Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mr. October: Joe Biden Major Asset to Obama, Dems 

We've said it from the beginning, but let this excerpt from The Fix say it for us:

In response to a Fix inquiry about Biden's local coverage, David Wade, a spokesman for the vice president sent over scads of clips, a few of which are linked here.

"Joe Biden is getting the job done every day, and I guarantee Joe Biden will be Mr. October," added Wade. "He's a closer. He's the vice presidential nominee you want slugging it out in the late innings when proven campaign skills, intestinal fortitude, expertise, and experience matter most. In a big issue election where the small bore ghosts of elections past seem trivial, this is about substance not splash, steak not sizzle."

And, polling suggests that voters -- both nationally and in key battleground states -- like Biden and believe Obama made a solid choice in naming the Delaware senator as his running mate.

In polls conducted in Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin by Quinnipiac University for washingtonpost.com and the Wall Street Journal, Biden's favorable rating in each state was at least 11 points higher than his unfavorable rating. By comparison, Palin's favorable rating outstripped her unfavorable score by eight points in Colorado, 11 points in Michigan, 10 points in Minnesota and nine points in Wisconsin.

That same series of polls revealed that a majority (or close to it) in each state believed that Biden has been a "good choice" for vice president; Biden's best states were Colorado and Minnesota where 52 percent said he had been a good choice while Wisconsin was his worst with 47 percent saying he had been a good choice.

Nationally, too, Biden continues to poll well. In the Post/ABC News poll conducted earlier this month, 51 percent of the sample felt favorably toward Biden while 32 percent felt unfavorably. And, 54 percent said that Obama's pick of Biden made them "more confident" in the choices the Illinois senator would make as president while 39 percent said it made them less confident.

What gives? Biden appears to be a victim of circumstances beyond his control -- most notably the emergence of Palin as the co-nominee of her party and the resultant crush of press coverage.

Biden continues to fulfill the traditional role of a running mate; he is going to second and third tier media markets in the Rust Belt -- Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan -- bashing McCain and Palin and drawing positive press coverage in the process.

"I think when all is said and done, we will see that one of the candidates indeed picked a game-changer," predicted Democratic strategist Steve Bouchard. "The surprise is that the game changer is Joe Biden. Stabilizing, firm, experienced and unquestionably qualified."

That Biden's efforts are not breaking through to the national media have much more to do with the unique tandem campaign McCain and Palin are running than anything Biden is doing.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

McCain "Driving" American Economy Off the Road in More Ways Than One...