Some disconnected thoughts on the selection of our 47th vice president:
Who at the Obama campaign thought it would be a good idea to wake everyone up at 4:30 AM? Or did they assume that anyone who signed up to get the text message was already a supporter, so it didn't matter? Or, since they tend to think these things through, was this a subliminal message so that millions of half-asleep people would absorb "Obama-Biden" deeply into their subconscious?
[UPDATE: It has been pointed out that this was unacceptably east-coast-centric. Let me revise that to "Who at the Obama campaign thought it would be a good idea to wake everyone in the continental US up at times ranging from 1:30 to 4:30 AM?"]
Comparisons between Biden and the other VP hopefuls, both on who would be a better vice president and who would contribute more to the ticket's electoral prospects, are ultimately just educated speculation. But one thing is objectively true: Delaware has a Democratic governor. This means that the election of Biden, unlike many of the other senators whose names have appeared on short lists (e.g. Bayh, Dodd, Reed), won't result in the loss of a Democratic senator. (Yes, Delaware's governor is a lame duck, but in the event that a Republican wins, Biden can simply resign from the Senate before Gov. Minner leaves office.)
David Brooks is a concern troll. In Friday's column, he writes that he hopes Obama will pick Biden as his running mate. Now it is no secret that Brooks is a Republican. And there are two reasons why someone might have a preference for who the opposing party nominates: 1) They think they're less likely to get elected. (I must admit that I still find myself rooting for Mitt "Who let the dogs out?" Romney on the Republican side.) 2) (the more mature reason, I suppose) They think that, in the event they get elected, they're going to do a better job.
So it gives extreme pause when the first of Brooks's professed reasons for why he's rooting for Biden is that Biden will help Obama in "connecting with working-class voters". This is an electability issue that has nothing to do with Biden's fitness to be VP. There are three possibilities for what's going on here: 1) Brooks wants the Democratic ticket to win. (Not so likely.) 2) Brooks is being disingenuous, and singing the praises of a candidate who he thinks is more likely to lose. 3) Brooks is so much a creature of the Beltway media that he has completely forgotten the difference between electability and fitness for the job. I'm putting even money on 2 and 3.
I do remember the 1988 election (I saw "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy" on live TV), but (being 8 years old at the time) I guess I didn't start paying attention until after Biden was already out of the race. So my first memory of Biden was a few years later, when he was chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Clarence Thomas hearings, and portrayed by Kevin Nealon. Will SNL bring Nealon back now?