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The Obama-Biden ticket: An analysis

Barack Obama says he represents a new kind of post-partisan politics – but he’s made what appears to be a traditional choice for running mate.

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AP Photo/M. Spencer Green

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Washington - Barack Obama says he represents a new kind of post-partisan politics – but he’s made what appears to be a traditional choice for running mate.

Advisers often urge presidential candidates to plug holes in their own resumes with their vice-presidential picks, and that’s what Senator Obama may have done in opting for Sen. Joseph Biden (D) of Delaware. Senator Biden is many things Obama is not: experienced (35 years in the Senate), a foreign policy expert, and Catholic, for instance.

Perhaps most importantly, he’s nobody’s idea of effete. With a blue-collar background and tough campaign style, Biden could counter GOP efforts to frame Obama himself as an elitist.

“Biden fills gaps many people see in Obama’s credentials,” says Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

The reverse is also true: Obama’s strengths are Biden’s weaknesses. Biden has twice run for president himself, including this cycle, to widespread disinterest on the part of national voters. And where Obama’s rhetoric soars, Biden’s mouth can get him in trouble.

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