Advantage McCain

Texting the Biden decision is like launching Twitter via snail mail. Rancid old wine in a fancy new bottle. It reveals the intellectual emptiness at the heart of the "change" brand. Biden brings nothing to the ticket except all the insider verbosity/pomposity that irritates most Americans. Thus Biden's dismal performance in the primaries. Thus his also-ran persona and reputation.

Biden is nothing more than a second tier candidate for Secretary of State. If, as I still expect, Obama is elected, who is going to run American foreign policy? Heavyweights like Holbrooke or even Dennis Ross is not going to put up with an interfering, all-knowing Biden (who actually knows less than them).

The boy Obama and his brand managers have panicked into picking a foreign affairs expert VP when the economy will determine the election. Why oh why did they not even look at Hillary, the most accomplished domestic policy expert in the Democratic party? And if not Hillary, then focus on a businessman (Bloomberg?) who is an expert on the economy. And if, indeed, they are right and Americans will have Georgia on their mind when they cast their ballots in November, then why not go for Chuck Hagel, who would have been an intriguing option for the change message?

Advantage McCain. Now he's got a week or two to think through his options. As I predicted on Thursday, the Biden pick now makes the Lieberman option look mighty attractive. On the one hand, Lieberman neutralizes Biden in terms of expertise in foreign affairs; on the other, his liberal social policy makes a McCain/Lieberman ticket more radical than Obama/Biden. The Christian right can suck on their wafers (or whatever it is that makes them feel closer to you-know-Who) -- but McCain might now be able to escape the destructive influence of the church and emerge as a pro-change yet centrist Judeo-Christian candidate.

Obama-guy Steve Gillmor notes on Techcrunch this morning that social media is failing to change politics. That's because social media isn't, in itself, radical -- it's just technology. Change comes through legislative reform, not through mass text-messaging. Obama has flunked his first big test. But this election is going to be determined by failure rather than success. So he better hope that McCain makes an equally conservative VP choice.