I’ve been on record as saying that I think Pres. Obama chickened out when he picked Joe Biden as his running mate. Biden was a boring choice. He’s the old white guy whose been in Washington for 20 years. Joe Biden ran for President the first time in 1988. Pres. Obama was in law school in 1988. So, these are five options I think would have been better.
Yes, Hillary Clinton would have been a divisive choice perhaps. There are a lot of people in the Democratic Party that would have liked it if she was on the ticket, though. While I’ve read that the Clintons and the Obamas don’t really get along, a choice for Vice President is about politics not friendships. Politically, Bill and Hillary Clinton are as connected as they come both in Washington and around the world. She also is a sharp politician and watches her words more carefully the Vice President Biden.
4) Kathleen Sebelius
I must admit I’m partial to the former Kansas Governor. I voted for her. I was surprised that it took President Obama so long to offer her a cabinet post. As a former Kansas Insurance Commissioner, Governor, and co-chair of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, I thought she was a shoe-in for something like HHS. The big advantage to Sebelius is that she would have been a bold pick. She grew up in politics. Her father was a Ohio congressman. She is very articulate, and was a popular Democratic Governor of a consistently Red State. She would not have been a divisive choice like Hillary Clinton, although she is also not nearly as well-known. Choosing a woman would have been a good move for Obama, and he let John McCain upstage him.
As one of only two independents in the Senate, Bernie Sanders would have been a wild pick. Yes, Obama would have caught some flak because he picked a self-proclaimed Socialist as his running mate. Bernie Sanders does look a little like a real life version of Doc Brown from “Back to the Future”, but if you going to pick the Vice President, do it with some gusto. Could choosing Bernie Sanders be any crazier than choosing Sarah Palin? I don’t think so.
2) Anyone who realizes there are video cameras at a photo-op
Awhile ago, our distinguished Vice President went to a frozen custard shop outside Milwaukee. The Vice President asked what he owed for the custard and the manager said “lower are taxes and we’ll call it even.” A fun little jab. Biden proceeded to get in the guys face and called him a smartass. This is all well and good.I was just a little give and take between two guys. Should he really say something like that in that situation though? There are cameras and reporters. Someone is going to make a big deal about it. Has Biden never watched FOXNews? This is the kind of thing they live for.
This brings us to our #1 replacement for Joe Biden:
1) People who know how microphones work
Yes, Biden opened his mouth and out came cable news gold. At the bill signing for landmark healthcare reform, Biden said to Pres. Obama, “it’s a big f–ing deal.” Within in reach of a microphone so it could be captured by every one in the room with an audio recording device. This is the microphone, that until the moment before, he had been speaking into. Does the man not understand modern amplification. It’s not even that modern. There have been microphones the entire time the Vice President has been alive. Seriously? If something happens to Pres. Obama, this is the man who takes over.
To sum up, I think Pres. Obama took the easy way out. I think he could have been more bold. He could have pushed the envelope. He could have picked someone who thinks before they speak. If the President wins reelection and Biden runs for President in 2016 it’s going to be some kind of ride.