BBC BLOGS - Justin Webb's America
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Biden a necessary antidote

Justin Webb | 11:47 UK time, Saturday, 23 August 2008

Would he have made this choice a year ago? Six months? Even a few weeks? Joe Biden is Vladimir Putin's contribution to American politics - he is a necessary antidote to the Obama lack of worldly wisdom, which before Georgia was a bit academic to most Americans or amorphous and unfocused as an issue (perhaps they could take a punt, roll the dice as Bill C helpfully put it) but post-Georgia is back at the top of the pile of concerns.

McCain did well on Russia - he avoided frightening threats but managed to seem tough and aware. He took the 3AM call. Obama needs a pal who can do the same. But something of the Obama appeal has been diminished by the choice - it is going to be very difficult to rail against Washington insiders with one at his right hand. There is also - if Biden performs well - the Dukakis Lloyd Bensen issue, which is, to put it delicately, Why is it this way round: why isn't the able, experienced, reassuring guy the one at the top of the ticket?

Here are some early thoughts from the wise, in The Atlantic and Newsweek


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