Obama/Biden: Was it Double or Nothing on Change?

For this Biden can help Obama shore up the Democratic Older Voters, which he is still not doing as well as he should to win in November. Thus, sacrifice change.

Let’s be honest here. We either have change or not. This is not change, but it is a good ticket.
This Week With Barack Obama: This Week With ‘The Presumptive Democratic Nominee’ Barack Obama, August 17-23, 2008

I disagree with the above blogger’s sentiment. When we strongly support a candidate or position, we tend to believe that everyone else must support it too, and those who do not either lack vision and clarity or have a mental defect that prevents them from seeing the obvious.

After 8 years of an administration and a Congress led by a party incompetent in governance but quite able in political hackery, many of us are ready for a change. However, just being for change is not sufficient. You need to be able to actually effect change.

With that in mind, would one of the other shortlisted candidates have the experience and connections to advance Obama’s agenda in Congress? Is another fresh, up-and-coming politician, perhaps with a year or two themselves in Congress, perhaps as governor of some midwestern state, really necessary on the ticket? Is it just enough to be fresh and up-and-coming, even if you have an unrepentant view on Iraq which may clash with Obama’s stated position (Biden, for his part, voted for the war but as since admitted he was wrong on it)?

I don’t understand this notion that in order to continue to be the “change candidate”, Obama needed to double-down on the change ticket. The only power the VP has to set the administration’s political agenda is that which the President offers him. Beyond that, the VP is advisor and bullhorn for the president. So if you want to gauge Obama’s loyalty to an agenda of change, don’t measure so much by his choice of VP, but rather by how much of his own agenda he is willing to defer to the VP.

In closing, I offer this quote from Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power:

Everyone understands the need for change in the abstract, but on the day-to-day level people are creatures of habit. Too much innovation is traumatic, and will lead to revolt. If you are new to a position of power, or an outsider trying to build a power base, make a show of respecting the old way of doing things. If change is necessary, make it feel like a gentle improvement on the past.”

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