Presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (IL) has selected Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) as his Vice Presidential pick. Obama, a first-term Senator who has been criticized for his relative lack of national political experience, has stayed true to political tradition in selecting Biden—a six-term Senator who is the fourth longest serving Democrat in the Senate. Vice Presidential picks are often selected in an effort to counteract the stongest opposition criticisms of the Presidential nominee.
Biden is Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and is generally regarded as one of the Democratic Party’s preeminent foreign policy experts and a ‘moderate liberal’ with regard to his general voting record. In 2002, Biden voted in favor of the ‘Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq’ bill, which passed with a wide bipartisan majority and granted President George W. Bush (R) legal authority to invade Iraq. Biden has since been critical of the administration’s prosecution of the war, and has opposed both continuation of the present approach and immediate withdrawal.
Joining with President Emeritus Leslie Gelb of the Council on Foreign Relations, Biden has issued a ‘five point plan’ for Iraq that would reorganize the Iraqi government into a decentralized Federalist system of semi-autonomous regions, encourage increased investment from neighboring countries, and create a plan for withdrawal contingent on increasing political stability. It is unclear at this time if Senator Obama will endorse the Biden-Gelb plan for Iraq.