August 25th, 2008
11:59 AM ET

Reaction to Obama's VP choice

Editor's Note: CNN.com contributors explored what Sen. Jospeh Biden's selection as the Democratic vice presidential nominee means for the presidential race between Barack Obama and John McCain. We share with you two viewpoints. Go to 'Reaction to Obama's VP choice'  to read their full commentary.

Leslie Sanchez | Bio
CNN Political Contributor
Republican Strategist

Folks who were hoping Barack Obama's choice of a running mate would spice up the presidential contest are probably disappointed. Instead of change, they got the archetypal Washington insider: Delaware Sen. Joe Bien.

Biden, who entered the Senate when he was 30-years-old, is a lock-step liberal and, despite the early rhetoric, a skilled partisan infighter. His 36-year legislative record is obviously meatier than Obama's, but still thin...

Roland S. Martin | Bio
AC360° Contributor
CNN Political Analyst

When the Democratic presidential candidates squared off in all those debates last year, I always felt that Sen. Joe Biden was the strongest.

He was consistently clear, though, decisive and unwilling to say what we wanted to hear, but willing to say what we needed to hear. A lot of strategists are talking about Biden's foreign policy experience, his ability to connect with white working-class voters, and his 36 years in the U.S. Senate. But for me, it's about style, in addition to substance...

Filed under: Barack Obama • Leslie Sanchez • Raw Politics • Roland S. Martin
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    Joe Biden is a good pick – I think he and Obama will be able to work effectively together. I don't blame Obama for not picking Clinton and Hillary didn't want VP anyway so it all works out.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    August 25, 2008 at 11:50 pm |
  2. Cyndi

    I love the choice of Joe Biden. Senator Obama made an intelligent choice. Sen. Biden is a good fit for Sen. Obama. They both are a dynamic duo. God Bless them both.

    August 25, 2008 at 11:05 pm |
  3. James Dylan

    Wow, I can finally agree with Roland. Biden does say what people need to here. Especially when he said Obama doesn't have the experience to be President; beautifully shown in McCain's new ad. And not only did he say that he added that he stands firmly behind those comments. Not to mention saying he would be proud to run with McCain as well as against him. Oh, Obama you have no idea what you got yourself into.
    Was this mundane and superficial enough to get posted CNN moderator? Perhaps better said CNN censor. We both know that any kind of in depth comment with a touch of reality just gets tossed out. You can say I'm extremely confused by the comment policy. Wait, no I'm not; I forgot people hate reality. Why else do they believe in God.

    August 25, 2008 at 10:58 pm |
  4. smita

    Biden? Change?
    Such disappointment in this transparent play for power.
    I will not vote for this ticket though I have voted Democratic my whole life.

    August 25, 2008 at 8:06 pm |
  5. bruckmann,gail

    I am a life long Democrat whosupports Hillary. Why is she not the nominated V.P. If Obama is so afraid of the Clintons' power in the country,how will he be able to handle foreign powers who want to destroy our great country. I am a mother, grandmother and recently a great grandmother. The safety and security of this nation is most important to me. Help me understand how this great woman who got the most popular votes i n the primary was treated so poorly by the DNC .

    August 25, 2008 at 7:42 pm |
  6. Jan from Wood Dale IL

    Biden was a very disappointing pick. If you recall, Biden was in favor of dividing up Iraq into 3 parts along sectarian lines which would decentralize Iraq's government. Also, Biden isn't much of a fighter for the average American since he led the Democratic charge for the "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005". This legislation makes it much harder for the average American to file for bankruptcy protection.

    Are these some of the changes Obama wants us to believe in?

    August 25, 2008 at 6:34 pm |
  7. Moureen

    Oh, Roland, come on. Biden brings a lot of baggage. The Republicans are going to have a field day with him.

    August 25, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  8. Moureen

    The only viable running mate left in the Democratic Party was Biden?!!

    August 25, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  9. Sandy

    Those of you who are so ardently defending Obama's choice of Biden as his running mate and tagging Clinton supporters as "whiners" for complaining about her not being on the ticket should stop and think about the kind of man you are voting for as your next president. I'm not a Clinton supporter, but I listened just like the rest of you when Obama smirked at the question regarding the "Dream Ticket" and said that Hillary Clinton would be on "anybody's short list." Was this just a flippant response, or is the man an outright liar? Either way, I think we've had enough of both in the White House. If he wants her supporters, he should have had the decency to have her vetted, regardless of whether or not he planned to pick her as his running mate. It's like granting an interview for a new position to someone who's been with a company for a number of years. You may not have any intention of picking them for the job, but you still show them the respect afforded by an interview. I guess he sent his message loud and clear, and Clinton supporters heard it just as loudly as did Bill and Hillary. Of course, they will tow the party line and smile and support Obama, because she still has aspirations for 2012 or beyond. But her supporters don't have to back a man who thinks he's big enough to win without her help, and he shouldn't be surprised if his arrogant decision to snub her costs him his seat in the oval office.

    August 25, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  10. Ron Galasso (61), Dr. Roland Lucer (86)

    As a Marine Vietnam vet (61) and my dad (86), a Navy WWII survivor of the Bataan Death March (POW for 2yrs), we're exited about Obama's choice of Joe Biden because it will nail down the real need for change from the Bush administration. This also plays down McCain's attacks on Obama's background. Dad and I feel that McCain's using his Vietnam POW experience as a platform for comparison (against Obama's lack of leadership experience) is self-centered and demonstrates his lack of true character and integrity. True heros are selfless is serving others and their country. Obama and Biden are our choice as "true heros" for change.

    August 25, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  11. Viv

    AT the beginning of the Democrats' presidential campaign, I definitely support a Barak Obama/Hillary Clinton ticket; but then Hillary Clinton had to get nasty and played the race card, made ugly personal attacks on Barak Obama during her presidential campaign; even Bill Clinton made personal attacks on Mr. Obama. So why should Mr. Obama select someone that truly didn't like him as a person to be his Vice President. Now, those of you who are so disappointed because Hillary too-much-baggage Clinton wasn't selected, you're going to vote for another "George W. Bush", well you weren't going to vote to Barak Obama anyway and you should have been a Republican. It is time for the United States of American to gain respect and the Republican Party cannot restore the respect and friendship it has lost. The best of luck to Messrs. Obama and Biden.

    August 25, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  12. Vegas

    So... this is change eh?

    His VP is just McCain from the other side...


    Hillary 2012

    August 25, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  13. Tyrone


    Thousands of supporters were expected at a Saturday rally in Springfield, Illinois, to see the debut of Sen. Barack Obama and Delaware Sen. Joe Biden as a presidential ticket.
    Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, announced his selection of Biden as his running mate with a 3 a.m. text message and a statement on his official Web site.
    "Barack has chosen Senator Joe Biden to be our VP nominee," the text message said.
    "Joe and I will appear for the first time as running mates this afternoon in Springfield, Illinois - the same place this campaign began more than 19 months ago," Obama said in an e-mail sent to supporters Saturday morning.
    "I'm excited about hitting the campaign trail with Joe, but the two of us can't do this alone," he wrote. "We need your help to keep building this movement for change."Now stand by for all the hate and lies to start. Against Sen. Biden and as normal...OBAMA!
    Before the text messages were distributed, multiple Democratic sources confirmed to CNN early Saturday that Obama wanted the Delaware senator as his vice president. I'm waiting for the attacks that will have to come. There are the comments Sen.Biden said about Sen. Obama while he was a candidate for President and was up against OBAMA! The shameful thing is that the country needs Obama & Biden. FOR CHANGE!

    August 25, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  14. Judy

    To mSmith and Margaret..

    So you're content then to have 4 more years of Republican/Bush politics and let the country sink lower than it is right now?

    I didn't vote in the last two elections, because I didn't like the choices I was handed. So, I too rebelled and didn't vote Dem/Gore...that really showed 'em! I have to live w/ myself... It's not going to happen again...I will vote for the candidates I feel will help this country the MOST...Obama/Biden!!!

    August 25, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  15. David Alan Cook

    Unity and the appearance of unity is the reality now. It no longer matters what Obama, Hillary, Joe, Bill, or Michelle say...because the 'supporters of Obama treated half or their party badly and continue to do so. The Obama campaign is responsible for it's own actions. Why would I cast a vote for a president who is not going to represent me?

    August 25, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  16. Gladys

    Hillary Clinton would have been the better choice if she didn't have so much baggage, and hadn't done so well at tearing Barack Obama down during the primaries, and didn't come with Bill Clinton.

    Right now, Senator Biden is a necessary evil. He has been part of politics as usual since before I was born, but presents a strong front in foreign affairs. It's almost like he was handpicked because of the fight Obama is facing with McCain.

    I think the Obama campaign has to work on making the choice more palatable or apetizing to the tastes voters who want change. He needs to explain the rationale as being some kind of balanced thinking or focus he wants to attain – in addition to Biden's strengths.

    And I guess Biden just takes some getting used to.

    August 25, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  17. Dave S, Tinley Park, IL

    Republicans had 8 years–almost a decade for those having trouble fathoming that–and all they've done was sink this country and the world's opinion of it. Anyone that'd vote to give them longer is as stupid as our current president. And enough with the tired talk of flip-flopping–as usual, the Republicans were the biggest hypocrites in that regard as well. Remember how Bush stated he'd fire anyone involved in the Plame scandal, and all his 'dead or alive' Bin Laden statements? McCain keeps in step by changing his opinions to court the gullible religious fanatics. If McCain wins, this country deserves to sink further.

    August 25, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  18. Amal Guevin

    The supporters of Hillary Clinton have been making it VERY clear that we would rather vote for John McCain than vote for Obama if Hillary was not also on the ticket! Can't get much plainer.....And if Obama thinks that we are just party robots who will just "fall in line" he will be sorely disappointed on election day! An Obama-Clinton ticket would have wiped McCain off the map because even if we mistrusted Obama for any reason, she would have been respected, a terrific Vice President and more than up for it if called upon to be President. By choosing Biden, he violated (again) his issue about not choosing an "insider." So what else will he go back on? He just keeps doing it...

    August 25, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  19. Margaret

    I am a 58 year old Black female. I have voted Democratic in every presidential election since I started voting. However, I have grown tired of the rhetoric on both sides. To much talk and to little action. Obama promised change in this election but with his selection of Biden and many other decisions he has made lately he has proven he is just another politician. I have no real expectations that either candidate will do very much for a sinking America. I honestly wish Hillary was going to be on the ballot this Fall I think she would have made a better president. I don't think you can unify the Democratic party in one week . I am joining the growning ranks of independents. The Democratic party can no longer count on my vote.

    August 25, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  20. Susan




    August 25, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  21. Pat

    Right On Roland! Ditto! And, Joe Biden has earned the respect of many Americans as has Obama. They are two straight talking, savy Politicians on the same page UNITY and PROSPERITY for ALL Americans. Joe is not from the old school he is a seasoned, experienced, qualified, well groomed, accredited leader on many fronts, especially military and international affairs. Even the majority of Republicans respect Biden. Who could be a better choice for Barack's VP? Bring it on home Barack and Joe!

    August 25, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  22. mSmith

    I hate McCain because he is a Republican and he stands for everything I hate.

    I am a full pledge democrat but I hate Obama even more because I just don't trust him. I trust him like I trust Roland Martin...

    If he selected a VP that has 36 years of experience then he is truly admiting that he has no eperience. If this logic is true, then why are we voting for him.

    I am staying home this year but might vote for McCain (yuck!) because this will give Hillary a chance to come back in 4 years.

    Hillary 2012

    August 25, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  23. Obama Girl

    I am a fan of Hillary but I understand truly why she wasn't picked and I am not disappointed @ all with Biden. I think his attituide and style is main reason why Obama picked him. Obama stated that he wanted someone that would tell him the truth instead of what he wants to hear all the time and I think Biden is someone that woud do just that.

    I believe that this is a very strong & competitive ticket and hope them success in November!

    Obama/Biden 08'

    August 25, 2008 at 1:32 pm |
  24. Sandy, Arkansas

    The choice of Biden for Vice President was understandable. He is qualified, candid, has foreign relations experience, and blue collar roots. However, in helping the Democrats win the Presidency the best choice would have been Hillary Clinton who had those same attributes and the support of 16 to 18 million voters. I believe many Americans, and women in particular, see this as another case of a woman being passed over. Wouldn't it have been a remarkabe thing to see a ticket with the first black and a woman and have that ticket win!! Yes, that would have been the "Dream Ticket" Talk about making history! Maybe some people cannot share history breaking opportunities nor look past personality conflicts for the good of the party and the country. That takes maturity and good judgment and real change!

    August 25, 2008 at 1:28 pm |
  25. JC- Los Angeles

    As an undecided Independent, I actually thought Michelle Obama would select Wesley Clark to be her husband's VP.

    The reasoning being that Obama could frame his term in office as the President that was originally against the war and the President that ended the war.

    If nothing else, Obama would have one accomplishment for history; the selection of Biden suggests that Michelle was overruled and Obama has very little distinguishing leadership characteristics.

    Heading into the convention, Obama has failed to shake the Clintons and will come off as super light compared to Michelle, Biden, the Clintons and Ted Kennedy.

    August 25, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  26. suki

    Ms Sanchez – you are so wrong on many levels nad Roland once again you are my hero – The problem Obama is facing is the Clintons acting liked spoiled brats – Both of the Clintons should have graciously stepped aside and stopped carrying on like children on a playground who didn't get picked for the team – Hillary ran an awful campaign but feels she was unfairly treated and everyone should have just allowed her cornination to take place – well folks, the best man won and he selected the best man to run with him – I cannot fathom that anyone who supported Hilllary could support McCain – the issues that McCain stands for are in direct opposition to Hillary and Obama – this is not the time to act like petulant children – there is just too much at stake – it is now time for the Clinton's to grow up and support Obama

    August 25, 2008 at 1:04 pm |
  27. Judy

    Obama/Biden...straight talkers. Now, if they can keep from stooping to scare tactics like the Republicans and their candidate, maybe we can get down to some serious work that needs to be done in this country.

    August 25, 2008 at 12:48 pm |
  28. Sandra, Wadley Ga

    Bien Biden; I agree. He is good.

    August 25, 2008 at 12:41 pm |
  29. Barron Lacey

    Hi everyone! I just wanted to post something about how all of these women are complaining about Hilary Clinton. I dont see what the problem is. Obama beat Hillary fair and square. Now that Obama has picked Joe Biden as his VP running mate, Hillary Clinton women supporters are talking about how they will vote for John McCain which I think is the silliest thing they could do. I just want to say to all women who think this way: If Barack Obama loses the presidential race do to the fact that Hillary Clinton supporters are voting for John McCain. You Clinton supporters better beleive that if Hillary runs for president in 2012 or 2016 she will not have the support from the majority of African Americans which will cause another republican to be the leader of this country for the next 12 years. Clinton supporters need to think about what they are doing and what the consequences are. I love Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama but if Obama loses this race do to the bitterness of Clinton supporters, as a Obama supporter and proud African American I will not vote for Hillary if she was to run for president in the future. So all you whining Clinton supporters need to get over her defeat and unite with Obama so that he can begin the healing process for this country

    August 25, 2008 at 12:35 pm |
  30. Marion Alleman

    Too bad that Obama didn't have the foresight to choose Hillary for vp.
    My vote has gone to McCain, no matter who he chooses for VP. Joe Biden for CHANGE???.PLEASE. I don't believe there is anything that Hillary can say that will change many of her supporters point of view.
    I predict that he will lose many more votes than the Obama team believes. Obama did this to himself. I could have lived with Al Gore or

    August 25, 2008 at 12:30 pm |
  31. Cindy

    I think Biden goes against everything that Obama has swore he would change in politics and our government. So why did he pick him? It was only because of his foreign policy experience in my opinion. He wanted that to be taken off of the table so Reps couldn't use it any more. But in choosing Biden he has given them SO much more ammo to use! That may come back to bite him in the end.

    What happened to the "change" Obama was going to bring to our country!? In picking Biden he has gone with the same ole same ole. HMMM...I guess one more flip flop won't matter since he has done so many as of now!


    August 25, 2008 at 12:12 pm |
  32. PR

    If Biden is from Pennsylvania then Barrak Obama is from Hawaii.

    Joe Biden is 65 years old. He's been a U.S. Senator from Delaware since 1972 - more than half his life. I don't know which is the bigger disappointment: that the Democrats though they could get away with such a piece of transparent spin or that the media proved they in fact could.

    August 25, 2008 at 12:07 pm |