Does Obama Have to Have an Anti-War VP?

There seems to be one critique that keeps coming up over and over with certain VP prospects in the Democratic Party; “he voted for the Iraq War.” Here’s Scott Lemieux on Joe Biden today:

I could see a case for Joe Biden if he hadn’t been in favor of the war. As it stands, I think it would be crazy to pick someone almost exclusively for foreign policy message who inevitably blurs the popular message of the Democratic candidate.

Now on the one hand I can see the logic; Obama got a foot in the door on the idea that he was the one who got it right, and you don’t want to undercut it. But on the other hand, that’s an argument for the Democratic base. For the liberals who were also opposed to the war from the very start, and whose share of the electorate will shrink in November. I see nothing wrong with someone, and Biden may not fit this bill, who voted for or otherwise supported the war at the beginning (like a good many Americans, and yours truly I must admit) but who have since come to see it for the folly it was and renounced that support with a bona fide mea culpa. That doesn’t seem to undercut your message, so much as it puts you in a position a lot of Americans can identify with. The original left can appreciate that Obama opposed the war from the start and that the VP is now on the same page (with an apology for the vote and a little Bush-bashing to boot), while a segment of the center-left and even a bit of the center-right can appreciate that Obama isn’t taking a high horse position on the matter, and welcomes people who have been a bit late to the party.

Now, someone who still supports the war, or who falls back onto the “it was the right thing to do, but Bush just screwed it up) cop out should be out of the discussion entirely.