Iraq and Veeps
Chronic TNR syndromite Michael Crowley looks at Biden as a potential VP prospect, and once again brings up the meme that picking a VP who supported the Iraq war resolution would be hard for Obama to do:
Obama’s entire candidacy has been organized around his initial opposition to the Iraq war, and his condemnation of the “Washington thinking” and and “Washington judgment” that led us into it–which in the primaries, at least, was implicitly more an attack on supposedly weak-kneed Democrats than Republicans. For him to choose someone who, like Hillary Clinton, backed the war resolution and took a cautious line about withdrawal just seems to make a mockery of all that.
Ok, but that only explains why he was most qualified among the Democrats, as the only major candidate who opposed the war in 2002. It doesn’t mean that anyone else is, on the whole, not qualified to be VP, or indeed President. How exactly does this meme endear Democrats to the many, many voters (yours truly included) who were supportive of the war in 2002, but have since come to realize what a monumental mistake it was and how terribly wrong we were at the time? You’re going to need quite a few votes from those people, and basically coming right out and saying they’re wholly unqualified on the merits, and get no credit whatsoever for eventually coming around to the “right” position, is a really good way to alienate them. And while it is true that Obama’s 2002 opposition was a selling point in the primary, the primary is not the general election. It was a workable selling point in the primary, because there was a very sizeable block of voters in the Democratic Party who opposed Iraq all along. In the general election, that demographic makes up a substantially smaller portion of the electorate.
I’ve also got to question e