From across the pond – So, it’s Biden after all.

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Good morning! So, Joe Biden will be Obama’s running mate. I was not surprised when I checked my e-mail, it was more like an “as expected”-feeling and I think it was a good choice. When covering the primaries I felt Biden was a sensible, reasonable, down-to earth, and witty man. I felt comfortable with what he had to say, never mind I didn’t agree with all he said. He lacked the sparkle that surrounded Obama at that point and the power-hungry attitude I always associated with Hillary Clinton. The only other VP I would have been really comfortable with, would have been Chuck Hagel, but that was too much to ask for. The others I did not really know anything about, which can be forgiven coming from an outsider like me, I think.

So this is a rather conservative choice again, which brings me back to my opinion, that Obama is no way the radical progressive many of us would really want him to be. We have a word for politicians and voters like Obama over here: Wertkonservativ. Meaning conservative in his/her values. A brand of conservatism which does not rule out progressive change at all, but change is rooted in the mostly ethical values-make-up of the politician’s personality. I can live with that when it comes to Obama and I am happy with the middle-class upbringing and focus of Joe Biden.

But that is only my 5¢ for all that it’s worth. I give you the first reactions of some of the the British press below.

The Guardian already has an opinion:

Biden is steady. He acquitted himself well in his brief presidential run. The run flamed out quickly, but even so, he did well in debates, he seemed intelligent and witty (and he is in fact both of those things) and he got off some nice zingers, like that line about every sentence uttered by Rudy Giuliani consisting of “subject, verb, 9-11.” (read more)

and Oliver Burkeman has Joe Biden’s Greatest Hits for you, because

In a monstrous violation of the laws of modern politics, the Obama campaign appears to have chosen, in Joe Biden, a vice-presidential candidate whose public pronouncements are occasionally actually amusing, and occasionally actually reflect what he’s thinking

The Times

Although the 36 years Mr Biden has spent in the Senate – during which he controversially voted for the Iraq war – might appear to be at odds with Mr Obama’s promise of a “new politics” that changes Washington, the Democratic nominee is said to have been impressed by his running mate’s straight talking loyalty and ability to “get things done”. (read more)

The Independent

Gaffe-prone Mr Biden is known for being talkative and is prone to making statements which get him in to trouble.

Last year, as a Democratic presidential hopeful, he said Mr Obama was “not yet ready” for the presidency, a remark which will now be seized upon by the Republican attack machine ahead of the general election on November 4. (read more)

The Telegraph is not prepared to forgive Biden in a hurry for borrowing a speech from Neil Kinnock back in 1987.

Despite an imperfect political record (he was once caught out for plagiarising Neil Kinnock), he adds the gravitas of a senior statesman to the youth – and inexperience – of Mr Obama.

Foreign policy nous is a particularly welcome addition to the party’s ticket: the Republican candidate Senator John McCain has repeatedly compared his own credentials in foreign affairs and national security to those of his opponent. (read more)

The Economist

Mr Biden’s other big advantage to Mr Obama is that he hails from middle-American stock. This will help Mr Obama tackle his other perceived great weakness: his inability to appeal to the white working-close voter. Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania (though he mostly grew up in the suburbs of Wilmington, Delaware) as the son of a car salesman, Mr Biden hails from solid Irish Catholic stock. Catholics are a vital voting block in some of America’s most crucial swing states, such as Ohio and Pennsylvania. The sort of people who are alarmed by Mr Obama’s complex background ought to be reassured by Mr Biden’s much more conventional one. This may more than compensate for Mr Biden’s inability to help swing a useful home state: Delaware has voted Democratic since 1996, and carries only three electoral college votes. (read more)

In another article The Economist gets as close as they’ll ever gonna get to endorsing Obama. Despite slapping him around a goodish bit in the article, they still feel

[And] policies are by no means the whole story of an American election: character and leadership matter greatly, too. Mr Obama is an impressive nominee with the potential to be a fine president. (read more)

Most interesting: The Economist doesn’t write that much about McCain at all.

I wish you all a good day, enjoy reading and have a good start into your weekend!

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