Jonathan Cohn
Senior Editor

The Strange Silence On Biden's Signature Accomplishment
August 25, 2008

  If you’ve been reading the liberal blogosphere over the last two days, you’ve probably detected some ambivalence about Barack Obama’s decision to make Joe Biden his running mate. Although everybody realizes that Biden is a loyal, decent Democrat who brings energy and experience to the ticket, there’s also a palpable sense of disappointment. Biden supported the Iraq War and, more recently, the anti-consumer bankruptcy bill. He’s been in Washington forever. And so on.

More On The Clinton Controversy (sigh)
August 24, 2008

John McCain's new television ad suggests that Barack Obama didn't pick Hillary Clinton as his running mate because he couldn't handle her criticisms--i.e., "the turth hurt and he couldn't handle it." It's a dubious assertion, but the merits of the argument are, for all practical purposes, besides the point. This ad is designed to stoke the resentment of wavering Clinton voters and to make sure the Clinton controversy remains part of the convention storyline. I'll leave it to others to determine whether this gambit will work.

Why--and How--obama Picked Biden
August 24, 2008

Today's New York Times has some of the backstory on the vice presidential selection process and why Barack Obama ultimately settled on Joe Biden. The overarching narrative is more or less what it appeared to be. According to the article, which is by Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg, Obama was initially wary of Biden. But research by his vetting team and conversations with some of Biden's longtime Senate colleagues, including Congressman Rahm Emanuel, Senator Ted Kennedy, and Governor Ed Rendell, convinced Obama that Biden was a "worker"--and somebody whom Obama could trust.

That's the Ticket!
August 23, 2008

It’s a great pick! He connects with blue-collar voters and reassures voters worried about Barack Obama’s foreign policy inexperience. It’s a lousy pick! He’s prone to gaffes and, as a senior member of the Senate, steps on the message of change.In the next few days, pundits will be obsessing over the political impact of putting Joe Biden on the Democratic ticket. But the more important questions are the more tangible ones. Is Biden qualified to serve as an advisor to the president and, in an emergency, his stand-in?

Obama Introduces 'that Scrappy Kid From Scranton'
August 23, 2008

Barack Obama is speaking in Springfield as I write this. And I think it's a pretty revealing window into the political logic* behind the selection. Obama has touted Biden's ability to get past foreign policy that's about "bluster and bad judgment." But the heavy, heavy focus is on Biden's personal story--a story of working-class roots, then overcoming the tragic death of his wife and daughter--and Biden's ability to aritculate the economic anxiety average Americans are feeling.

Biden Makes It Harder To Run Against Washington. Good.
August 23, 2008

One obvious hazard of picking a veteran like Joe Biden is that it complicates Barack Obama's promise to "change the culture of Washington." The campaign, of course, has thought of that, too.

Cnn, Ap: Biden
August 23, 2008

CNN and Associated Press also reporting it's Biden.  --Jonathan Cohn 

Flashback: Biden On Obama, Experience
August 22, 2008

If Joe Biden is indeed Barack Obama's pick for running mate, you can bet John McCain's campaign will go through the primary campaign, hunting for Biden quotes that make Obama look bad. That is fair game. But having spent a little time reviewing Biden's primary run, I've been struck by how cautious Biden was in his statements. Biden talked constantly about the importance of experience--and the fact that he had the most of it. It was the centerpiece of his campaign. But, for the most part, he couched those arguments in general terms.

Msnbc: Bayh, Kaine Out
August 22, 2008

In case you have better things to do on Friday night then stay glued to cable news while keeping your cell phone nearby,* MSNBC is reporting both Evan Bayh and Tim Kaine say they've been told they're not the nominee. Make of that information what you will. *Yes, I am that lame.  Update: There's nothing on the MSNBC site about this; I'm just relaying what I heard on Countdown. So maybe he mispoke? Or I misheard? Best to disregard until further notice. I do see MSNBC is reporting that messages will go out Saturday morning.

Making Lemonade Out Of...
August 22, 2008

Apparently, three young kids who live near Evan Bayh's house have figured out a way to be productive during the long wait for an announcement. I'm glad somebody has! --Jonathan Cohn