Let the Puns Begin


Just when you thought we had eclipsed Scalito and Billary, you get your choice of Joebama or Obiden. Whichever it is, the two seem like good complements in more than name.
But I’m curious to see how their takes on policy toward Pakistan will meld given their wide distance on the subject a year ago — Obama with his controversial speech deemed populist and impetuous in contrast with Biden’s plan that demonstrated the great study, nuance, and precision of a seasoned bureaucrat.
Still, I’d imagine they’ll blend better than Team McRomney (which sounds like a fast food chain restructured by Bain).
— Sameer Lalwani


21 comments on “Let the Puns Begin

  1. WigWag says:

    It seems that Joe Biden thinks McCain would be a good Vice President. Does this mean he also thinks McCain would be a good President?
    From the MSNBC transcript service
    “McCain urged to join Kerry ticket
    Biden says a joint ticket would help heal ‘vicious rift’ dividing U.S.
    Updated: 8:48 p.m. ET May 16, 2004
    WASHINGTON – Sen. Joseph Biden, a senior Democrat, on Sunday urged Republican Sen. John McCain to run for vice president with the Democratic hopeful, Sen. John Kerry, in order to heal the “vicious rift” dividing America.
    McCain, of Arizona, “categorically” ruled out standing with Kerry, but Biden, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he had no second choice.
    “I’m sticking with McCain,” Biden said.
    “I think John McCain would be a great candidate for vice president,” Biden, from Delaware, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where the two senators appeared together to take questions on Iraq and other subjects.”


  2. Mr.Murder says:

    We’ve already bombed and psyoped Iran.
    Biden is non plausible schtick, on his best day.
    Memo from DNC to Americans, especially Democrat voters:


  3. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Biden promised. if Bush “bombs Iran”, he would seek impeachment.
    So, bombing Iran merits impeachment, but the Iraq debacle, spying on Americans, torturing prisoners in our custody, ignoring Congressional subpoenas, lying to Congress and the American people about fabricated “threats”, etc, do not warrant impeachment?
    The only reason the “I word” came out of Biden’s mouth was because it pertained to a crime that had not already, and was unlikely to, occur. Biden got the benefit of acting like a bulldog, when there was actually very little risk of having to bite someone. If this thirty year fixture of the staus quo actually had some teeth, there is certainly plenty of impeachable acts that he could have actually ACTED UPON, rather then simply playing a Harry Reid, and grandstanding insincerely to the huddled masses.
    Biden personifies the status quo. That really says quite alot about what we can expect from Obama.
    Really, we should just throw up our hands and let McCain and Obama share the Oval Office, and skip this whole pathetic national opera that they are staging for us. Instead of tax rebates, they oughta just send us all a jar of vaseline.
    To hell with it, I think I’ll spend my day in Bakersfield, hanging some solid oak doors in the humble 2 million dollar abode of one of Central Valley’s oil barons. I wonder if he realizes some high school kid was just gunned down three blocks from his quaint little castle, the victim of gang terrorism. Or that it will cost me $80.00 in fuel to earn $300.00 wages, before taxes. Probably not, eh?
    Welcome to today, same as yeterday, same as tomorrow.
    Hooray, Joe Biden.


  4. questions says:

    Your 12:21 post is accurate. I hope, more than assume, that the Dem brand will be polished by this team. I assume that absent triangulating Dems, Rep. dominance in Congress, white pressure on race issues that there will be some pushback. Money will flow to money and power to power — that’s what capitalism is. But even with capitalism as the WIDELY embraced economic system, we have had pushbacks in the past. Obama’s healthcare ideas are pushback, some new version of banking regulation is pushback…. So there will be some pushback.
    But the Bush damage is deep into federal agencies, into the court system, into ideals of “low taxes” and this stuff will work itself through the system in a generation or so.
    Remember, people generally vote for the guy who promises LOWER taxes, LESS regulation, SIMPLER tax forms (if you have regular income, the forms are already simple….)– so until people stop buying these lines, there will be right-leaning pressure that makes it hard to be much of a reformer and still get reelected in order to continue the reforms.
    Biden is a dem, and he’s only the VP and the chief arguer I guess. He’s got a progressive record on some issues, even if not Delaware’s chief industry. But then it’s his job as senator to represent Delaware’s chief industry. That does count for something in my understanding of the world.


  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “The closing gala dinner on Monday night was attended by a who’s who of Washington’s A-list. At that event, AIPAC’s executive members — accompanied by music that was fit for a Hollywood superhero movie — read what they excitedly referred to as “the roll call” of those in attendance. It took 13 minutes and included the bulk of Congress, as well as high-ranking officials from the White House, the State Department and the National Security Council. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert — addressing the crowd via teleconference from Jerusalem — waded into America’s debate over Iraq in a manner that the Israeli leadership has avoided until now. He openly urged AIPAC delegates to push Congress to support the Bush administration’s current strategy in Iraq. In the few days since, Olmert has been sharply criticized by the Israeli press and other members of his own government. (Many in Israel believe that it is inappropriate for an Israeli head of state to try to overtly influence an American debate.)”
    “Much focus was on who will next sit in the Oval Office. Before and after the dinner, the presidential candidates and their colleagues from Congress schmoozed with the AIPAC delegates. Circulating through the crowd, Joe Biden made sure his presence was registered. “Hi, I’m Joe Biden!” he said repeatedly, adding several times, “I’ve been hanging out with AIPAC for years!”
    (Thirty years, to be exact. POA)


  6. questions says:

    The 9:06 a.m. latimes.com cover is Obama/Biden. Could you have pulled up a story that was readied just in case?
    If it is Kaine, somehow, then what a Repub operation that would be…. Texting everyone at 3 a.m. or whenever it was…. Hmmm. Major scheme.


  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “There’s not going to be a workers’ revolution. There will be gradual change”
    The “gradual change” that has occurred over decades is a worsening condition for middle America, less and less power to the people, the decline of the people’s ability to exact accountability, our world standing on the decline, and the corporatization of the Fourth Estate.
    Joe Biden has been a part of this “gradual change” now for thirty years. Please tell us exactly why you think Biden is now going to aid Obama in reversing this process.


  8. questions says:

    Dan Kervick,
    Incrementalism is, to my best understanding, about the only way things get done in DC. You need coalitions each member of which needs something in it for him/herself. No one ventures unless there’s gain. So having a guy who charms the press, having a guy who knows where all the skeletons are, who can put together votes and count them accurately, who knows Senate procedure deeply, who has some people owing him already — this is what there needs to be for governing. There’s not going to be a workers’ revolution. There will be gradual change. We won’t have overnight single payer insurance because too many people make too much money on the current system. What we will get is a gradual broadening of coverage. We won’t have huge jumps in anything because of entrenched interests.
    We can wish for BIG CHANGE, but we’re going to get incremental change. And, with all the policy stuff I read, I now think incrementalism makes a lot of sense — we can avoid huge mistakes by taking small steps; any change in policy causes a trade off in payers and beneficiaries, and so we need to be careful here too. Whether or not anyone takes this seriously, the fact is that a lot of people lose their jobs when, say, the entire insurance system is thrown out and replaced. Certainly justice will be better served in some areas (cancer patients, say,), but it will be worse served when all the actuaries, claims adjustors, nurses who read over requests, lose their jobs.
    Policy is the art of trade offs. It’s the dirty nitty gritty stuff you were referring to in the Rawls discussion. It’s not necessarily a place for radical change. Even though the lack of radical change slows the progress of justice, it’s the cost of having a system at all.
    All in all, I feel a lot less gloomy than you seem to on this one.
    (Read up on folic acid, neural tube defects and hemachromatosis to see what I mean about policy trade offs.)


  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And if you don’t think the whole shebang is totally fucked up, check out this LA Times article…..
    Today’s News
    Obama chooses Gov. Tim Kaine for VP slot
    By Johanna Neuman and Stuart Silverstein
    August 23, 2008
    Chicago – Barack Obama has chosen Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia as his vice presidential running mate, bringing to the ticket a politician who could reinforce Obama’s message of change but who also shares the drawback of inexperience.
    Obama’s decision – kept secret amid intense speculation as next week’s Democratic convention draws near – was announced via text messages and e-mails to supporters.
    Kaine, who took office in January 2006 and who previously was lieutenant governor and mayor of Richmond, grew up in the Kansas City area. Fluent in Spanish, he worked as a missionary in Honduras before graduating from Harvard Law School, where Obama also earned a degree.
    Together with the 47-year-old Obama, Kaine, 50, would give the Democrats the youngest presidential ticket since 1992, when 46-year-old Bill Clinton selected 44-year-old Al Gore as his running mate.
    The two appeared together at a campaign event Thursday in Virginia, a state that hasn’t gone Democratic in a presidential race since 1964, but which Obama is making a strong push to win.
    Kaine, a Roman Catholic and the son of an electrician, might also help Obama with blue-collar Catholic voters who formed a core constituency for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in her primary contest against Obama.
    In April 2007, Kaine was in Japan for an overseas trade mission when a former Virginia Tech student began shooting people on campus in a rampage that killed 32 before the gunman shot himself. Kaine flew home, winning praise for his handling of the deadliest shooting spree in modern U.S. history.
    His views on sensitive issues are sometimes nuanced. The governor has stated that he has a “faith-based opposition to abortion,” but does not think the Roe vs. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision should be overturned. He also has said he personally opposes same-sex marriage, but he opposed an amendment to the Virginia Constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
    Before heading to the Democratic convention in Denver, Obama and Kaine are expected to make a series of campaign trail appearances, including one Saturday in Springfield, Ill., where the Illinois senator launched his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination 18 months ago.
    In recent days, Obama was said to be focusing mainly on Kaine and Sens. Evan Bayh of Indiana and Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware.
    Going into the decision, Obama carried several vulnerabilities as a candidate. As a first-term U.S. senator, his legislative record is thin, and he has little experience in foreign policy or military affairs. Politically, Obama has yet to demonstrate deep strength among white working-class voters, a weakness that was exposed during his long battle with for the Democratic presidential nomination. He also has aimed to win over women voters and others who supported Clinton and who have yet to warm up to him. At the same time, Obama wanted to avoid diluting his appeal as a candidate of change and one who opposed, from the very beginning, the nation’s unpopular war in Iraq.
    Many political experts say a vice presidential pick plays only a small role in how voters cast their ballots. Yet in a contest where many polls show Obama with a narrow lead or in a dead heat with Republican John McCain, even a small boost – or drag – on the campaign could prove decisive.
    The announcement of Kaine’s selection caps a screening process managed in tight secrecy by Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the former president, and Eric Holder, a former U.S. deputy attorney general, since Obama clinched the delegates he needed for the Democratic nomination in June. The campaign tried to prevent any leak before electronically informing its network of supporters.
    Silverstein reported from Chicago and Neuman from Washington.


  10. Kathleen says:

    Until they put “None of the Above” on the ballot, the only way to register that is to vote for the minor party/independent candidate who closest meets your postions…I’m voting for Impeachment come Nov….
    Bring back a brokered Electoral College…Lift that bale, tote that barge boys… the job is all yours….


  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    For thirty years now Joe Biden has been a willing participant in the governmental machine that has accomplished bringing us to the current state of the union.
    Gee, how’s that worked out for us?
    I keep hearing on the news that Biden knows his way around the hallways of Washington, and “knows how things work”. Thats a good thing? Check out your morning newspaper, and go to the middle and back pages, where they hide all the really important stuff. Better yet, go on over to TPMuckraker, if you want to see “how things work” in Washington.
    “Change”, my ass. Both candidates have gone out of their way to pick advisors, and now, (at least on Obama’s side), running mates that portend anything but change. The two candidates that truly advocated for change were eliminated early on by the choreographers of this charade.
    Don’t pull your pants up, they aren’t through screwin’ us.


  12. Dan Kervick says:

    Yes, the wit is good. Biden is precisely that kind of backslapping, profane, good old boy, good with the ladies and always-available quote machine that seems to charm the pants off the old boy network in the Washington press corps. He’s like McCain; the kind of person they think of a straight shooter.
    I guess this choice is designed as a kind of campaign insurance policy taken out against another crisis like the Georgia crisis, possibly some Bush-engineered October surprise on McCain’s behalf. During these crises, at least in the contemporary era, people revert to a set of atavistic attitudes: gray hair is better than dark hair; veteran experience is better than rookie energy and talent; a certain clench-jawed, angry macho belligerence is better than sober intelligence and thoughtfulness. They want a guy who can appeal to popular prejudices and out-McCain McCain during an international flap.


  13. Arun says:

    Real genius will be to pinpoint McCain’s VP pick as well.


  14. Mr.Murder says:

    Joe Biden’s acerbic wit is goodf, he should host The Tonight Show.


  15. Dan Kervick says:

    Obama was never an outsider. No US Senator is an outsider. It’s just that he was a first term Senator as opposed to a second, third or fourth term Senator. Through the course of the campaign we have seen him ever more thoroughly integrated into the beltway system, as he has picked up advisers from all of the old gangs. He now surrounds himself with a circle of impressively conventional thinkers who have him safely insulated from any dangerously critical or insightful voices in the outside world. The Beltway Belt has been ringed and fastened around him, which means any real chance of markedly independent judgment or innovation has now gone by the boards.
    O’Biden are not neocons, which is good, so we can expect a return from free-swinging global radicalism to the usual blundering boob patrol of Washington pols. They’re not Bayh, Kristol and Lieberman. Biden was 76th out of his class at 85 at Syracuse Law School. Like John McCain, he represents that style of dumbass college party boy that the mainstream media seems so fond of.


  16. questions says:

    I think that in the dem debates, Biden showed himself able to control his tongue, to be witty, and to be knowledgable on issues. He’ll be able to attack with seriousness and humor as needed. He’s held lots and lots of Senate hearings. He’s traveled and met world leaders. He doesn’t um and ah when he talks (why is pausing in speech taken as ignorance instead of thought???) And best of all, he has a personal tragedy of his own that, though not military, might help counter McCain’s constant noun-verb-POWing. I think that this kind of emotional hitch, when not overplayed, is really, sadly, important to our “lizard brains” as that guy Rapaille goes on about.
    Also, read the article in the most recent print issue of American Prospect (Sept 08) on Obama’s taking over Gephardt’s and Daschle’s staff to gain insider experience while being an outsider. Really sharp on his part. My major doubt about Obama during the campaign has been that he lacks deep deep insider trading ability. This pick really deals with that concern, as does the main point of the article. He’ll wheel and deal as needed to get legislation going. I think this pick shows more of a concern for governing than for campaigning, and that may actually be pretty smart– IF he gets elected!


  17. Michael says:

    Thanks for your great reporting throughout the week, Steve.


  18. Pending Comment says:

    I remember when you started your so-called “surge of concern”
    about Evan Bayh here;
    And then you bravely predicted this:
    Your TWN fans congratulate you and appreciate your really hard
    work on all of this.


  19. Lurker says:

    Steve, you are owed some apologies by a lot of people that ripped
    into you when you went after Bayh and won, when you said that
    Wes Clark was being dissed by the DNC and you were right, and
    said quite a while back that the campaign had mostly decided on


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