In picking Sen. Joe Biden to be his running mate, Barack Obama sought to shore up his weakness — inexperience in office and on foreign policy — rather than underscore his strength as a new-generation candidate defying political conventions.Apparently, Fournier needs me to point out that NO ONE who becomes president has “foreign policy experience” compatible with the requirements of the job. Every person who has assumed the responsibility of President of the United States has received a crash course in all of the world’s hot spots where the potential exists for U.S. military intervention, to say nothing of places where are troops are deployed.
The Sainted Ronnie R didn’t have it. Bill Clinton didn’t have it. And Dubya sure as hell didn’t.
The media, including Fournier, typically cedes the “foreign policy experience” card to the Repugs. In the case of someone like Poppy Bush, though, I could see it to a point because he served both in the military and overseas in government. But over the last 30 years or so, no one else taking over in the White House had that as a strength from the moment their presidency began.
The picks say something profound about Obama: For all his self-confidence, the 47-year-old Illinois senator worried that he couldn't beat Republican John McCain without help from a seasoned politician willing to attack. The Biden selection is the next logistical step in an Obama campaign that has become more negative — a strategic decision that may be necessary but threatens to run counter to his image.How the hell does Fournier know that Obama “worried that he couldn’t beat John McCain” without Biden as an attack dog? Did Obama need Biden’s help to launch ads attacking McBush on the war or the economy, to say nothing of the matter of McBush’s homes?
Chief sponsor of a sweeping anti-crime bill that passed in 1994, Biden could help inoculate Obama from GOP criticism that he's soft on crime — a charge his campaign fears will drive a wedge between white voters and the first black candidate with a serious shot at the White House.This is exactly the type of unsubstantiated, garbage “reporting” that has earned Fournier (and many of his AP colleagues) the wrath of blogger types such as your humble narrator (here). Is it too much to ask that Fournier communicate that, thus far, these charges have proven to be baseless (re: soft on crime, black...).
Fournier’s piece concludes with the AP note that he has covered politics for nearly 20 years, as if that’s automatically supposed to endow him with the mantle of respectability. Well, based on reading his dreck over all this time, I believe that (with all humility), though I’ve only been doing this for a little short of three and a half years, I know more than he does.
Update 8/24/08: This puts an exclamation mark on the fact that the AP remains an utter farce of a news organization for countenancing Fournier's behavior.