Obama introduces running mate Biden

August 23, 2008 6:22:36 PM PDT
Barack Obama picked Joe Biden to be his running mate. The two senators held their first rally on Saturday in front of an enthusiastic crowd in Springfield Illinois.

The anticipation, speculation and secrecy over Barack Obama's running mate is over. Delaware Senator Joseph Biden says he's proud to join Obama.

John McCain's camp jumped on the chance to point out that hasn't always been the case.

With a crowd of about 35,000 people, and the ink recently dried on the Obama-Biden posters, the Democratic Party showcased its ticket at the Old State Capitol in Springfield.

"He is uniquely suited to be my partner as we work to put our country back on track," said Presidential candidate Barack Obama (D) Illinois.

The 65-year-old Delaware senator brings what many pundits claim Obama needs -- the gray hair of experience. He has More than 35 years as a senator and the title -- chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Biden is also known as an attack dog and he wasted no time on Saturday.

"The truth of the matter is, and you know it, that American dream under eight years of Bush and McCain, that American dream is slipping away," said Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden (D) Delaware.

He is regarded as a leader in foreign policy highlighted by a trip to Georgia last week, says ABC7's political analyst Bruce Cain.

"So this is a person who knows the leaders overseas. He's chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he has expertise in foreign policy that matches that of john McCain so selecting him really adds to a dimension that Barack Obama felt he needed more experience in," said Cain.

But Obama's slogan of change is now followed by a question mark for some who are scrutinizing the choice of a sixth term U.S. Senator.

The McCain campaign released a commercial on Saturday where Biden, at an ABC debate, was asked if Obama was ready to be president.

"You were asked is he ready. You said 'I think he can be ready, but right now I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training," asked George Stephanopoulos during an ABC News debate.

I stand by that stament," said Biden during a the debate.

Quite a change on Saturday.

"And I am proud to stand firm with the next President of the United States of America, Barack Obama," said Biden.

San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris is a co-chair of Obama's California campaign. She says Obama has fortified the ticket.

"He has been a long standing public servant he's an expert on foreign affairs and he's also a leader on crime issues," said Harris.

And the ad where Biden said he didn't think Obama was ready to lead.

"The McCain campaign is going to do whatever and anything they can to try and take pot shots basically at the democratic ticket," said Harris.

The timing of the Biden announcement does a couple of things. It gives the Obama campaign a couple of days of intense media attention going into the Democratic Convention. It raised a lot of interest over the past week in his announcement.

But on the down side, it gave Hillary Clinton supporters a chance to believe that maybe she would be picked after all -- and now on the eve of the convention, they're disappointed.


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