Monday, September 08, 2008
Ed Rollins, who once worked for Ronald Reagan, says in a CNN editorial that Obama may have made a fatal mistake when he passed over Hillary Clinton for Joe Biden as his running mate. Biden buys him nothing, while Hillary Clinton would have electrified his party and forced McCain to choose someone else as his running mate. In the least, we agree with Rollins, McCain would not have picked Sarah Palin.
This is one of those moments that people will look back on to see where Obama lost this race. And he will lose it. He lost it because he went for a safe pick in Biden rather than someone exciting like McCain did with Palin.
Commentary: Obama wrong to spurn Hillary, pick Biden
Ten days ago, Sen. Joe Biden was the most brilliant vice presidential pick imaginable. He was going to add the experience and foreign policy credential that Sen. Barack Obama's thin resume was missing.
The so-called expert commentators were arguing that blue-collar Joe was going to guarantee Pennsylvania (because he was born in Scranton) and other states and get Catholic voters because he is a pro-choice Catholic.
I guess they forgot that Joe didn't do so well with Iowa Catholics (23 percent of the population) when he campaigned there for more than a year in the Democratic caucus race. But then getting less than 1 percent of the vote and coming in fifth place showed he didn't do real well with any voter group in Iowa. Nor did he do well anywhere else, other than Delaware.
Then, after Sen. John McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, people laughed and said Biden was going to wipe the floor with Palin in the vice presidential debate. Now, after her incredible convention speech, Biden is saying that he's the underdog because he's not a very good debater.
If Obama had done the smart thing, he would have picked Sen. Hillary Clinton for vice president. If he had, he would have united his party for sure and energized his base.
He just couldn't do it and maybe thought he didn't need to do it. He was wrong. That choice would have meant that McCain probably wouldn't have picked Palin. And if McCain had picked anybody else from his shortlist, the Republican convention would have been boring, and the party's base would not have been motivated.
The one thing we know for sure -- the selection of Biden did the least to enhance any ticket since George H.W. Bush picked Dan Quayle back in 1988. This is turning out to be another election the Democrats were convinced they couldn't lose. So far, the selection of Palin has been a game-changer and has energized my party like no one since Ronald Reagan did four decades ago.
The polls are back to even again. The only difference is the Republicans now have a communicator to match Obama and the Democrats have on their ticket an older veteran of Washington politics to match McCain's experience. The reformer Obama who was going to be the candidate of change is now running with Mr. D.C. establishment.
McCain, the maverick who is surrounded and advised by the D.C. establishment, has somehow picked the real reformer who has altered the Alaska political landscape by throwing out the establishment "good old boys" of both parties.
Obama made a fatal error picking Biden, who is dull and speaks in laborious tones. Palin's selection by McCain shows he is willing to shake things up. That is why McCain is now ahead in the national polls, just days after his convention ended.