August 24th, 2008
05:27 PM ET
12 years ago

Analysis: Biden's role is filling gaps and taking shots

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Biden’s job will be to help fill perceived gaps in Obama's résumé and serve as Sen. John McCain's chief critic."]

DENVER (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama, who chose a foreign policy expert with roots in Pennsylvania and an appeal to blue-collar voters as his running mate, wasted little time explaining his decision Saturday.

In choosing Sen. Joe Biden, Obama got what he described as a "scrappy kid from Scranton" - a battle-tested politician whose job will be to help fill perceived gaps in Obama's résumé and serve as Sen. John McCain's chief critic.

Biden wasted no time in taking jabs at McCain after being introduced by Obama at the rollout ceremony in Springfield, Illinois.

But Biden delivered the blows in classic "Joe style," saying McCain is "genuinely a friend of mine" and noting that the Arizona senator "served our country with extraordinary courage."

Then Biden unloaded on McCain, accusing him of giving "in to the right wing of his party" and then taking a dig at him for owning several homes.

Biden said he has known McCain for 35 years - enough time to know the good and bad about his "friend." The unanswered question is whether McCain's Senate colleague - turned Obama's running mate - will continue to amp up the criticism.

An Obama aide says that Biden will be charged with helping to explain to the "American people where Obama comes from, and what his vision is for the country," as well as lay out "the choice in this election." 

Watch more on Biden and the road ahead.

While Obama talks about running a 50-state campaign, Biden is likely to be a frequent visitor to Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan, where his Irish heritage, Catholic religion and lunch pail appeal could play well with skeptical voters: Reagan Democrats and Hillary Clinton supporters.

Biden and Obama won't go unchallenged.

Within hours of CNN breaking the news early Saturday that Obama had chosen Biden, the McCain campaign released an ad highlighting Biden's criticism of Obama. The 30-second spot features an August 2007 Democratic primary debate during which Biden was asked if he stood by his criticism that Obama is not yet ready to be president.

"I think that I stand by the statement," Biden responded.

The ad closes with Biden praising McCain, saying, "I would be honored to run with or against John McCain, because I think the country would be better off."

The Obama aide dismissed the Biden comment, saying "there may have been nuances and points of disagreement," and sought to highlight the sparring between McCain and Mitt Romney, who is said to be on McCain's vice presidential shortlist.

But McCain hasn't picked Romney yet, and even if he does, an aide for the Arizona Republican said to expect to see that clip run through November 4.

"It doesn't matter who we pick; there isn't going to be any footage or any video of John McCain's running mate saying that they would be honored to support Barack Obama for president because the country would be better off," the aide said.

McCain called Biden on Saturday congratulating him on being selected as Obama's running mate - the kind of call made between "friends."

Don't expect any more calls until a winner is declared in November.

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. MW

    You people who consider yourself democrats and then vote for Mc Cain are hypocrites.

    Mc Cain offers nothing new..
    and 100 more years in Iraq just wont do
    So get wise with the times "my friend"
    And lets see this current Republican leadership
    come to a much needed end

    August 24, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  2. Connie

    Lifelong Democrat,Many of our fine troops have died over the years to give you the freedom to vote for John McSenile. Get in line behind Lieberman and Zell Miller. We're proud of all three of you. OBAMA/BIDEN 08
    Connie from Indiana

    August 24, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  3. Trust him?? I don't know...

    How many Presidents REALLY discuss / listen to the VP after they are elected? ZERO If the president was that unsure and needed that info, THEY would be the VP. I don't see this "balance the ticket" thing at all.

    B.O. selected Biden because he was less of a threat than Hillary. He won't be upstaged this way.

    I don't think I can trust him. I see it this way – elect McCain in 2008 and then get a fresh start in 2012

    August 24, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  4. Don

    A little shocked that CNN would print a remark from "PA" about us mean people carrying guns to church. Was that a threat to the candidates. Someone needs to be more careful.

    August 24, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  5. anonmouys

    can they handle bush i hope not

    August 24, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  6. Rob indetroit

    I am sick of all the whinning, from HRC supporters, every thing she wanted at the convention he gave to her,OBAMA WON! start treating him like he did, as for MCcain you want to get down dirty,fine but when the mud get's thrown back in your face dont start crying,talking about how you were a prisner of war. a noun, a verb ,andPOW.

    I wonder how is the first John MCcain is doing you know the one he dumped, i would love to hear what she has to say.

    August 24, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  7. Chuck for Obama

    RANDY.. stop whining and get over it! Yeah you! You're 50 years old!! Grow up already. If you want to vote for McCain to try to get to Obama.. go ahead!

    I'm Chuckie Baby and I approve this message... ya big BABY!

    August 24, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  8. Charlotte

    Hillary would be hard pressed to fill Obamas' gaps, much less Biden. Obama is the poorest excuse for a candidate since Mondale. I did not vote for Mondale because he was Black? I did not vote for Dukakis because he was Black. I will not vote for Obama because he is Black. I must be a racist..LMAO

    August 24, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |


    The first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy picks the premier Washington insider. I hear the tidal wave sweeping over the Obama’s Change We Can Believe in Campaign. He was afraid to pick Hillary because she might overshadow him on experience. Now he picks loose lips racist Biden and thinks it is a better choice. Kangaroo ticket – the hind legs are stronger than the front paws!!! Millions of Hillary supporters are mad and rightly so. I hope she steals the nomination from him at the convention. Delegates should have buyer’s remorse!

    August 24, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  10. Lou R

    Obama showed strong leadership and his executive skills in the way Joe Biden was brought on board as the VP candidate. Every successful executive knows to surround him/herself with solid, knowledgeable and capable persons. Biden bring to the campaign a wide rand of governmental experience that a change agent like Obama will use to achieve his objectives and goals. Effective leadership is a rarity in Washington, DC; the change will be most welcomed.

    August 24, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  11. Turnabout is Fair Play

    Reality August 24th, 2008 7:31 pm ET

    Wow, Biden as VP? This will be a slam Dunk for the McCain campaign. The GOP will lock up the white house for another 4 years. And there will be peace and sanity in the US.

    Okay, you can put down the hooka pipe and alcohol and when you sober up and come down off your high, you'll realize the utter stupidity of what you said here. Ignorant sewer rat. Peace and sanity in the US with Republicans in, you REALLY are high.

    August 24, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  12. Worst...Resume...Ever....

    Biden = a McCain win.

    Who the heck thought it was a good idea to have another uber-liberal on this ticket? And a nasty old bitter one to boot. Howard Dean needs to be fired. Great job.

    August 24, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Biden can take it from the mean spirted repubs. Hopefully he can show Obama how to stand up for himself. Biden is very clean and articulate nad thats hwy he is such a good pcik.

    August 24, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  14. Yvonne Parker

    Christians have been praying all week that it would rain at the Democratic Convention....and He sends a tornado! Wow!

    But God is not the only one sending rain on Obama's celebration! Hillary supporters are turning out in huge numbers to show their opposition and to do everything they can to steal the limelight from Obama! And don't think the Clintons are not in on fact....they are a big part of it! The Democrats have no idea of the venom that is out there....and there is no stopping it! This has been planned for many weeks....and is one night this nation will never forget!

    So hold onto your hats everyone! You ain't seen nothing yet!!!

    August 24, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  15. wiscon

    I like Biden, he is very clean and articulate. I can understand why Obama pcik him.

    August 24, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  16. DOM

    Biden is a good choice, he brings experience and a stop lock to all the rubbish about a lack of experience with Obama.

    For all you pathetic Hillary supporters who just can't get over it......that kind of fanatic extremism is not something that we need in this country so just shut up and go home. Please. And stay home in November as well if you have any notion to betray your own party and your own beliefs because of your foolish pride and ego.

    August 24, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  17. Randy

    I E-mailed Barrak Obama after he won the Primaries, I expressed to him at that time. Although, I had thought Hillary Clinton should have won the nomination. The DNC rules were flawed. I accepted him winning the nomination. I then asked him to select Hillary Clinton as his VP choice. If he did not, I would not be voting this year for the first time in almost forty years. That I could not support John McCain, I would just choose NOT vote.

    Now, that Obama has chosen Joe Biden (Who?) as his VP choice. The way he has slammed Hillary with his 3:00 am text. The irresponsibility and elitist attitude he has taken with Hillary.

    I am so mad, that I AM going to vote this year for John McCain. Obama needs a wake up call and the voters will give it to him. He is not all so powerful and elect able.

    I am a Fifty-five year old man. Not all who think as I do are Women. Many of my friends feel the same way.

    Las Vegas, NV

    August 24, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  18. terri ohio

    Ralph August 24th, 2008 7:51 pm ET

    If Hillary were to get the nomination now, there would be riots everywhere there are blacks. When he loses in November there may be riots then. All the Obama-bots yelling, rigged election! This will not be a good year no matter which way it goes. Blacks can't even celebrate without looting and sitting fires. Remember when the Cowboys won?

    You are oh so ignorant but at least your honest inlike others in here hiding behind hillaries skirt

    August 24, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  19. David

    everyone that says McCain 08 then it will be Hillary 12 are, to put it simply, stupid!

    dont you realize that if Obama looses there is a great chance that it will be viewed as partially HRC fault! even if its not!

    dont get me wrong i am all for womens rights, but if radical feministic HRC supporters cost Obama the election she will have no shot in 2012

    there will be a woman president in my lifetime i am sure, but this is clearly not the year so get over it!

    Hillary will be able to do more in a cabinet position anyway

    then she can run again in 2016 if she wants

    ignorant people scare me!

    Obama/Biden 08

    p.s. cnn please post this!

    August 24, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  20. anonmouys

    i prove this message

    August 24, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  21. TonyS

    Watch out Biden. If Obama loses, MoveOn is going to finance a Democratic challenger to you when you are up for reelection. Payback for your vote on Iraq. See the other Joe, Lieberman.

    August 24, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  22. John Smith

    Be patient, I am, not done yet (Oh, I am close to 60 years old as of today– so listen to me):
    What I have learned, as an outsider, over the years:

    1. Republicans are MORE faithful to their party than Democrats

    2. Republicans are better at running campaigns, but terrible at running the nation; yet, Democrats can never figure this out!

    3. Republicans are smarter, probably with higher IQs than Democrats; just read their blogs

    4. Democrats are more emotional (celebs) than Republicans; just read their comments on the different blogs!

    5. Republicans are more "principled" in emitting their key messages (i.e., it is about the PARTY, not the leader even when he/she is dumb, senile etc) than Democrats.

    6. Democrats are Losers, Republicans are Winners!!!!

    August 24, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  23. alvino

    To Terri ohio:

    I do not believe I have ever read a more stupid comment. Are you a speech writer for the McCain campaign?

    August 24, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  24. alvino

    Oops I meant Ralph

    August 24, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  25. anonmouys

    oh really mccain wheres your vp you havent picked out your vp have you mccain whose ready to lead now

    August 24, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
1 2 3 4