden to withdraw 6.5%
    Sarah Palin to withdraw 4.9%

    [1] http://ca4mccain.blogspot.com/2008/09/breaking-news-biden-to-step-down-and.html
    [2] http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/09/biden-hillary-a.html
    [3] http://intrade.net/market/listing/showEventGroup.faces?eg=232

  13. I can’t believe that it will happen. I can’t seen much upside for Hillary to accept the bid, as second choice. Plus, she may have even more reason to turn it down and let Obama suffer.

    Also, it’s a HUGE negative signal on Obama’s part and further give the impression of campaign that is adrift and coming off at the rails. It would open them up to easy attacks about his judgment.

    If this actually happens, I’ll buy Dan dinner next time I’m in Omaha…;)

  14. I have decided that Gov. Palin is the greatest VP pick of my life time because of the terror and confusion it has spread to the opposite side.

    I was for her long before the convention for policy reasons, but I’m loving the Dems reaction to her. It is very LOL.

    I am just waiting for Biden to be Biden. There is no way he can keep his mouth under control until after the election.

  15. PS,
    I agree. It’s not so much her (and if you support that ticket, avoiding a cult of personality is paramount), it’s the absolute panic/crazy that has been stirred up on the left, from Obama to his most fringe supporters.

    If this is how he reacts to a loud-mouth VP pick, what’s he going to do when a mouthy, disrespecting despot like Hugo Chavez lies to him, or starts openly calling him El Diablo?

  16. Good point purpleslog. The flip side of your question is, assuming the McCain campaign picked Palin to throw Obama off balance, what does this tell as about McCain’s approach to Grand Strategy should he become commander-and-chief?

    What is the grand strategic equivalent of Sarah Palin on an international level?

    A possible example of a “Palin” approach to international relations might be McCain making it the official U.S. position that the residents of South Ossetia and Abkhazia should hold a plebiscite to decide whether to remain part of Georgia, become independent or join the Russian Federation; as should the residents of Chechnya and Tartistan.

  17. Remember Biden’s left-handed compliment of Obama?

    –”I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

    Obama let him slide, but many in the media were on his remark like flies on sh!t. Biden spent about a week explaining himself.

    This “lipstick on pig” stuff is just the other side of the coin.

  18. Nope. Not buying the Obama dumps Biden bit. Too pregnant and too much a naked bit of political maneuvering. Further, I have doubts that Clinton would accept such an offer. Too risky and Clinton wants a clean slate for 2012.

  19. Indeed, my crystal ball shows a Clinton / Bayh campaign at the earliest opportunity.

    (I doubt there was a person happier/more relieved with the Biden pick than Evan Bayh. Even the Republicans!)

  20. Jay@Soob

    Nope. Not buying the Obama dumps Biden bit. Too pregnant and too much a naked bit of political maneuvering.

    Well, isn’t Obama the proponent of the “you don’t have to stay pregnant if you don’t want” philosophy in this election?

    I think that a change of vice presidents would shriek of desperation and would be more likely to do Obama more harm than good but ever since the New Jersey Swicheroo where the Democrats swapped out Torricelli for Lautenberg despite state election laws specifically prohibiting them from doing that, I am inclined to think that anything is possible.

  21. Second-tier talk radio shows have been all over this story.

    It’s the right-wing equivalent of the Palin pregnancy rumors. Obama’s two-hour lunch with Clinton, Biden’s remark, and The unexpected success for Palin for the Republicans all seem to be adding up to something.

    But what?

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