Whaddya know. Obama picked Biden.
I am not bothered by this.
I think it's brilliant, funny and totally expected. In fact, earlier this week, I had called it while emailing with some friends. Friends called it for Bayh, Schweitzer and Webb but I went for Biden.
As evidenced by an ample Google record, Biden has a long history of saying problematic shit re: people of color. I will not offer an opinion re: Biden's racism - I'm just saying he says problematic shit.
The things he says are not that substantially different from what 98% of the general white population, conservative or self-identifying liberal, say/think about people of color in general, black people in particular. So, in effect, Biden is familiar to most of the population. He's easily recognizable; he is our American mirror.
By choosing Biden, the Obama campaign is saying to America, 'See? We get you. We know you're scared, but it's ok. Joe is just like you, and we like him! Obama's not mad.' By signaling to the electorate that they're overlooking Biden's 'off the reservation' problematic racial shit, they are asking that we also overlook some things - primarily, the color of Obama's skin and all the weight it carries.
Yeah, yeah. Biden brings some bizarro 'connection' to 'everyday' people (pundits need to STFU) and foreign policy experience which is a good thing, but his biggest contribution to the Obama campaign is his whiteness. His benign, problematic, clueless Whiteness. It's a gift and I hope Obama uses it well.
[an extra piece of goodness: today's This American Life about snap judgments that had me shaking my head.]