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Posted by on Aug 24, 2008 in Politics | 2 comments

Three Hours and the Revenge of Sinbad

Three hours. As predicted, it didn’t take long for Team McCain to seize on the selection of Joe Biden like a pride of lions identifying the slowest wildebeest in the herd. OK… we knew it wasn’t going to be very long, but you have to admit that three hours is pretty quick off the starting blocks.

Just three hours after the Obama campaign sent out its text announcement, the McCain campaign rolled out its first ad this morning, using Senator Joe Biden’s own words during the primary season about Senator Barack Obama.

From a debate in 2007, a clip shows Mr. Biden standing next to Mr. Obama. George Stephanopoulos of ABC News queried Mr. Biden: “You were asked, “Is he ready?” You said, ‘I think he can be ready but right now, I don’t believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training.’”

Mr. Biden: “I think that I stand by the statement.”

The whole thing is just tailor-made for repeating segments on CNN Headline News every time they hit a slow news day. When you add in, “I would be honored to run with or against John McCain, because I think the country would be better off,” well, you’ve got yourself some ratings gold.

But it’s a done deal now, so let’s press on bravely. In other news, William Kristol (yes… that William Kristol) seems to be looking to stir the pot with Hillary Clinton’s supporters in the wake of the Biden announcement. Understandable, I suppose. If you’re looking to get John McCain elected, the longer you can keep the PUMA crowd up on their hind legs, the better off you are. But even for someone looking to inspire malcontents, Kristol may have dipped a bit too far into the well when he actually said, (and others managed to repeat with a straight face):

Biden and Hillary have basically comparable foreign policy “experience” (such as it is in either case). Nor is Biden clearly more knowledgeable in foreign affairs than Hillary.

Ah, only during an election cycle like this could someone get away with a pair of lines like that while not working for The Onion. I saw a more reasoned response to this than the jag I was initially heading toward from a commenter over at Balloon Juice.

Biden has been either the ranking member or the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee since 1997. Kristol’s dismissive “such as it is in either case” suggests that, for him, the true measure of foreign affairs expertise is whether or not one has been held captive by foreigners.

The only problem here is that the commenter is drawing a comparison between Biden and McCain, rather than setting Biden against Hillary. While I didn’t feel that Biden was a smart pick from a political perspective, it’s hard to argue about his many years of service on the Foreign Relations Committee, plus his frequent travels to hotspots around the globe, meetings with foreign leaders, etc. I’m not sure exactly what Kristol is finding in Hillary’s “extensive” resume in elected office to put up against that, unless it was one of our nation’s finest hours when she stormed the beaches of Tuzla alongside Chelsea and Medal of Honor recipient Sinbad.

The Dem convention kicks off this week, but for now it’s looking to be a slow news day. The Biden announcement will almost certainly eat up all of the news cycle, so I think I’ll go for a nice long walk with the basset hound. Later in the afternoon, however, I’m supposed to be interviewing Silverio “Silver” Salazar, so perhaps I’ll be able to brighten up your evening with a rundown of that.

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