Commentary Magazine


But Not For President?

David Brooks names all the qualities which would make Joe Biden a good VP: working class roots, honesty (OK, there was that plagiarism thing, but a that’s a small quibble), loyalty, and experience. But what is noteworthy about the checklist is how poorly Barack Obama does on the listed items.

You can argue all you like about Obama’s income as a child, but the man is no more a product and a creature of the working class than Mitt Romney. Obama is a pure academic elitist, who lived in Hyde Park after years of Ivy League education. If he understood working-class people (let alone was one of them), we wouldn’t have had Bittergate. Strike one. Let’s move on to honesty. That is becoming more of an issue with each passing day, as we examine his fictionalized life story, his attempted revisionism about his legislative record, and his broken pledge on campaign financing. He seems slightly below average for most politicians in that department. Strike two. Loyalty? Well, it’s getting crowded under the proverbial bus with those who “aren’t the X” Obama knew–Reverend Wright and James Johnson included. A foul ball at best. And experience? Enough said. Strike three.

And if it is Biden (maybe it will be by the time this posts), that is the biggest problem he poses. You have to wonder what criteria could lead to his selection, yet not rule out Obama for the top of the ticket. The explanation, if it comes to that, will be interesting to hear.