10.01.2008 0

Chump Change

  • On: 10/21/2008 22:31:20
  • In: Barack Obama

  • Barack Obama’s “Change you can believe in” just got a whole lot less credible.

    Those paying even an iota of attention to this presidential campaign surely understand what Mr. Obama is supposed to bring to the table: Change. A new face. Anti-establishment leadership. An outsider perspective.

    With the selection of Senator Joe Biden as his running mate, Barack Obama has refuted all of that. Not only is Mr. Biden a career politician who been in the senate for over 35 years, but he was also elected at the minimum possible age of 30, making him the classic Washington insider. And having been born two decades prior to Mr. Obama, Mr. Biden comes from the same Cold War mindset of which Obama has been so critical during the campaign.

    There is, however, one very real change that Mr. Obama ought to be especially worried about. His recent change in the polls. The latest numbers from Gallup reveal that Senator John McCain is now leading Mr. Obama 46% to 44%. This is kind of perplexing considering the presumed Democratic nominee is coming off of a recent Vice Presidential selection and the beginning of his party’s convention. So, where’s the bump?

    After all, the 2000 Lieberman selection as well as the 1996 Kemp selection bumped up the respective Presidential candidate’s numbers by 8 points. Similarly, Dick Cheney produced a 6-point gain in the polls for George W. Bush in 2000. Even John Kerry’s selection of the now scandal-engulfed John Edwards yielded a modest 2-point bounce.

    Unfortunately for Mr. Obama, Joe Biden has produced a resounding Vice Presidential “Thud.”

    Aside from the aforementioned a priori differences between Obama and his running mate, Joe Biden brings a whole slough of messy issues to the Democratic ticket.

    Consider first the Vice Presidential candidate’s loose lips. As Jeremy Lott of The Guardian eloquently puts it:

    “Biden is a human gaffe machine because he’s old and arrogant and has no shame. Most press accounts covered some of his greatest hits, especially those that relate to Obama. Biden called the Illinois senator inexperienced, though he did concede Obama was the very ‘first mainstream African-American” to run for president ‘who is articulate and bright and clean.’”

    And who can forget Mr. Biden’s casually racist 7-Eleven comments?

    The senator from Delaware also carries some of the same baggage as Mr. Obama. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Mr. Biden has been caught up in the Rezko scandal, which has habitually haunted Barack Obama’s presidential run. As they report:

    “Biden has described himself as a 30-year friend of a key figure in the Rezko trial who’s pleaded guilty to a federal extortion charge in Chicago and is awaiting sentencing.”

    When the Delaware senator began contemplating his own 2008 presidential run, he initially was helped by Chicago lawyer Joseph Cari Jr., who also served as Biden’s Midwest field director in his failed 1988 bid for president.

    In 2005, Cari admitted to taking part in an $850,000 kickback scheme that prosecutors say was part of a larger political fund-raising operation for Gov. Blagojevich overseen by Rezko, who was convicted in June of wide-ranging corruption involving state deals.”

    Perhaps this scandal-sharing makes Obama and Biden somewhat compatible. In fact, despite Obama’s displayed image, the reality is that both he and his running mate are quite similar.

    The hard truth is that both members of the Democratic ticket come from the same elitist, Big Government Democratic mold. Both have ties to left-wing fringe groups and have been privy to somewhat shady big money deals. Both have also demonstrated a certain degree of smug disdain towards those who might disagree with their extremely narrow liberal worldview.

    And that’s what’s known as chump change.

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