A Balanced Ticket

Democatic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden is superior to his Republican counterpart, Sarah Palin, in numerous ways. First, he has over 35 years of experience in the Senate. Second, he possesses a fiery spirit that compensates for Obama’s refusal to attack his opponents. Third, he has years of foreign policy experience that cover up Obama’s thin resume in this particular area. Finally, his working class roots will help Obama reach out to white, blue-collar voters. Palin, on the other hand, brings only about two years of experience as the governor of Alaska, an extremely partisan agenda and no foreign policy experience whatsoever. Her growing celebrity status only will hurt McCain, and she is showing little promise in attracting former supporters of Hillary Clinton. I don’t know about you, but I know who I would rather have as my VP. The criticism that has loomed over Barack Obama for his entire campaign is his inexperience. Biden has been a senior senator for thirty-five years, bringing a balance to the otherwise young ticket. Also, the Deleware senator isn’t afraid to attack McCain, something Obama has had trouble doing. For instance, Biden laid heavy criticism upon McCain’s foreign policy, stating that, “When it comes to Iraq, there is no daylight between John McCain and George Bush. They are joined at the hip.” Biden’s assaults on McCain bring a compelling case to convince voters that a McCain presidency will be a third Bush term. The more comparisons the Democrats can draw between McCain and Bush, the better, and Biden helps them do just that. In addition, Biden’s humble roots in Scranton, Pennsylvania will not only help to win the largely blue- collar swing state that was won by Hillary Clinton in the primaries, but will also broaden Obama’s appeal to working class voters across the nation that previous backed Mrs. Clinton. This support is desperately needed by the Illinois sentator, as a recent NBC- Wall Street Journal poll stated that only half of Clinton’s followers are now backing Obama. Finally, years as the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee both improve Obama’s image in Europe and counterbalance his inexperience in foreign matters. Ms. Palin, however, seems to bring few strengths and many weaknesses to the Republicans. First, her appointment negates McCain’s claim that the Democrats are too inexperienced, as she has only spent two years as a governor of Alaska. Because of McCain’s age and history of skin cancer, the very real possibility of an inexperienced governer as his successor is enough to deter more than a few voters. Her presence negates another common criticism of Obama from the right: that of his celebrity status. Her rising popularity at speeches will force McCain to stop using that criticism. In addition, she soils McCain’s reputation as a maverick (who votes with Bush 90 percent of the time). Known for her extremely conservative views, Palin will be very ineffective as the president of a largely Democratic Senate. For example, Palin is a strong pro–life advocate and supports offshore oil drilling in protected areas. These beliefs will not win her many liberal friends in Congress. Plus, Palin has not engaged in any foreign policy affairs while in office. Although the Huffington Post reports that Cindy McCain claimed that Alaska’s proximity to Russia counts as foreign policy, Palin is dangerously lacking knowledge in this area. Should McCain fall ill again, the nation could be in a compromising situation with Palin poised to take over for him. Finally, Palin is not appearing to attract liberal women, as was hoped. A USA Today poll taken on September 6th showed that only nine percent of liberal women that supported Mrs. Clinton would vote for McCain because of Palin. Biden is by far the superior vice presidential candidate for reasons ranging from his Senate experience to his strong base in foreign policy. While these facts may not guarantee a victory for the Democrats, it gives me reason to believe that theirs is the stronger ticket in this election. Chris Meyer is a two-year Lower from Darien, Conn.