Obama’s choice of Joe Biden as VP is a choice not meant to inspire but to reassure.

I understand that. Still, I’m disappointed. Also sort of bored and slightly bewildered.

I get that I am not the target demographic for this selection. Black folk – that means you too. We are not really the folks whose concerns/fears the Obama campaign is trying to assuage. I knew the selection was likely to be a white guy with white hair. I was ready for that. I guess I was hoping possibly for a popular governor from a southern or western state, though which one I couldn’t have said.

I really like Obama’s message of change and hope. And I’m going to work as hard as I can to elect him in November.  Yet, is selecting a guy who’s been in office since 1973 and voted for the Iraq War meant to represent change? I’m looking forward to Springfield IL today to hear from Obama himself — Why Biden?

On the plus side, I did appreciate what Biden had to say about Darfur and Sudan during the primary debates. In watching him, I said to myself, “wow, here’s a guy who really gets it.”

Here’s what CNN had to say at the time (Jun 2007 – can you believe this has been going on that long?):

Biden was especially forceful in his answers on troop funding and on the conflict in Sudan’s Darfur province. He was the only candidate in Sunday’s debate who said he supported military intervention in Darfur. He advocated imposing a no-fly zone over the region and sending in 2,500 NATO peacekeepers to stop the killings.

“I went there. I sat in the borders. I went in those camps. They’re going to have thousands and thousands and thousands of people die. We’ve got to stop talking and act,” Biden said of the conflict.

I haven’t been to the camps but I agree and not just because genocide should not be tolerated. History has shown that genocidal regimes tend to be aggressive toward their neighbors and spread instability along with human suffering. We also have a strong national interest in pushing back on the criminals running the Sudanese government who happen to be pretty cozy with most of the world’s most vicious terrorists including Al Qaeda. In the past, Sudan is where Al Qaeda is known to have kept its gold reserves.

That’s change I can believe in — not mouthing the words “genocide” but having the moral certitude and strategic confidence to advocate taking strong action against it. So if I can get more of this Joe Biden and less “Archie Bunker” among some of the euphemisms I’ve heard, I’ll take it.

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