Saturday, August 23, 2008

August 23, 2008

     I should say first that when I covered the Senate I liked Joe Biden;  I still do.  When he was a very new senator--in office just a month or so--his wife and daughter were killed in a car accident with a drunken driver.  His two sons survived.  Biden wanted them to have a normal life, so instead of living in Washington he kept his house in Delaware and went home on Amtrak every night.  He did this for years, even after he remarried.  I remember doing a profile of him some years ago;  we rode the train with him and he knew everyone--conductors, brakemen and so on, and greeted them by name.
    He likes to talk--and talk, and talk, some will add--and he's said his share of silly things over the years.  My favorite was during one truly boring hearing--I have no memory of what it was about, if anything, and senators as they often do, were taking ten-minute turns to ask questions.  Biden was maybe seven minutes into his--no question yet--when he stopped in mid-sentence and then after a thoughtful pause said, "Of course, I have no idea what I'm talking about."   I didn't either, but you have to admire his candor.
     He is, in fact, a smart man and he knows a good deal about foreign and military affairs, areas in which Obama's experience is limited.   And he's no stranger to controversy--was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee during two of its more troubled hearings--the one that rejected Robert Bork as a Supreme Court nominee and the one that confirmed Clarence Thomas.
     So, a good, experienced man.  Probably a good VP, whatever that demands.  He and Obama will get along, I think, and that always helps.   Good pick is the vote here.   

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