Ending weeks of speculation as to who would join Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama on the November ticket, the Obama campaign announced on Friday that Delaware Senator Joe Biden would be the vice presidential nominee.
Though supporters of Hillary Clinton had been holding out hope that the New York senator might make her way onto the ticket despite odds steeply stacked against her, Mr Obama opted to go with 65-year-old foreign policy expert Biden.
Just hours after news hit the press that the Obama camp hadn’t bothered to even vet Clinton for a possible seat on the ticket, The Associated Press reported Mr Biden would be Mr Obama’s choice for VP.
It is a decision that, according to The New York Times, fills in gaps in Mr Obama’s resume, rather than delivering a state, as many political pundits expected the Illinois senator to do.
The decision to name Mr Biden as his VP comes just days before Mr Obama heads to Denver for an essential part of his campaign—the four day Democratic National Convention, at which all eyes will be on whether Mr Obama can move Clinton supporters over to his side, rather than losing them to Republican challenger John McCain.
A recent USA Today poll suggested some 20-percent of Mrs Clinton’s supporters, primarily women, had switched their vote to Mr McCain after the New York senator lost the Democratic nomination.
Political pundits have suggested the VP could well decide whether Mr Obama will be able to woo enough of Mrs Clinton’s supporters over to his side to win the election.
Clinton supporters have suggested she is holding out for one of two options: A seat on the Supreme Court or a chance to run again in 2012.
Though Mr Biden isn’t near the same household name as Mrs Clinton, he has a rich history in White House politics. Mr Biden launched a failed run for the White House in 1988, where he infamously plaugerised a speech made by the then Leader of the British Labour party, Neil Kinnock. He tossed his name into the ring again this year.
Those inside the campaign say the choice of Mr Biden hits Senator McCain where it hurts. He is able to counter each of Mr McCain’s main criticisms. Mr Biden has a strong record on the war in Iraq and he able to add a few gray hairs to Mr Obama’s notably young campaign, the Chicago Tribune suggests.
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