Plus Ca Change . . . Ladies and Gentlemen, I Give You The Senator From Visa And Mastercard !!

The activist assessment of Biden as VP choice: it clouds Obama’s change meme.

How Biden the actual man is positioned will be interesting. The campaign pushes his substantive debating skills and relationships internationally . A kindly Cardinal? The stabilizing elder voice is a familiar message for American voters from Colin Powell to Cheney.

Cheney created the most powerful OVP Americans can remember. Will he inherit that momentum? Personalities can mean far more than org charts in politics. Will Obama make a clean break and roll back OVP? The progressive blogosphere’s obsession with Biden’s Working Stiff in the end is a triviality. How would he actually function with and for Obama?

We won’t know until after America chooses.


  1. Dr Leo Strauss says

    The Duce did in fact think the Corporal an uncouth upstart. It wasn’t until it was obvious that France was going to fall that he really jumped on board, Triparte Pact aside. Witness his role regarding Austria and the Anschluss.

    The affection largely one way. The Corporal expounding what a great man the Duce was. There is no question the Corporal was overawed by his visit to Rome, politically and more importantly, culturally. It is doubtful even if the Duce had the means to do so he would have even thought to sens a version of his Skorzeny to rescue a betrayed Corporal. Yet the entire German North African campaign and then the Greek fiasco were born of the Duce’s fantasy of rebuilding mare nostrum.

    This comment is perhaps not the place to take down Pat’s convoluted mish mash. Pat as a Counter Enlightenment stooge is perfect in so many ways. Just like some of his predecessors in Vienna, he has absorbed little bits of intellectual flotsam and jetsam and cobbled together what looks like a cogent critique to his vacant interlocutors. It looks like insight and wisdom because his audience is so ignorant.

    In his life story, it is a shame he entered politics so late when his life energies are already spent and the times out of sync. Timing is all. His 1992 convention speech would reverberate with galvanizing power today. Ride to sound of gunfire, etc. Unlike Duce or the Corporal, however, Pat has no sense of seduction and aesthetics: a combative functionary useful for initial AgitProp and limited street combat instincts — later to be discarded or relegated to a powerless, insignificant fiefdom.

    But back to Duce — there is this great line I think we teased out a bit at STSOZ 1.0 about the Italian 8th Army at Stalingrad. Count Ciano (never trusted by the Corporal as a non-fascist and hated nobility etc.) is visiting Rastenburg:

    Ciano: Were there heavy [Italian] casualties?

    German officer: Why none at all, they never stopped running.

    All this Irving-esque revisionism has been done before by Pat’s betters.

  2. Comment says

    “Thus, over the fate of an Abyssinian slave empire, Britain drove her faithful World War I ally into the arms of a Nazi dictator Mussolini loathed and had wished to confront beside Britain. And Abyssinia was overrun.

    Are we making the same mistake in the Caucasus? ”


    Pat makes it sound so simple – he loves making allusions to this Stresa front of his. But if he wants to make it into a musical he should have Mussolini at the Piano singing to Hitler ” …. you made me love you … didn’t wanna do it … didn’t wanna do it …”

  3. DrLeoStrauss says

    Gen. Odom funeral service notice:


    Services for Lt. General William E. Odom will be held Monday, September 8th, at 11:00 a.m. in Memorial Chapel at Ft. Myer, Virginia (see map attached). Parking is available a few minutes walk from the chapel.

    At the conclusion of the funeral, there will be a caisson procession to the gravesite. Mourners may travel by car.

    Following the gravesite ceremony, a reception will be held in the Ft. Myer’s Officers Club, 214 Jackson Avenue, phone 703-243-3113 (map attached). Please RSVP to if you plan to attend the reception.

    Your name will be included on a list for admission to Ft. Myer should you wish to attend the commemoration for General Odom. A valid driver’s license or official Department of Defense photo ID is required (see the attached detailing “proper identification” requirements). If you know of others who wish to be present, please direct them to contact Diane Reed at for inclusion on this list.

    For planning purposes, please take into consideration security procedures at the gate which may result in a delay in gaining access to the post.

    In lieu of flowers, and for those wishing to do so, the family suggests a donation be made in General Odom’s memory to the National Symphony Orchestra. The NSO contact person is Jeannine Smith, NSO Circle Membership, P. O. Box 10510, Arlington, VA 22210; telephone 202-416-8072; e-mail

    Thank you.”

  4. Aldershot says

    Doc, I feel your pain. I watched MSNBC, mostly, for the panel. It’s to the point I can’t abide Olbermann. They must have gotten the short straw…between CNN and Fox, they were the only ones to run the Pelosi speech. Maybe I’ll be high-minded tonight and watch PBS.

    Comment, I only watched Michelle for couple minutes to ascertain that she was hitting the right note, and from what I saw and heard, she hit it out of the park. Charming and effective. As Tweets keenly noted, ‘she reached the reachable.’

  5. DrLeoStrauss says

    At the risk of letting readers down, we cried in pain and turned the TV off when The Beard was explaining only CNN was on the convention floor and able to capture Donna Brazile and Paul Begala awkwardly dancing to a Holiday Inn Lounge Band on stage.

    We’ll tune in tonight. Maybe. Unless TNT or USA has a good re-run of a re-run.

  6. Anon says

    We missed the Michelle Obama speech – so we checked out Sulliven’s blog to read his typical even keeled take on things so as to get an unbiased take;

    “One of the best, most moving, intimate, rousing, humble, and beautiful speeches I’ve heard from a convention platform. Maybe she should be running for president. You don’t need any commentary from me. This was a home-run. And sincere. Thank God …”

    He Sounds a bit like one of those characters in the Manchurian Candidate vouching for fellow brainwashee Raymond Shaw.

  7. DrLeoStrauss says

    If Microsoft has to hire Jerry Seinfeld to market Windows with Bill Gates and spend $300 MM this Fall explaining why Windows doesn’t suck, anything is possible.

    It’s always easier to water down a brand and expand its appeal and target audience than to shift a brand upscale.
    The South Koreans have been amazing at it, although it took them 20 years re Samsung, etc.

    Barrack America is the first of Joe’s many gifts.

  8. Aldershot says

    4-8 years of the loquacious, overbearing Biden will drive logical, analytical Obama to distraction.

  9. Aldershot says

    Today on Hardball, Buchanan said if Obama can’t handle Bill stopping by for lunch in the White House, how can he handle Putin…and Matthews replied that Bill might be trickier…followed by hearty laughter all around.

    I think Pat is probably right, though…Hillary was the clear-eyed choice.

  10. Aldershot says

    I think if anyone is going to force an error, it will be McCain. He may not know what borders Iraq, but I suspect he has smarts enough to just sit back and wait for Biden to trip over his own tongue.

  11. Anon says

    Deyfus also thinks Biden might be an accidental hero

  12. Anon says

    Arguably Biden (like Chalabi (though w/lower IQ)) is a hero in error – As the article notes – many Iraqis buried their hatreds over disgust w/ Biden plan

  13. Comment says

    “when I came down from University” har – That’s just a product of his insecurity – Hopefully he has overcome that – If not, he should watch the British elections – The CP invites Al Gore to address their convention about Greenhouse Gas and not a peep of Tweety negativity. Then Blair lies for Bush. The Brits are the ones who follow, Biden – see!
    What would Hayden say?

  14. Comment says

    Had Obama picked Webb there would have been some problems – Lack of enthusiasm with feminists – some unexplained gaps in Webbs story (only Bush gets away with stuff like that), but he would have re-inforced “change” and allowed Obama to craft a narrative for the media about safe biracial uplift – Deliverance + Boyz In the Hood – well not quite, but …
    The best thing Biden can do is to force errors from McCain – Biden can’t get votes – He has tried that – But he can grab headlines and screw up narratives.

    Just read Marty P. at TNR praise him. Uh oh.

  15. Comment says

    re Branding – Doc, maybe we are slow or missing something. But we just went into the supermarket and we noticed that Heiniken beer has completely shifted its brand image from the 80s to 90s to now. Now it’s relatively inexpensive, but has a dual message – edgy as a college party beer and large cans popular with Mexican day workers. We recall Heiniken was once marketed as an “Import” for the turtleneck and goatee set and earlier for the transnational corpo businessman.
    Meanwhile – Killian’s Irish red was supercheap swill when we were in college – Now it is being marketed as a microbrew for people who like finer things.

    This just shows how beer companies are the masters at pure image (getting college frat dudes to drink Bud etc) and maybe CVindy McCain understands that.

  16. Comment says

    re Voodoo economics – It’s interesting – sometimes people making alllusions to it, but it’s all properly contextualized when the media reference it. Had Reagan been drumed out for Iran Contra or just impeached, we bet the press would have held ‘voodoo economics’ against Bush 41 as a form of indirect punishment. It makes no sense – but it also made no sense to punish Gore for Clintons transgressions.
    But the media is stupid.
    re Biden – we were saddened to see Kristol be able to attack him in detail on FNC Sunday without having to lie once. He did wince a bit and smirk insincerely when he noted Biden for the recent (unpopular) Iraq war, but against the (popular) Gulf War One.

    Maybe Biden will work politically – We shall see.

  17. sglover says

    I know the media gasbags are prohibited from remembering anything more than two weeks past, but I seem to recall that the phrase “voodoo economics” never bothered a certain VP choice. It’s typically idiotic of them that they’d yammer on about critical remarks made during the nomination fight.

    Despite that, Biden is a multi-dimensionally bad choice. I hope that folks who seem to have such deep emotional investment in Obama are ready for some serious disappointment when he leaves the waters unparted.

  18. Dr Leo Strauss says

    re CNN et al., it would be great for a post war French film sensibility like La Jetee (the far superior basis for 12 Monkeys) to chronicle it all . . .

  19. Comment says

    This is sort of funny in a patheti kind of way – We just tuneino CNN and there is that Gloria Borger and Bill Schneider discussing with the obnoxious host of “This week in politics.” – They repeatedly show and ad of Biden denouncing Obama. Then, without skipping a beat, they wonder if this will be an issue now that Youtube just reapeats these things over and over.

    Increaslingly this has been the sole role of cable networks =-Just show TV ads then say Youtube is doing it.

    But what made it seem odd and funny was how CNN had made what should seen awkward and weird and clunky and bizarre, seem normal. In effect, they showed a McCain ad and then claimed it was really Youtube, not them, that showed it.

  20. Comment says

    Bernard Henri-Levis has an interesting (if a bit tedious and silly) column about Georgia v Russia in HUFFpo.

    But BHL is mistaken if he thinks conservatives in Congress will be impressed that many in Saakashivill’s cabinet are “Soros scholars.”

  21. Dr Leo Strauss says

    Harvey Mansfiedian indeed. Manly to the core. The crux is beyond social constructs of manliness, of course, but the primal male fixation on control over DNA propogation. Underscoring this part is Kate’s critical recital “It was a son, Michael, a son. It stops now.”

    The reptilian cortex’s obsession that it control the uterus as mere vessel is not a mere cant owned by the late Andrea Dworkin or Handmaiden’s Tale 2: The Return.

  22. Comment says

    Just as the media will focus on Biden’s Kinnock lift as his main negative, we are also a bit surprised they are giving this McCain has too many house meme traction.

    For a while the media has exempted all financial aspects to discussion of elitism – They prefer to focus on aspects of lettuce. Arugula is pretty inexpensive and most reporters want to feel elite – so they masochistically allow the GOP to define elitism along lettuce lines or various image constructs.

    We even tuned into hear M. Continetti say this was all irrelevent because it’s not part of McCains narrative etc –

    It will take a determined effort to redefine elitism since the elite press might actually get defensive if the focus goes back to money. They can handle the faux-elitism charge because their salries are small relative to the rest of the elite, but they are still in the top 1 percent or, at the very least. top ten percent.

    The interesting thing is the top one percent sounds small, but it is huge (3 million) – and it contains many gradations. The variations in Bloombergs wealth over the course of a week are greater than Romney’s entire wealth – But Romney’s wealth is still large enough to be, for practical effect, unlimited. No wondeer Tweety feels like a worker making only 5 mil/

    Far easier to debate bowling and orange juice etc

  23. Comment says

    re Movement psycho(logy)
    From Media Matters:
    (Discussing oft-cited anti abortion activist Jill Stanek)

    “In an March 1, 2007, WorldNetDaily column, during a discussion of a scene in the film The Godfather: Part II in which Al Pacino’s character hits his wife after she told him she aborted their child, Stanek wrote: “That spontaneous slap was the reaction of a real man who a woman had just told she aborted his baby. Compare that to the modern day cowardly male response, ‘It’s your choice. Whatever you decide, I’ll support you.’ ”

    Ofcourse, the Godfather was a brilliant movie and book in so many ways. But Media Matters is just beginning to grok the secret love of criminality and thugishness that runs thru much of the right. Neocons love their little Scooter, but real right wingers prefer the Corleons.

    Stanek was just illuminating a psychological truth for a portion of the population.

    Ofcourse liberals love gangsters too – but with a bit more ironic distance (as illustrated in one Sopranos episode)

  24. Comment says

    All any self respecting neocon need to do to influence Biden is to start by writing a faux-sincere column with a title like “Biden was right, we were wrong.” Then once that gets his attention, explain to him, using a simple false binary, how he can be more right in the future.

  25. Comment says

    Biden is intellectually insecure – He has been for a long time. If we had to guess, we’d say he is a bit less smart than Bush while being dangerously a bit more informed and inquisitive.

    He still speaks with feeling about perceived slights against his intelligence – like failing a law school class etc. He really revels when the Harvard law types appear to approve of him.

    We bet he’ll leak to David Brooks over the course of the campaign.

    Irony – The plagerism charge is the one the press will focus on if they decide to turn against him – But this is the weakest charge since , it seems, he had cited Kinnock in the past and may have just forgotten.

    But with the media – it’s all about them and since the decided that he is a ‘grownup’ who is ‘serious’ and ‘formidable’ about foreign policy, they have to balance it with trivia or old accusations.

    re Neocons – they will like Biden. He can be manipulated and he’ll never know it.

  26. Dr Leo Strauss says

    Don’t forget that during the run up to 2003, Biden was running around town telling people “these guys [the neocons] are really smart”.

  27. Comment says

    Incidently – we just recalled Biden’s boneheaded advocacy for splitting up Iraq (rather than the more neocon-ish plan to let nature take its course so as to avoid blame while Iraq splits up). Biden said this came from his deep understanding of Iraq politics and the fact he read the Iraq constitution. Maybe – it was the kind of thing that gets ‘grownups’ to applaud while Iraqis to denounce him. So Biden, amazingly, at this point, is probably less popular in Iraq tnan Bush. Hope we are wrong about out doubts and misgivings.

  28. Dr Leo Strauss says

    Aldershot, re resides, perhaps it was clumsy composition — within the new precedent of EOVP’s power and influence (and peoples’ acclimatization to that reality even when loathing it), it’s an open question how the Prince himself will re-order or reform that office – and *then* see how Biden fits, i.e. whether he can control or restrain himself to stay within any new confines.

  29. sglover says

    Never forget that Biden can deliver the electoral juggernaut of **Delaware**, which is as heavily populated as many counties.

  30. Comment says

    We just noticed that David Brooks had a big column touting Biden right before he was picked – Brooks is usually an inverse indicator. IMO – if you’re gonna have pro war than it should be HRC or no one. Granted , picking HRC is stumbling block for Obama , and foolishness for many in the netroots. Hopefully, we’re wrong about Biden – All that matters comes soon.

  31. Comment says

    Wait Doc – If Condi is correct and we are helping Poland defend against Iranian missles = Why, praytell, did Poland demand things like Patriot missles and US Troops? Why weren’t they just grateful to be protected from Iran?

  32. Comment says

    re Workin stiff – This is dumb dumb politics – Tweety lives in Nantucket – Just because he lacks taste and refinement himself doesn’t make him a worker – He was never poor. Being a slob is different tnan being working class.

    Besides – technically Biden is not either – His Dad was downwardly mobile. It happens. But they were always middle class.

    Obama’s Dad was a black goatherder – Hence, he is an elitist.

  33. Comment says

    Experience aside, we think Biden is of middling intelligence – like Powell. He may know more and have more experience than his new boss, but his less nimble mind means that his worldview is limited to certain ways of official thinking. Biden is very impressed by Tweety-type criterion -like honorary degrees, CFR accolades, etc. He thinks namechecking les gelb is an impressive thing to do – not politically – but actually impressive.

  34. Aldershot says

    “How will he make a *clean break* with what EOVP was and became? And then consider how Biden the man resides . . .”

    So, Biden, the Mentor-in-Chief expects (demands) his just deserts?

    What do you mean, ‘consider how the man resides?’

  35. Aldershot says

    A 3AM text message? Please.

    Pride goeth before destruction, a haughty countenance before a fall.

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