1. News & Issues
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Five Reasons Why Obama Won the '08 Election

Selection of Sen. Joe Biden as Running Mate


Five Reasons Why Obama Won the '08 Election

Photo: Jeff Fusco/Getty Images

Reason #5 - Joe Biden as Running Mate

Sen. Barack Obama won the presidency in part because of his wise selection of highly experienced, well-liked Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware as his vice-presidential running mate.

The first job of the vice president is to assume the presidency should the president become incapacitated. No one doubts that Joe Biden is fully prepared to become President of the United States, should that terrible occasion arise.

The second job of the vice president is to be of constant counsel to the president. In his 36 years in the U.S. Senate, Biden is one of the most respected American leaders on foreign policy, the U.S. judiciary, crime, civil liberties and many other vital areas.

For more, see Profile of U.S. Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware.

With his gregarious, warm personality, Biden is suited to offer direct, smart counsel to the 44th president, as he has done for many other U.S. presidents.

As added bonus, the working chemistry and mutual respect between Obama and Biden is excellent.

For Americans concerned about Barack Obama's level of experience, Joe Biden's presence on the ticket added a large dose of gravitas.

Had he selected one of the able, but far less experienced candidates on this short list (Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, to name two top contenders), Barack Obama may have been less likely to reassure a majority of voters that the Democratic ticket was experienced enough to tackle today's tough issues.

Joe Biden vs. Sarah Palin

Joe Biden's deep grasp of the issues, appreciation of U.S. history and laws, and steady, experienced leadership were in jarring contrast to that of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential candidate.

Republican nominee, 72-year-old John McCain, has wrestled with three episodes of melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer, and gets an in-depth skin cancer check every few months.

Mr. McCain's serious health challenges greatly increased the risk that he could become incapacitated and/or pass away in office, which would require his vice president to become President of the United States.

It was widely recognized, even by a plethora of conservative pundits, that Sarah Palin was wholly unprepared to assume the presidency. (For more, see Sarah Palin in '08: The Good, The Bad & The Very Ugly.)

In contrast, Joe Biden was widely regarded as well prepared to assume the presidency.

Due to these five important political factors, Barack Obama won the November 4, 2008 election to become the 44th President of the United States.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.