Over the weekend, Barack Obama chose Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) as his running mate. Obama picked Biden for his foreign policy experience, after all Biden is a long-serving member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. While this bolsters the Democratic ticket's collective knowledge of foreign affairs, let's acknowledge this experience for what it really is.
The Foreign Relations Committee oversees (with the House of Representatives) the State Department, the US Agency for International Development, and Peace Corps and ratifies (not drafts) treaties. That's pretty much it. The committee doesn't appropriate funding for any of the activities it oversees nor does it have purview over any U.S. military or intelligence issues. So as Flip previously noted, this still leaves this ticket without any direct or indirect experience with the world's most powerful military.
Also, since Sen. Biden only worked for two short years before he was elected to the U.S. Senate (at the minimum age of 30), he also lacks executive leadership experience. As a Committee Chairman, Biden doesn't have to employ the leadership skills and qualities that corporate executives or military leaders do. Even if we were to give Biden partial credit for his mere four years of chairmanship, that still leaves the ticket well short on leadership experience. In SF's earlier calculations, we determined that Obama has only led one organization: the Harvard Law Review...in 1990.
All of these limitations aside, Obama will continue to paradoxically sell Biden as an outsider with lots of experience in Washington.
Handcrafted by Gindu on August 25, 2008 |
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