Wes Vernon
August 27, 2008
Convention notes
By Wes Vernon

The Biden selection for VP on the Obama ticket apparently was enough to dissuade many Hillary Clinton supporters not to fight until the last dog is hung at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Some grousing remains, but as of Tuesday morning, most of the noise was coming from pro-Hillary protests outside the Pepsi convention center. Some of that comes from street people whose perennial protests are reminiscent of the cartoon caricature of the banana republic mentality: "We don't care who is the president, we just want him out of there."

More on Biden

Barack Obama's strategists figured Senator Joe Biden's blue-collar Catholic roots would be very much on the plus side for the ticket.

Here's what they may not have considered:

While Biden is Catholic, he is a pro-abortion rights Catholic, which could cause problems for him. If abortion takes a prominent part in the fall campaign, that will do no good for Senator Obama, whose position along with that of the Democrat Party platform is firmly aligned with the radical pro-abortion lobby. He already stumbled badly on the issue at Rev. Rick Warren's Saddleback debate.

Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver said Senator Biden should avoid taking communion because of his position.

"I certainly presume his good will and integrity," the archbishop declared, "and I presume that his integrity will lead him to refrain from presenting himself for communion if he supports a false 'right' to abortion."

Other Catholic politicians such as Ted Kennedy, Mario Cuomo, Geraldine Ferraro, and Nancy Pelosi have taken ecclesiastical heat for their pro-abortion stands, and survived. It's just that Biden is on a national ticket that doesn't need another drag-down going into the final weeks of what appears to be a close race.

He talks too much

Over the years, Biden has been the butt of jokes (sometimes harsh, sometimes good-natured) over his loquacity. Some of his comments are silly as for example, that he didn't care if a woman was walking totally nude down Constitution Avenue near the Supreme Court building, that was no provocation for sexual harassment. While his point may have been well-taken, the flamboyance of the comment on a serious issue was seen as a trivialized distraction.


Michelle Obama's appearance before the delegates Monday night was a boffo performance perfectly choreographed. It was a family picture of the smart loving wife and the adorable kids (having to prompt Daddy into correcting himself that his closed-circuit televised appearance originated in Kansas City, not St. Louis).

That's what political conventions in the TV age really are: showbiz. However, more than one commentator noted that the candidate's wife made no mention of the Ivy League universities she and/or her husband attended Harvard and Princeton come to mind. Of course, most of the great unwashed do not go to those places, but instead end up at community colleges or state universities or the job market.

The critical 30-second ads, however, will focus not on Michelle's convention comment that she loves her country, but her previous comments on how "mean" the country is and how she was never in her adult life proud of her country until her husband did well in the primary races.

The "just like you and me" image at Michelle's appearance will not make issues go away. For anyone wanting to get the full picture of the Obamas, I would recommend the skyrocketing New York Times best-seller Obama Nation by Jerome "Jerry" Corsi. We will review if after the conventions. There is abundant detail in there about a past that Obama has gone out of his way to obscure so much obfuscation that there are now demands that the candidate produce his birth certificate to make certain he really was born in the USA a constitutional eligibility requirement for the highest office in the nation.

Speaking of which...

Jimmy Carter arguably the least effective president of the 20th Century stopped just short of endorsing an outrageous accusation by Jacob Weisberg in Newsweek that if Barack Obama does not win the election in November, that will prove that America is a racist country. After saying he would not go that far, the ex-president said things that could be interpreted as code language for support of the Weisberg charge.

In a Denver interview with (Wash. D.C.) WMAL's talkshow host Chris Plante, the "inordinate fear of communism" chief executive of the seventies did not refer to serious questions about the candidate's credentials such as whether Senator Obama is prepared for the job. Small wonder that Carter's flak tried to edge him away from the mike at the very time that Plante posed the question about the Newsweek piece.

To accuse or imply racist motives to anyone opposed to an Obama White House is as unlovely as the Ku-Kluxer casting hateful race-charged aspersions on anyone who supports the Illinois senator.

© Wes Vernon


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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