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Has Russia Forced Obama's Hand?

Biden Photo.jpg

(Danville, California)

While we wait the official announcement by Barack Obama, I wonder if the foreign policy developments of the past 10 days have forced his hand. Today a new poll shows John McCain leading Obama nationally by 5 percentage points. That's a stunning turnaround for McCain.

Why? Well, maybe his longer resume, military credentials and life experience matter to many independent and previously undecided voters.

No one saw the invasion of Georgia by Russia coming. Many people thought Vladimir Putin was at least a "reasonable" Russian/Soviet leader, if there is really such a thing.

In any case, it makes me wonder if Obama only has one choice for VP, that being Delaware Senator Joe Biden. Biden, who chairs the crucial Foreign Relations Committee, has 36 years in the Senate. He may be about to become the "Dick Cheney" of the Democratic Party,

I say that not because they share a similar world view. They don't. But what Cheney and Biden hold in common is deep Washington and foreign policy experience, and begrudging respect on both sides of the political aisle. Cheney was brought in to shore up George W. Bush's perceived lack of experience, and made people feel more comfortable with the top of the ticket. Obama has similar problems, and picking Sen. Evan Bayh or Gov. Tim Kaine at this point, won't ease the concerns.

As CBS political analyst Jeff Greenfield recently noted, Obama is looking for a "gray beard," a respected party elder with a resume. Today, filmmaker Michael Moore suggested Obama pick Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, daughter of the late President. Is he crazy? Obama needs a Darth Vader, more than he needs a Camelot!

Oddly, Vladimir Putin may have forced Obama's hand in this decision. Suddenly John McCain's steely-eyed temperment looks more appropriate than Obama's desire to negotiate with wayward foreign leaders. We'll see how voters judge this moment.

It's what I call "the politics of unforeseen events." Things no one is expecting can turn the landscape 180 degrees in politics, and this is one of those times. Two weeks ago, Evan Bayh might have been a shoe-in on the VP sweepstakes. Today Joe Biden looks like the all-but-certain pick.

The announcement could come at any moment. Check in often at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com. And remember, the "all new" blog is coming soon, as I get ready to hit the road to both political conventions.

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