Hope

Thus sayeth the Obamassiah:  Biden shall be thy vice president, lending gravitas to the hope for change that sweepeth the nation.

Or something like that.

Word was released this morning that Barack Obama has selected Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden as his running mate for this November’s presidential election. 

Biden is an interesting choice.  A thoughtful legislator, he is something of a doctrinaire liberal whose own presidential aspirations were stymied after he pilfered as his own a substantial chunk of text originating with a Canadian politician.  Biden has solid foreign-relations and defense credentials, and is a Democratic politician of substance.  In all, a good choice, although odd insofar as the pick, at first blush, appears to balance Obama’s experience deficit without adding much in terms of the Electoral College.  It’s as if the campaign were more worried about Obama’s personal issues instead of the strategic political issues of the campaign.

And perhaps this observation has some legs to it.

The thing about Obama that has soured me on his campaign is its utter vapidity:  He chants about hope and change, but his policies are devoid of substance and his principles are a throwback to 60s radicalism.  Obama represents nothing new, except that the Netroots have gotten their dream candidate, and his candidacy seems more like an exercise in personality over substance.  It’s even conceded by Democratic strategists that Obama’s campaign is self-referential and nanny-ish; not without cause do some fear that Obama really would demand, with the federal regulatory power, that people keep their car tires filled with approved amounts of air.  It just feels like the entire Obama phenomenon is an exercise in personality, with politics and policy as mere sideshow: Camelot II.

My impression of Obama is that he is utterly convinced of the moral rectitude of his policy proscriptions, and that such policies can be imposed by fiat on the rest of America.  It doesn’t help that the policies he supports seem rooted in the Great Society belief in the ameliorative power of hyper-energetic government.  His lack of real leadership experience, coupled with his grandiose plans for remaking America in his own image, suggest a painful four years if he’s elected.

I was not a big McCain fan this time around.  However, the gentleman from Arizona is growing on me, provided that he can avoid the temptation to screw his base out of spite.  McCain’s selection of a VP candidate will probably be the biggest strategic decision of his campaign; McCain needs a youngish leader and thoughtful conservative who is solid on immigration, taxes, and size-of-government issues.

Anyway, I’m watching.  And waiting.

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