In Obama's VP selection we see the audacity of 'hit and hope,' and the fatuity of change you can't believe in -- or as 'Write Ups' says:
In Barack Obama we have the candidate who is campaigning on the need to change Washington selecting a Vice Presidential candidate who is the epitome of Washington establishment in the form of Joe Biden.
This selection of a representative from the Washington establishment as his running mate represents neither change nor hope; with the harnessing of the apostle of 'change' to a poster-boy for the status quo, what we see here is not change, but the sound of politics as usual.
Obama's choice of VP candidate was being looked to with interest as a means by which to deduce what, if anything, Obama's mantra of 'change' might look like in practice. In fact, as Obama offers voters less and less in the way of policy or of anything substantively different to the prevailing status quo -- or even any idea of what he might actually stand for beyond the viciously altruistic directive, "I am my brother's keeper. I am my sister's keeper"-- it is now more and more obvious that the only 'change' an Obama presidency would represent is little more than a change of skin colour in the White House.
Is this any sort of 'change' that's worth 'believing' in?
The only reason to get excited about the prospect of a black man in the White House would be the ready indication that in the America of the twenty-first century, a candidate's character is a more important measure of his suitability for the job of President than the colour of his skin -- but in paying attention to the colour of a man's skin instead of to the content of both his character and his policy platform, it's only too clear that that colour is still being made more important than character.
To say that again a different way, to vote for the black man in order to send a message that racism is no longer an issue has the paradoxical effect of proving that race really is the issue, since what your vote says is that you're unable to separate the non-issue of a candidate's race from the very real issue of his character, and whatever policy positions his character leads him (eventually) to adopt.
And once you do separate Obama's race from his policy positions, what exactly is it that one's left with? Nothing at all, really, beyond some faded signs reading 'hope,' and a tattered banner crying 'change.' Nothing, in other words, to believe in.
UPDATE: Robert Tracinski's opinion of Joe Biden is priceless:
I have occasionally referred in [my columns] to a congressional hearing being dominated by the fulminations of Senator Blowhard. I mean it as a generic name for any preening, grandstanding politician. But the concrete example I always have in mind is Joe Biden. He is the kind of politician who thinks that the purpose of any congressional hearing is not its nominal topic, but rather the opportunity for everyone to hear the great and important things that the senator has to say. He's not always sure what it is exactly that he has to say—and his listeners aren't always sure, either—but Biden is always sure that it is great and important. ...
This vice-presidential selection confirms my overall judgment of who Obama is. He is Peter Keating, the bright, ambitious young conformist from Ayn Rand's novel The Fountainhead. Like Keating, he is handsome and charismatic and good at figuring out how to make people like him. But he has no substance of his own to offer, so when he actually has to make a decision, he panics and tries to figure out what everyone else thinks he should be doing.