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Best of the Left News August 24th

Monday, August 25, 2008

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Senate's great talker takes fight to McCain

Anne Davies, The Age (AU)

August 25, 2008

DENVER - When Joe Biden was a youngster he had a stutter, cruelly earning him the name Bi-Bi-Biden. He conquered that affliction to become one of the Senate's great talkers and Barack Obama's pick as his vice-presidential running mate.

Senator Obama, who will this week be confirmed as the Democrats' presidential nominee, returned on Saturday to the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois, to make the announcement.

There he liberally delved into the Delaware senator's personal story. "Joe Biden is that rare mix," he said. "For decades, he has brought change to Washington, but Washington hasn't changed him. He's an expert on foreign policy, whose heart and values are rooted firmly in the middle class."

As well as mentioning the stutter and Senator Biden's upbringing in a Catholic and upwardly mobile family in working-class Pennsylvania, Senator Obama told the painful story of the Biden family tragedy.

"Joe's wife, Neilia, and their little girl, Naomi, were killed in a car accident, and their two boys were badly hurt," he said. "When Joe was sworn in as a senator, there was no ceremony in the Capitol. Instead, he was standing by his sons in the hospital room where they were recovering. He was 30 years old....(Click here for remainder of article).

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Obama camp unleashes Biden to go after McCain

EAU CLAIRE, Wisconsin (AFP) — Democrat Barack Obama Sunday presented his vice presidential nominee Joseph Biden as the perfect attack dog to maul Republican rival John McCain on US voters' top concern: the economy.

"I am thrilled that Joe Biden will be my vice president," he told reporters as he was boarding a plane to return to Chicago after attending a woodland barbecue in Wisconsin.

"I think he can help shape a long term strategy to keep America more secure after the disastrous economic and foreign policies that characterized the last eight years" under the Republican administration of President George W. Bush.

Chief lieutenants and supporters of the Illinois senator also denied that Biden, who has sat in the Senate for 36 years, compromised Obama's mantra of change.

"He's got the passion to lift up middle-class Americans. He hasn't forgotten his working class roots," Obama said, adding the Delaware senator has "the expertise that will make him a great counselor on international crises."

Aides however remained reluctant to discuss the selection process that climaxed with Biden appearing alongside Obama in Illinois Saturday, saying only that the VP pick had received the call while he was in a dentist's waiting room Thursday.

Denying that Democratic nominating rival Hillary Clinton had been unfairly snubbed, Obama's chief strategist David Axelrod said that "mostly, I think what attracted Senator Obama was Biden's wisdom."...(Click here for remaninder of article).

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