The Obama brand manages paradox well, a big asset with the RenGen.The campaign is both big and nimble. The tone is high-minded yet can-do. His choice Joe Biden extends this strength. Biden on the ticket fuses old with new, expert with visionary, insider with upstart. So far, so good. But there are five covert reasons why Obama tapping Biden for VP is good for the Obama brand:
1. Chicks dig him, especially Boomer chicks. Face it. There was no way Obama could choose a female other than Hillary. Who’d be more qualified? But as any politician wanting to stand out will tell you, when the Clintons enter a room, they steal focus. But the women who supported Hillary are passionate. Obama cannot win without them. Biden’s appeal among those supporters will be strong. He has supported women’s health and was a proponent of the Violence Against Women Act. Biden is also outspoken in ways that appeal to women. To wit, he knows how to land a blow gracefully, albeit forcefully. Oh, and if McCain chooses a female running mate Biden will be masterful. Because he is fundamentally a feminist, Biden will treat his opponent like a colleague, not a cream puff or a bitch. Women will dig that, too, especially since it’s so rare.
2. Biden is a planetary citizen. Obama lacks foreign affairs chops, but Biden’s got them. Biden neutralizes that issue by bringing years of experience chairing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
3. Biden is authentic. Yes, he’s older while Obama’s base skews much younger. But Biden has always taken positions based on his convictions. Authentic. And he has done so on live television, a lot! There will be plenty of footage available for loading and sharing around the web. Some of it will be favorable, and some will reveal Biden’s gaffs. Better still. The young RenGen who will get out and vote prefer a flawed but authentic product over a slickly manufactured one every time.
4. Biden talks the talk. Obama and Biden are orators. Both subscribe to the ancient Greek notion that oratory is a reflection of character. There is some truth to this old school approach to politics—consider the public speaking fiascos of George Bush and how they shamed Americans.
5. Biden IS an insider. This is the ultimate paradox his participation invokes. While RenGen voters are idealistic, they are also deeply cynical. They believe Hillary when she wags her finger warning that predators the likes of Karl Rove will sink their teeth into Obama and drag him down as in a Discovery Channel documentary. Biden knows how this works and has Obama’s back.