The world is officially divided between those who are breathlessly waiting to find out who Obama has chosen as his running mate and those who aren’t. Right now the smart money is on Biden, but the smart money could look really dumb by tomorrow. I don’t there being such anticipation over the Veep choice in the past. A lot of the time the general reaction has just been, “Who?” In Democratic administrations the office of VP has been sort of low key more often than not. The vice-presidential arena is one area where Republicans have been more colorful on the whole, culminating with the Prince of Darkness himself, Dick Cheney. You can’t really top that. No point in anyone trying. Of course, George H.W. Bush gave us Dan Quayle, who we thought was pretty stupid until we got to know Dubya. Thanks Bush family.
We don’t want to forget Spiro Agnew, though. Although he’s overshadowed by the memory of Richard Nixon, the president he served he was very entertaining while we had him. He gave us the memorable phrased, “Effete core of impudent snobs” and “Nattering nabobs of negativism”. Sadly, after uttering a less original, but still elegant, phrase – “Nolo contendere” he left the stage even earlier than Nixon did.
LBJ was quite the character, but the Kennedy family filled he spotlight while JFK was alive. Since then, on the Democratic VP side we’ve had Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale and Al Gore before he got really mad. Lovely people, I’m sure, but not very colorful. I think we should step it up a little. That argues for Biden, because even though he’s certainly qualified to be president and has foreign policy smarts, tons of experience and sufficient intellectual heft he also might say almost anything at any time. It’d make things even more interesting.
Right now it’s looking like we won’t get the word until tomorrow. If it’s Biden I hope that Obama mentions that Biden appears to be clean and is often articulate – some say it’s more like loquacious – when he announces his choice.