Home / International / Opinion Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
Selection of Biden brings Obama strength and risks
Adjust font size:

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's selection of Senator Joe Biden as his running mate would shore up his inexperience in foreign policy and defense, but synchronously carry risks of undermining his image as an agent of change.

In a move aimed at balancing his ticket with a congressional veteran well-versed in foreign and defense issues, areas labeled as weak by his Republican opponents, Obama is expecting the 65-year-old six-term Senator to invest his decades of experience in handling national security and global politics into the presidential campaign.

According to U.S. media statistics, Biden was widely considered as a veteran of credentials in foreign policy and security as he has traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan twice, respectively, as well as eight times to Iraq, three central battlegrounds of the U.S. anti-terror war.

Serving in the Capitol Hill as long as Republican presidential candidate John McCain, Biden was considered a "weapon" as a Washington insider to defend Obama from being attacked by the rival.

"He knows McCain better than anyone else. He intimidates McCain more than anyone else," said Biden's aid Celinda Lake. "He can call McCain out better than anyone else on some of his position."

In addition, coming from a Catholic family with blue-collar roots, he could help Obama win more voters sharing the same background, a weak area for Obama.

His personal compelling story that his ex-wife and baby daughter died in a car accident when he was just sworn to the Senate and spent the following five years to take care of the other two sons alone will also lend a hand to help Obama woo more senior and women voters.

Political analysts said Biden, as a liberal Democrat, was popular and influential among the party fellows, and has also reached many bipartisan deals, leaving him very few political enemies.

Technically, Biden is capable of campaigning, debating and delivering speech since he has been tested by six successful congressional elections and twice failed presidential primaries.

"He would bring to any administration a tremendous credibility and talent," said Richard Holbrooke, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to the Politico website. "He knows the world leaders, he knows the Congress, he knows the issues and he passes the first test."

However, Obama's choice also carried some risks.

Biden's experience in foreign policies and national security is a two-blade sword that can invite more doubts on Obama's capability in the areas. It is undeniable that the November elections would be centered on presidential candidates not their running mates.

Biden's 30 years of immersion in Washington can be taken to undercut Obama's image as an agent of change, who has vowed to abandon old politics practiced in the Capitol Hill and the White House for years, analysts say.

According to a report by News Week, Biden was known as a person who did not always think before talk and was sometimes obsessed by his own talks, leaving it in doubt whether he can work under Obama's arms.

It is foreseeable that the newly-named vice presidential candidate would face questions about his vote for the launching of the Iraq War at the first place that Obama has been always opposed, and his strong criticism on Obama during the Democratic primary earlier this year.

Before he is officially announced as Obama's running mate on Aug. 28, the last night of the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, Biden has to face the first test later Saturday when he, for the first time, stands side by side with Obama in a debut campaign rally.

(Xinhua News Agency August 25, 2008)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
- Obama officially introduces his running mate
- Poll: Obama's lead over McCain declines by half
- Obama supports Clinton's place on nomination ballot
- Rice: US 'will be fine' if Obama elected
- More voters think it 'riskier' to elect Obama than McCain
- Clinton to campaign for Obama in Nevada, Florida
- Obama to urge use of oil reserve to lower gasoline price
- Obama gains in poll rating after overseas trip
Most Viewed >>
- Notting Hill Carnival draws tens of thousands in London
- 1st Xinjiang Int'l Folk Dance Festival concludes
- Iraq, US eye troops withdrawal by end of 2011
- Princess Anne visits Save the Children China Program
- World translators' congress closes in Shanghai
> Korean Nuclear Talks
> Reconstruction of Iraq
> Middle East Peace Process
> Iran Nuclear Issue
> 6th SCO Summit Meeting
- China Development Gateway
- Foreign Ministry
- Network of East Asian Think-Tanks
- China-EU Association
- China-Africa Business Council
- China Foreign Affairs University
- University of International Relations
- Institute of World Economics & Politics
- Institute of Russian, East European & Central Asian Studies
- Institute of West Asian & African Studies
- Institute of Latin American Studies
- Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies
- Institute of Japanese Studies