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What Biden does for Obama
Obama's running mate adds experience, but does he reduce the chance of change?
B

arack Obama has just passed one of the most crucial tests for a presidential candidate, said the Los Angeles Times in an editorial. Anyone who hopes to occupy the White House needs to choose a running mate who would be able to “serve as president at a moment’s notice.” Obama’s selection of six-term Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware gives him an “impressive partner and president-in-waiting.”

Biden was hardly a “bold or inspiring” choice, said The Denver Post in an editorial. Obama’s campaign is supposed to be about change, but Biden is nothing if not a “Washington insider.” Hillary Clinton or Bill Richardson would have been bolder options and, unlike Biden, they could have given his sputtering campaign a jolt.

Obama clearly hoped that Biden, a foreign policy expert, would bring gravitas to his campaign, said The Washington Times in an editorial. But having such a “seasoned politician” by his side only calls attention to Obama’s “insecurity about his own credentials”—when Biden was himself a presidential hopeful, he wondered aloud about whether Obama was ready to lead.

There’s certainly no way anyone can complain about the foreign-policy chops of the Democratic ticket now, said Mark Penn, who was chief adviser to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, in The New York Times’ Campaign Stops blog. With Biden serving as a “high-level partner,” Obama has gone a long way toward overcoming “all questions about the readiness of his administration so that the voters can believe in the change he will bring.”

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