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In 2008, Barack Obama chose Joe Biden, then Delaware Senator, as his Vice Presidential running mate.
During the last few years, the world has become too used to his gaffes, stumbles and foot-in-mouth moments. Many expected Obama to nominate a replacement for his 2012 run. That has not happened. Why? That is the one word in many minds right now.
Let us look back to the man Joe Biden. Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1972 at the age of 29. He was re-elected to the Senate six times, was the fourth most senior senator at the time of his resignation in 2009 as well as the 15th-longest serving Senator in history.
He unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 and 2008, dropping out early in the race both the times. Biden has also served as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee several times and has a strong hold on foreign policy matters.
When Obama picked Biden it showed that he and his administration intended to make the most of his abilities in foreign policy matters that were bound to be the main point in the coming years.
Apart from his strong background in foreign policy matters, he has some seriously redeeming points.
He is a veteran of the senate with more than 30 years of experience backing him, knows almost every one worth knowing in Washington and has a great deal of influence as well. He has great negotiating skills that Obama has benefited from time and again. Biden has also played a leading role with the health care reform, as well as the withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan among other crucial issues. He was no less than the main guiding light when it came to smoothing things over between the White House and the Catholic Church over birth control. His speech at the DNC was another example of his merits.
Biden is also the person who has set the mood as well as momentum for the re-election campaign when with his no-less-than historic trip to a Toledo, Ohio, with his leg on a stool, and challenging Romney.
And yes, Biden was the first to point Romney’s Swiss accounts.
Yes, he stumbles, puts his foot in his mouth often enough with his gaffes, and makes people cringe. But he is a veteran with experience and some pretty redeeming political tricks up his sleeve that an inexperienced Obama needed back in 2008 and still needs now. In that Obama did well in selecting Biden as his running mate.
No doubt, he gained much from his choice and came a long way in making his presidency work.
Obama may have thought of replacing him in his 2012 run. He would have managed to as well if he could have Hillary Clinton stepping in Biden’s shoes. He had no better choice and indeed the only viable alternate.
However, Hillary declined. Exhausted no doubt by her duties as Secretary of State (her duties definitely surpass any of her predecessor’s indeed – just see the amount of traveling she has to undertake!) She needs to slow down and concentrate for her own presidential bid in 2016.
Indeed here onwards, all her and Bill Clinton’s energies will be aimed at getting a place for her in the White House 4 years from now. Under the circumstances, Biden it is. And a Biden who despite all the stumbles has served his president well.