A long anticipated event for political junkies was the first Vice Presidential debate of this historical campaign season. As the starting time drew near, our household gathered around the television anxiously awaiting the moment with as much enthusiasm as a sports fan excited over the opening kick-off of the Super Bowl.
It actually was the Super Bowl, the final winner being an individual who receives much more than just a trophy and signature ring. The winner instead is the individual who could be empowered to lead the greatest nation on this earth. Should some unforeseen event affect the ability of the President to serve, the Vice President would step in and assume the office in his or her stead.
Never will I forget the day I was sitting in a Union High School classroom and heard the stunning announcement over the school intercom of the tragic death of President Kennedy. As the decades following that moment continue to pass, I still remember the exact room, teacher, and seat that I occupied. Vice President Lyndon Johnson was immediately sworn in, and a smooth transition of government occurred. Upon the resignation of Richard Nixon, Vice President Ford became the nation’s Chief Executive Officer. It does happen. And it has also happened in the lifetime of many of you who are reading this opinion today.
Therefore the choice of a running mate should not be about which states one can bring into the party column. It shouldn’t be about personality, charm, and charisma. It shouldn’t be about how well one can read from a teleprompter. It shouldn’t be about appealing to a target demographic or offsetting strength in the opponent’s campaign. The choice of a Vice Presidential candidate should be about choosing the individual who is best able to step in and assume the reins of government should the President not be able to serve.
Did we see the answer to that question on Thursday night? The answer should be a unanimous “Yes”.
Senator Biden displayed a calm, intelligent and deep understand of the difficult issues facing our nation. He expressed care and concern for all citizens of our beloved country, not just a privileged few. And he continues to touch hearts with a history of serving our country as a highly effective United States Senator while raising small children as a young, widowed Dad.
After the Vice Presidential debate there should be no doubt in any voter’s mind as to the judgment of the respective Presidential candidates regarding their running mate choice. That decision is the first, and best indicator of the choices they will make as leader of the free world.
Senator Obama has shown the good judgment to choose an individual who is highly qualified to serve, not just as a possible successor, but also as a positive, intelligent Face of America to those other countries who share our moment in time on this planet.
Thank you, Senator Biden, for your Thursday night validation of Senator Obama’s choice.