Quoth Me: If Biden gets the nod, I promise to eat my hat (as I jump for joy).

I really don't have many hats, so I will settle for a little crow.

First of all, I like Joe Biden more than most of my friends and conservative compatriots.

I have written:

I am guessing that most of our reading community does not understand my admiration for Joe Biden. You see the grandstanding, bloviating, self-absorbed senator always mugging for the cameras. I see that Joe Biden too, of course. But I also see the Joe Biden who is talented, diligent, and dedicated to good government. I admire the America-loving public official who has spent almost his entire career learning foreign policy and the judiciary in order to be a constructive element of the solution. He is, in fact, quite good at and what he does, and he oftentimes offers incredibly astute analysis on the topics to which he had dedicated his life.

After the Democratic midterm election victory, I placed great hope in him to act as a voice of moderation in a volatile political atmosphere (hopes he quickly dashed--which I wrote about back in January of 2007):

My sincere wish was that the Senator would choose statesmanship over grandstanding. There are two Bidens. Most of us are familiar with the blowhard-Biden of the judiciary committee, spewing gibberish and comically attempting to match wits with great legal minds. But there is another Biden. A thoughtful, pragmatic and experienced Senator who loves his country more than himself.

I was hoping for the statesman Biden--but got the clown. The demagoguery above also serves as his unequivocal signal that he seeks the Democratic Party's nomination for president in 2008. Only Joe Biden with a bad case of Potomac Fever would be addled enough to display this degree of wanton foolishness.

Under Present Circumstances, do I still think Biden is a bad move for Obama? Yes. Although I say so with a large dose of humility. Team Obama has had most of this right thus far. Based on past performance, their accuracy quotient is much higher than mine. Having said that, why do I continue to think this is a mistake?

1. Obama missed a chance to improve his fortunes in an important electoral state (Virginia, New Mexico, Indiana, to name only the most obvious). Congratulations, Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden. You are now assured of Delaware's three electoral votes. In that regard, it is the smartest choice since George W. Bush grasped Wyoming's three electoral votes with the selection of Dick Cheney.

Obama left a lot on the table. No matter how effective Biden might prove to be, Republicans are breathing a sigh of relief this morning. There were some choices out there that would have created gigantic strategic problems. This one does not.

2. Biden has a big mouth and (thus far in his life) an uncontrollable ego. Biden talks a lot, and he has a penchant for injudicious statements. Back in February of 2007, I wrote repeatedly in his defense concerning his controversial comments regarding the then-insurgent candidate, Barack Obama.

Remember this statement:

"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man."

He was essentially right--but do you recall the outrage? At the very least, considering the target audience to which he was appealing, Biden's comments were foolishly chosen.

Why haven't we seen more Joe Biden dust-ups over the years? For the simple reason that no one really pays him much attention. Not so anymore. From now until 4 November, the world will be following him around and scrutinizing his every word. Not good for Camp Obama. Sure, the mainstream PrObama press will give him a pass whenever possible, but the conservative media will push and press every chance they get. My guess is that Biden will give them plenty of chances. These guys are likely to be putting out fires almost continually.

3. For all of Biden's faults, ironically, his positive attributes are likely to overshadow the primary candidate. The lesson of 1988 was that a VP nominee should not make the top guy look small by comparison. Remember the undercurrent that eventually dominated the 1988 landscape: why isn't Lloyd Bentsen (the distinguished and seasoned Texas senator) at the top of this ticket? Michael Dukakis (the man in the tank with the funny hat) grew less presidential with every appearance of the stolid but steady Bentsen.

Will this happen for Obama-Biden? Maybe.

4. We will read this odd move as an admission that Obama is deficient in foreign policy.

Why Biden? Because the Democratic Party wise men, in a minor panic over the late instability in Eastern Europe, now wonder if recent events make the experienced Republican warrior infinitely more attractive. What if American voters come to a late-breaking realization that we really do live in a dangerous world? While the foreign policy of "come on, y'all, can't we just all get along?" seemed bold and innovative in the snows of Iowa and New Hampshire, we have slept since then. We have wondered about "Three AM Phone Calls." What if there really are bad actors on the world stage who will not bend to the eloquent rhetoric of an Ivy League intellectual? What if nations really do pursue their own interests irrespective to the goals of greater humanity?

Joe Biden is an answer to those questions. Joe is old school. Joe knows.

But Americans don't vote for vice presidents. If those questions really need an answer, John McCain is it. The Obama brain trust would have been wiser to roll past those questions as if they did not matter. By admitting that foreign policy is relevant, Obama cedes this newly important field to his opponent.