As I’ve written before I’m favorably disposed to Sen. Barack Obama’s tapping of Delaware Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate in the 2008 presidential election and, indeed, think that he’s a pretty good choice. However, there is one distinct problem with Sen. Biden that I’m sure can’t be lost on the Obama campaign.
The Obama campaign has benefited, particularly in the primaries, by Sen. Obama’s lack of a record. He’s been a tabula rasa on which optimistic Democrats have been able to write their hopes and dreams. Sen. Biden on the other hand has a record and I expect that it will be attacked mercilessly with the primary thrust being to question Sen. Obama’s judgement, the linchpin of his campaign.
Based on what we’ve seen in the campaign so far I think I know how this is likely to turn out and it probably won’t be pretty.
I don’t think Obama’s judgment will be the issue. That was the play in stage one. Now I think we’ll move to a straight-up future vs. past contrast. Smart, cool, new kid against heroic, emotional old guy.
Reagan managed to win his first race by seeming to be about the future despite his age. McCain doesn’t have those moves.
If, as I suspect, at least the Republican side of the campaign is based on marketing methods, FUD will be the keys: fear, uncertainty, and doubt.
If McCain attempts to make the election solely about the past, he’ll lose. Historically, the candidate best able to paint a rosy and optimistic picture of the U. S. and its future has won.