(How am I beating John to this? :)
With the announcement today that Sen. Joe Biden will be Sen. Barack Obama's running mate, my political fervor has been restored. I've taken a bit of a vacation from politics since the primaries wrapped up, holding back from reading the news compulsively because I was tired of being run around in the same old political circles...the pundits bouncing back and forth on who is more of an elitist or who can take which demographic for whatever over-generalized reason. But the question that drove me crazy the most the last few weeks was the one none of us could ignore: "Who will Obama pick as his VP?"
I was soooo tired of it. All the speculation, and then the last few days the media stalking those being vetted...it was getting a little ridiculous.
But now we have an answer, and it's a pretty damned good one.
As everyone in the media and across the interwebs is echoing right now, Biden brings the "experience" factor that Obama needs the most. He brings the white-working-class spirit. He brings a depth of character that complements Obama's, as the presumptive nominee emphasized in introducing his new running mate today. And he has the necessary oratorial strength to campaign alongside such a dynamic crowd-pleaser of a politician as Barack Obama, wielding a sharp tongue that won't hesitate to take an honest jab at the competition.
But the most significant thing that struck me today during their appearance, was the fact that they've got chemistry. There in Springfield with their contrasting red and blue ties, they greeted each other on stage like old friends who hadn't seen each other in years, about to embark on the greatest journey of their lives. They told each other's life stories, fawned over each other's accomplishments. "There's somethin' about this guy..." Biden said, after apologizing for his tendency to "talk too colloquially." Frankly, it was pretty adorable, as far as political appearances go.
As U2's "Beautiful Day" blared to play the running mates off stage, I could feel the next chapter in this seemingly endless election saga opening. And reflecting on their speeches, I'm reminded of how skilled the Obama campaign is at telling a clear story that people can listen to and connect with. It's one of their greatest strengths, and if today is any evidence, Joe Biden is the right man to contribute to their ongoing, carefully crafted narrative.
One thing, however, felt downright eerie throughout their speeches. "Four more years" was the campaign chant for Bush in 2004, and they're using it now to rail against a McCain presidency. I remember thinking back in '04 "How could we possibly vote for four more years of this?" And yet, somehow, we did. Hopefully this time around the American people won't repeat that mistake.
If you didn't catch the speeches earlier, check 'em out now.