It would have made no sense for Barack Obama to pick an even bigger political lightweight as his vice presidential running mate (if such a creature could be found). Joe Biden has been in the senate since Barack Obama was 11 years old. His 36 years of experience there dwarfs Obama's 3. To say that this ticket is the most lopsided in American history is to put it mildly. If Biden had been the nominee it is doubtful that he would have picked Obama as his vice president. No Democratic senator except Hillary Clinton has been as vociferous in pointing out Obama's lack of qualifications for the presidency. Even when Biden tried to say something nice about the junior senator from Illinois, this is the best that he could manage: "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook man."
Not that Joe Biden himself is temperamentally qualified to be president. He is the Democratic Party's biggest loose cannon and seems congenitally incapable of opening his mouth without demeaning himself or his party. Even more than Obama, Biden is in love with his own words. But, unlike Obama, he doesn't need to have words spoonfed to him by a teleprompter. He is as naturally loquacious as Obama is inarticulate. Speaking gibberish has served Obama in good stead by concealing his very real vacuousness. The last thing that Obama needs is for someone like Biden to set lyrics to his tune.
I don't know what Joe Biden brings to the Democratic ticket that would actually help it to win in November, but he's at least made McCain's age irrelevant as an issue in this campaign. Obama's choice will also alienate Hillary Clinton's supporters who had hoped that stealing the nomination from her would not prevent him from offering her the consolation price.
When he ran for president in 1988, Biden made a bold bid for Southern support by stressing the fact that Delaware was a Border State where slavery was legal at the time of the Civil War. Speaking to the South Carolina Rotary Club, Biden noted that Delaware was a “slave state that fought beside the North. That’s only because we couldn’t figure out how to get to the South. There were a couple of states in the way.” The point of all this was to imply that, unlike Dukakis, he was a "good ole boy" with all the usual trappings (except the Confederate flag on the hood of his car). It will be amusing to see if Biden again presents himself as the South's last hope north of the Mason-Dixon line.
Biden does have something in common with Obama besides his hard-left politics: he never let personal qualifications stand in the way of personal ambitions. In 1970, Biden was elected a councilman in New Castle County, Delaware. Two years later, at age 29, he ran for the Senate and won by one percentage point. Biden was the least qualified senator ever elected in U.S. history. Even Obama had served 7 years in the Illinois legislature before running for the Senate. However, Biden had been in the Senate 16 years before he first ran for president in 1988. Obama had barely served one year in the Senate before announcing his candidacy for president. When it comes to hubris, they are both well-matched.