So, Why Joe Biden?
Don't get me wrong, whomever the Democratic nominee for President is, there is a pretty solid chance I will be voting for him or her (although, I had considered a Rudy Giuliani vote until he started sucking up to the religious zealots of the Republican Party).
I am a huge supporter of Bill Clinton (perhaps it is because it was for him that I cast my first vote). However, Hillary Clinton has yet to impress me with either her speaking skills or her ideals. Is it her vote for the War in Iraq? Not really, since even Joe Biden voted for the Iraq War Resolution. Perhaps it is the feeling that twenty years is long enough for two families to dominate the Presidency. Perhaps it is an even more politically calculated feeling that tells me there are large segments of the population that have already developed an opinion of her and there isn't much she will be able to do that will sway their vote (I really don't want to live four more years under a Republican President!).
Barack Obama seems to be a fresh face with a lot of potential. His speech at the Democratic Convention in 2004 (Part 2) was one of the most awe inspiring speeches I have had the pleasure of witnessing. Yet, his utter lack of experience scares the hell out of me (remember, this President didn't have much experience either when he took the office and he has screwed things up almost beyond recognition). As the campaign becomes more and more about policy and less about pure personality I fear he will get hammered for this lack of experience. The Republicans will be more than happy to label him as another weak Democrat but this time will get to top it off with the lack of experience tag.
As for John Edwards, I simply cannot bring myself to support a guy who was part of the weak kneed colossal failure that was the John-John ticket of 2004. His views are wonderfully progressive and one would hope a Democratic nominee will take up his cause against poverty but it simply cannot be him.
But WHY Joe Biden?
First, Senator Biden is as strong a Union (A 91% rating from the NEA and a 100% rating from the AFL-CIO) supporter as any one could possibly be. As an educator I am always concerned about the tactics used by many Republicans that work tirelessly to chip away and eventually abolish the teachers unions that provide the relatively meager wage I currently enjoy.
Second, and far less calculated, is the sense of the man. When I see and listen to Joe Biden I see a man I would be proud to call my President. While others may disagree, I see a father figure or amusing uncle that always seems to have a bit of advice (probably good) to impart to you. I see a man of strength that Republicans would have a hard time portraying as a weak liberal as they are prone to do. This strength is evident in his passion, his eloquence, and yes, even in his loquaciousness!
Third, and very much related to the second, is his solution for the debacle that it is this Administrations handling of the war in Iraq. He cannot be pinned with the label of offering no plan for success because his plan is apparent and has even been parroted by at least one of the Republican hopefuls. The creation of a Federal System in Iraq may be the only way to quell sectarian violence at the same time keeping the country from breaking apart or falling into utter anarchy. As of right now it is the main thrust of my support for Joe Biden as I have yet to hear anything more than "stay the course" from this Administration (which, by the way, is not a solution!) and what appears to many as a pullout without a contingency for cleaning up the mess we created from the Democrats.
So, what to do about supporting a guy with little chance for success in becoming President in 2008? Well, Joe Biden for Secretary of State!
From the Biden for President Website:
A Five Point Plan for Iraq
1. Establish One Iraq, with Three Regions
- Federalize Iraq in accordance with its constitution by establishing three largely autonomous regions - Shiite, Sunni and Kurd -- with a strong but limited central government in Baghdad
- Put the central government in charge of truly common interests: border defense, foreign policy, oil production and revenues
- Form regional governments -- Kurd, Sunni and Shiite -- responsible for administering their own regions
- Gain agreement for the federal solution from the Sunni Arabs by guaranteeing them 20 percent of all present and future oil revenues -- an amount roughly proportional to their size -- which would make their region economically viable
- Empower the central government to set national oil policy and distribute the revenues, which would attract needed foreign investment and reinforce each community's interest in keeping Iraq intact and protecting the oil infrastructure
- Convene with the U.N. a regional security conference where Iraq's neighbors, including Iran, pledge to support Iraq's power sharing agreement and respect Iraq's borders
- Engage Iraq's neighbors directly to overcome their suspicions and focus their efforts on stabilizing Iraq, not undermining it
- Create a standing Contact Group, to include the major powers, that would engage Iraq's neighbors and enforce their commitments
- Direct U.S. military commanders to develop a plan to withdraw and re-deploy almost all U.S. forces from Iraq by the end of 2007
- Maintain in or near Iraq a small residual force -- perhaps 20,000 troops -- to strike any concentration of terrorists, help keep Iraq's neighbors honest and train its security forces
- Provide more reconstruction assistance, conditioned on the protection of minority and women's rights and the establishment of a jobs program to give Iraqi youth an alternative to the militia and criminal gangs
- Insist that other countries take the lead in funding reconstruction by making good on old commitments and providing new ones -- especially the oil-rich Arab Gulf countries