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« Clinton: Obama "Ready To Be President" | Blog Home Page | Strategy Memo: History Repeating? »

Biden Accepts Veep Nod

He's been a senator for thirty-six years. He's chaired two of the most powerful committees in the upper chamber. And he can't stop talking about his father's old sayings. Tonight, Joe Biden accepted the Democratic vice presidential nomination.

Biden is already skilled at the two roles of a vice presidential nominee, lavishing praise on the man at the top of the ticket while savaging John McCain, even though Biden maintains he and the Arizona Senator are friends beyond politics.

From what Biden called proposals for irresponsible tax cuts to McCain's positions on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, Biden maintained McCain offers a continuation. "That's not change, that's more of the same," he repeated. "Again and again, John McCain has been wrong, and Barack Obama's been right."

When one is as verbose as Biden, the inevitable slip-up is bound to happen. Biden committed what he called a "Freudian slip" during his speech, at one point calling John McCain "George" while comparing him to President Bush.

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden brings a gravitas on international issues few aside from McCain can match. He spent much of his introduction to the Democratic convention on those issues, citing his recent experience with the conflict between Georgia and Russia. "Remember when the world used to trust us?" Biden asked. "When Barack Obama's our president, they'll look at us again, they'll trust us again."

Born and raised in working class Scranton, Pennsylvania, Biden will use his background to help Barack Obama connect with so-called Reagan Democrats, a group among whom Obama struggled during the primaries.

Biden's personal story is touching as well. Just after his election to the Senate, Biden's wife and daughter were killed in a car accident, while his two sons were severely wounded. Biden took his first oath of office in his sons' hospital room, one of those sons, Beau Biden, told the convention when introducing his father.

That tragedy spurred an above-and-beyond commitment to his surviving family. Biden and others make constant mention of his devotion to taking the train from Washington back to his home in Wilmington on an almost nightly basis.

Obama made a surprise appearance on stage to give the convention a look at the Democratic ticket in person. The Illinois senator, who was formally nominated as Democrats' presidential nominee earlier today, thanked each evening's major speakers, including his wife, former rival Hillary Clinton and husband Bill Clinton.