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August 23, 2008

Having Obama’s Back


1a.  You get the feeling that Biden can do for Obama what the guy in the backpack is doing for him.  Too bad American politics — especially the way the GOP plays it — is so much about manhood, but that’s the game.

1b.  Biden is one of the few liberals that could pull off a scene like this.

2.  He’s been to Iraq eight times.  In February, he was in Pakistan and Afghanistan (above).  And he just returned from Georgia where he met with Saakashvili.  Biden is so deep in foreign policy, a shot like this seems more generalized than specific.

3.  Biden also looks like the senior statesman, especially in contrast to the skinny kid with the glasses.  Offers some real contrast to McCain in that Navy hat.

For more of the visual, including our extended Denver coverage as a credentialed Democratic Convention blog, visit

  (image: unattributed. caption: Sen. Biden at a Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Kunar Province, Afghanistan)

  • bystander

    Hmmm. Is that kid with the glasses not in uniform? Is that kid with the glasses not part of the American military? KBR, perhaps? Is it a Haliburton contractor that has Biden’s back?

  • Books Alive

    Generally, it is Blackwater USA providing well-fortified security in the war theaters.
    People might read Jeremy Scahill’s book of the same name for a full picture of how and why we’re spending our money on contractors like Blackwater.

  • Karen

    I love this shot, bag, almost iconic…..I’m going to link to it.

  • MonsieurGonzo

    this Old Hand has no hands. I imagine how much more powerful this image would be, were the Senator to be pointing out something important, rather than posturing cheek and jaw-jut for the image-maker, apparent.
    But then, Mr. Biden has never, ever been anything other than a professional politician, has he? i mean, this man represents perhaps the archetype of the old guard against which the candidate’s message: CHANGE resonated; indeed, Michael, isn’t the message intended to be not “got back” but “going back”, as a means to re-assure US = an anxious electorate:

  •[email protected]/ DennisQ

    Most Democrats voted against the war in Iraq but Joe Biden was planning to run for president at the time. Afraid of a backlash, he set his principles aside and voted for the war.
    I was getting a bit squirrely about Obama anyhow. Should I continue to stay loyal despite all his defections? The Biden nod clinches it. When the war vote took place I vowed I would never vote for anyone who voted in favor. Consequently I will not be voting for the Obama-Biden ticket.
    One of the important issues in this election is whether we’re going to get more weasel talk from politicians. Joe Biden certainly knew the case for war against Iraq was bogus, and he should have opposed it. Following that vote, Biden resorted to weasel talk – as if we wouldn’t notice.

  • stevelaudig

    MacArthur pose without the pipe.

  • Zzyzx

    One piece of advice for Sen. Biden: GET A $400 HAIRCUT!!

  • travc

    Biden could pretty easily be mistaken for a younger McCain in this photo.

  • Hoyt Clagwell

    >>”Biden could pretty easily be mistaken for a younger McCain in this photo.”
    Except that even when McCain was younger, he still looked old.

  • Kit (Keep It Trill)

    I love that photo and your analysis of it. Thanks.

  • GeorgeF

    The guy with the glasses seems to belong to the army: according to the tag on his breast he is a sergeant/master-sergeant. But there is something puzzeling: look at the US-flag on his sleeve! Has the image been turned sidewise?

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