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Will Joe Biden face a double election situation this fall?

Joe Biden, the senator from Delaware and one of those vanquished by Barack Obama in the Democratic presidential race, remains a hot prospect in the vice presidential sweepstakes (something retired Gen. Wesley Clark probably can't claim).Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware is prominently mentioned as a running mate for presumptove Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama

The 65-year-old Biden, as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, would bring the deep-seated experience in international matters that Obama lacks. Although Delaware and its 3 electoral voters almost assuredly are in the Democratic column, Biden could help his party's ticket in two nearby and crucial states. He's well-known in some parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, by virtue of having been in the public eye for so long.

But perhaps his biggest asset is his Roman Catholic faith; in the view of many political handicappers, an Obama/Biden ticket could make inroads with a bloc of voters that has been resistant so far to the presumptive presidential nominee.

There is one slight complication. Biden is up for reelection this November -- he's heavily favored to snare a seventh six-year term -- and in some states it is illegal to be on the ballot for two offices at once.

In Delaware, the issue is simply not addressed, state Commissioner of Elections Elaine Manlove recently told an NBC affiliate in New Jersey. "It's not that our law says he can't (run for Senate and vice president at the same time). It's that it doesn't say it at all. There's nothing in Delaware law that says he can't."

The National Journal's Hotline noted earlier today that if state officials were asked to weigh in on the issue, Biden might have a built-in advantage. Delaware's attorney general happens to be Beau Biden, one of the senator's sons.

Within the last 50 years, three vice presidential nominees -- all Democrats -- have simultaneously sought reelection to Senate seats: Lyndon Johnson of Texas in 1960, fellow Texan Lloyd Bentsen in 1988 and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut in 2000.

Each won their Senate races, but only Johnson also was part of a winning national ticket (meaning he gave up his seat on Capitol Hill).

-- Don Frederick

Photo credit: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (4)

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Biden if picked he will make for a great target for the GOP.

He could be a gift that keeps on giving.

VJ Machiavelli
ps.This election is all about shoes, yes shoes do we keep them on or do we take them off and never put them on again when we board a plane. it's that simple. On shoes or off shoes

If Joe Biden is on the ticket he will be McCain's worst nightmare. Unlike Obama, Joe has years of experience, can answer any question off the top of his head, and isn't all smoke and mirrors. The only problem is that then the ticket would be upside down.

Joe Biden would be an excellent choice for Obama's running mate. Much needs to be done to clean-up the worldwide mess the Bush Administration has done. Having an internationally respected person in the number two spot will send a message to friends and foes, the US is back and ready to reclaim or historical stature.

On the electability side, Biden has not only run as a blue collar, lunch-bucket Democrat, he is one. Biden would be the perfect choice.

Unfortunately for McCain, his choices are l;imited and limiting. There is a natural disdain for Romney; Huckabee seems to appeal to a nitch; Pawlenty, and Crist are ubtested on the national stage.

For those that think Biden would be a huge target for McCain and his folks, have at it. This is no Dan Qualyle. No Gerry Ferrarro. This is Al Gore. This is Llyod Bentsen. Biden would not be a drag on the ticket, but will enhance it.

Joseph biden would be a perfect choice to enhance obama's strengths.. he is both charismatic and extremely bright and is a fabulous campaigner.. he would give FOREIGN POLICY gravitas to a ticket that would quell all those screaming obAma doesnt have the experience.. NO ONE KNOWS FOREIGN POLICY LIKE JOE BIDEN AND HE IS A CONSTITUTIONAL SCHOLAR SO HE CAN HELP CLEAN UP BUSH'S CONSTITUTIONAL MESSES THAT HE LEAVES BEHIND.. THE NEXT PRESIDENT WILL INHERIT A MESS JOE BIDEN CAN HELP FIX THIS !!!!


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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