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Obama Picks Biden for VP
Aired August 23, 2008 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks so much, Larry. Appreciate it. You look good on a Saturday night.
Hi, everybody. Here's what we're going to do tonight. We're going to break the rules, so to speak. Did Barack Obama keep his promise to more than a million people by texting his VP choice? In a special report we compare Barack Obama's social network outreach to John McCain number by number.
But first, we're going to do something tonight a little bit different than we often do. We're not going to just pick a bunch of sound bites that we have chosen and decided what you should be allowed to hear. No, no, no, no. We want you to hear Senator Joe Biden's speech for yourself, and then we're going to do something else with it. We're going to get some reaction from you at home. This is called a Twitter page.
I'm going to go on here and talk to people who are going to be talking to us. Essentially telling us on here, go ahead and start -- essentially telling us on here, let me get that back, what they think that Joe Biden has said and whether it's significant or maybe he's just the wrong guy for the job. Or maybe his speech aren't the right words that he should be using.
So we're going to get their comments, and then we're only going to interrupt the speech when one of our guests buzzes in. There they are. They're getting in position right now. Amy Holmes doesn't need makeup, but she probably is going to put just a little on while we're getting ready. There's the panel. Representatives from McCain, from Obama, a presidential historian. Our best correspondent and, of course, our political analyst Amy Holmes.
First, the speech, one that could help, make or break -- there's no question about this the Obama campaign. The Obama campaign, by the way -- I don't know if you've noticed -- the Obama campaign that hasn't been really doing so well recently. Certainly, it's nothing else at least comparatively speaking to how it was doing in the past. Here now the speech as it begins.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Let me introduce to you the next president -- the next vice president of the United States of America, Joe Biden.
(MUSIC PLAYING) SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, it's great to be here. On the steps of the old State House in the land of Lincoln. President Lincoln once instructed us to be sure to put your feet in the right place, then stand firm. Today, Springfield, I know my feet are in the right place. And I am proud to stand firm for the next president of the United States of America, Barack Obama.
Folks, Barack and I come from very different places, but we share a common story. An American story. He was the son of a single mom, a single mom who had to struggle to support her son and her kids. But she raised him. She raised him to believe in America. To believe that in this country there is no obstacle that could keep you from your dreams if you are willing to work hard and fight for it.
I was different. I was an Irish-Catholic kid from Scranton with a father who like many of yours in tough economic times fell on hard times, but my mom and dad raised me to believe, it's a saying Barack you heard me say before, my dad repeated it and repeated it. Said champ, it's not how many times you get knocked down, it's how quickly you get up. It's how quickly you get up. Ladies and gentlemen, that's your story. That's America's story. It's about if you get up, you can make it. That's the America Barack Obama and I believe in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: All right. We're buzzing in. Let's start with you, Amy, since I saw you there at the very end putting on your makeup. We've got Suzanne Malveaux, ready to go. We also have presidential historian Ellen Fitzpatrick who is going to be joining us. Michigan senator and Obama supporter Debbie Stabenow was there with us, smiling and ready to go. CNN's political contributor Amy Holmes, there she is. Frank Donatelli, Republican National Committee Deputy Chairman.
Amy, as I aforementioned I want to go to you because interestingly enough, Barack Obama had a slip of the tongue there. He introduced the next president of the United States. Some conservatives are saying that, in fact, it should be the other way around as this ticket is formed. Are you among those?
AMY HOLMES, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I don't know if conservatives would like to see Joe Biden be president of the United States. But certainly they were just jumping all over this and calling it a Freudian slip. You know, I'm going to be a little bit more charitable and just say that, you know, he's tired, he's a campaigning politician, I don't think that it meant that he thinks that Joe Biden should be at the top of the ticket.
SANCHEZ: Debbie Stabenow, how important is it for Joe Biden to come out and say that he's a kid from Scranton? What's he trying to deliver there?
DEBBIE STABENOW (D), MICHIGAN: Well, you know, Rick, this is a home run for those of us in Michigan. I love the fact that Joe's father sold cars when he was growing up. My dad sold cars. You know, we're the auto state.
Delaware is also an auto state. And when we're fighting to keep good paying jobs here in America, to stop the bleeding of manufacturing jobs. We've lost 3.5 million manufacturing jobs since George Bush took office. John McCain supported every single policy. And Joe Biden has been with us, those of us fighting for manufacturing, for the auto industry, he is terrific.
SANCHEZ: Frank Donatelli, let me bring you into this. Can Joe Biden deliver Pennsylvania and so many of those other non -- key word here non-Barack Obama enthusiasts?
FRANK DONATELLI, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Rick, he ran in one state in the primary election. He ran in Iowa. And he campaigned for a year and I believe he finished last. So this pick has nothing to do with electoral politics.
What it has to do with is that Senator Obama has a deficit as far as people in America that believe that he's qualified to be commander- in-chief, that has the judgment to be president. He's trying to import those qualities with his vice president. Unfortunately, it just doesn't work that way. You cannot -- if the top of the ticket does not have those qualities, the bottom of the ticket cannot give it to him.
SANCHEZ: I guess it remains somewhat to be seen. There are some arguments that actually a vice president can give you that oomph as J.F. Kennedy proved with LBJ in Texas. We'll see.
We've got Suzanne Malveaux who is standing by. We also have Ellen Fitzpatrick. We're going to go to them in our next segment. By the way, this was the most anticipated text message in history. The one about who is going to be VP, where Barack Obama was going to tell his supporters who the person actually was. Exactly how does Obama's tech reach compare to McCain's? We looked into that tonight. And we've actually broken down the exact numbers of how they compare. It's impressive.
And Biden on the attack. When we come back, you're going to see the pit bull that everyone's been talking about in Biden. In this speech, the second part that you're going to hear, he takes on John McCain and directly George W. Bush.
SANCHEZ: Welcome back to the world headquarters of CNN. I'm Rick Sanchez. Barack Obama text messaged his VP choice to supporters before announcing it. Though not before we at CNN announced it when we broke the story. John King. Obama milked the free publicity, though, for a week and got tens of thousands of extra followers. Smart? Probably. Breaking new ground? Most definitely. Here's a look at how he's done it.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) OBAMA: Hello Springfield.
SANCHEZ (voice-over): Barack Obama's campaign has connected him to millions and millions of people who might not have otherwise been as politically engaged. A much younger generation. Using what? MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, text messaging. For comparison purposes, here is a glimpse of his and McCain's social network outreach.
Barack Obama's Facebook page, 1.4 million friends. John McCain's? 210,000 friends. Obama's MySpace page, 456,000. McCain's, almost 65,000. Obama Twitters with 65,000 followers. McCain? Doesn't Twitter.
Of course Obama and McCain aren't the first to get tech savvy. Yes, it was Howard Dean. He dabbled with the Internet and was the first to successfully raise million of dollars from a huge online donors list. But even he admits he was unable to connect the dots. Unable to turn his donors' list into an active support base. It's what "Rolling Stone" magazine says Obama did do to win 16 of 18 caucus states.
SANCHEZ: So what's this all about? We haven't even told you about one of the most intriguing parts in all of this. Have you ever heard of MyBo? MyBo, Tim Dickinson has. He's covered the Obama campaign extensively. We've been checking in with the "Rolling Stone" here on weekend for several months now. Tell people what MyBo is and why it's different and more significant than a lot of stuff that's been done by politicians in the past then.
TIM DICKINSON, ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE: MyBo is short for mybarackobama.com. And it is Barack Obama's own version of Facebook or MySpace. And it's a social network where his supporters can get together. And post events online and they can follow what's going on with the campaign.
SANCHEZ: Is this, is this -- let me just stop you real quick. Is this stuff that he's doing truly revolutionary? Or old guys like you and me just see it and go, oh, this is different, so it's worth writing about?
DICKINSON: No, I think it is truly revolutionary. I mean, it's never been done in the political realm before. It's appropriating some of the things that you see in commercial Web sites like Facebook, but the idea that you can get your supporters organizing themselves more than anything has never been done on this kind of scale and with this ease as Barack Obama's doing it.
SANCHEZ: Is this why he won all but two caucuses, no question in your mind?
DICKINSON: I think it's a very big part of it. I mean, the offline component is also very important. I think part of what's unique about what he's been able to do is take online energy and translate that into on the ground action. And in a state where a caucus state where organization is pivotal, that makes a big difference.
SANCHEZ: And finally, this is the model. This is going to be the campaigning of the future? Everybody else going to do it like this from now on?
DICKINSON: Well, McCain has his own McCainSpace now. It's given that McCain hardly knows how to use a BlackBerry. I think there's not very much going on there right now.
SANCHEZ: A little different. A little generational lapse, I suppose. Thanks so much, Tim. We appreciate you taking time.
DICKINSON: All right. It's a pleasure to be here.
SANCHEZ: All right. McCain camp didn't waste any time, by the way, jumping all over Barack Obama's VP choice. I'm going to show you the attack of the campaign ads. You'll see it for yourself.
But first, here's what Obama's GOP rival John McCain has to say about his VP pick.
"There has been no harsher critic of Barack Obama's lack of experience than Joe Biden. Biden has denounced Barack Obama's poor foreign policy judgment, he goes on to say. And has strongly argued in his own words what Americans are quickly realizing, that Barack Obama is not ready to be president."
SANCHEZ: All right. I want to show you something now. John McCain's camp came out right away with their own ad. Here's what it says.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED NARRATOR: What does Barack Obama's running mate say about Barack Obama?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were asked is he ready? You said, I think he can be ready but right now I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training.
BIDEN: I think I stand by the statement.
UNIDENTIFIED NARRATOR: And what does he say about John McCain?
BIDEN: I would be honored to run with or against John McCain because I think the country would be better off.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I'm John McCain and I approve this message.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Suzanne Malveaux, I know you certainly have your ear up and following this stuff in Washington. Was that expected? Because that was really quick, wasn't it?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, sure. I mean, it was very fast. It's certainly not something that caught the Obama camp by surprise here. They expected that that was what was going to come back at them. Obviously, what they're trying to do is use the argument here that Joe Biden because of his experience, national foreign policy experience, that this does demonstrate an acknowledgment, even if you will, the weakness of Barack Obama about the judgment and the experience aspect of it.
SANCHEZ: I'm almost wondering, Suzanne, as I say this -- I mean, I wonder if they had like five ads ready to go in case it was Kaine or Hillary Clinton or somebody else? Would they be that sophisticated?
MALVEAUX: I'm not sure if they would be that sophisticated, the McCain folks. But I do know they anticipated each one of those particular people as a possible running mate, that they had research that was on them in terms of what they were able to use to basically hit back.
I mean, this is a very fast-paced campaign. It's one in which both sides had been very aggressive in attacking the other fairly quickly. The Obama camp did expect this. And what's interesting is that they're really trying to turn it on its head and try to twist this here to use it against them. But they're are going to come back and say -- look, you know, this is a complementary team. This does not necessarily prove or acknowledge that he can't handle certain things, but then he's reaching out to people who have the kind of experience that he's been talking about, that he's going to reach out to some advisers, key advisers, most notably this vice president.
SANCHEZ: Suzanne, Ellen, Debbie, Amy, Frank, get ready. Here is the second part of the speech as it was delivered today by Joe Biden. Let's listen to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: You know, ladies and gentlemen, it is not a mere political saying. I say with every fiber of my being I believe we cannot as a nation stand for four more years of this.
We cannot afford to keep giving tax cuts after tax cuts to big corporations and the wealthiest Americans while the middle class America, middle class families are falling behind and their wages are actually shrinking. We can't afford four more years of a government that does nothing while they watch the housing market collapse. As you know, it's not just the millions of people facing foreclosure. It's the tens of millions of your neighbors who are seeing the values of their homes drop off a cliff along with their dreams.
Ladies and gentlemen, your kitchen table is like mine. You sit there at night before you put the kids -- after you put the kids to bed and you talk, you talk about what you need. You talk about how much you are worried about being able to pay the bills. Well, ladies and gentlemen, that's not a worry John McCain has to worry about. It's a pretty hard experience. He'll have to figure out which of the seven kitchen tables to sit at.
Folks, again, it's not political sloganery when I say we literally can't afford four more years of this non-energy policy written by and for the oil companies, making us more and more dependent from hostile nations on our ability to run this country and literally, not figuratively, literally putting America's security at risk. We can't afford four more years of a foreign policy that has shredded our alliances and sacrificed our moral standing around the world.
Ladies and gentlemen, that's the bad news. But there is good news, America. We don't have to have four more years of George W. Bush and John McCain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: He's equating George Bush and John McCain, seems to be punching the president right in the nose. Making fun of John McCain. Is this the pit bull? Anybody can jump in here. Is this the pit bull that we have been talking about or hearing about -- who is going to say the things that Barack Obama may be too nice to say?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, Rick, I think it absolutely is.
HOLMES: We know he is. And that the pit bull is off of the leash. I think what we also saw today with Obama's speech and Biden speech is kind of the tactic they're going to be taking that Obama states are among the high road, playing the good cop. He didn't attack George Bush directly. Where at Joe Biden, he went over and over. He talked about the Bush-McCain years, forgetting that actually Dick Cheney was vice president. I keep thinking like Dick Cheney wants his enemies back.
SANCHEZ: Let's Debbie Stabenow now go -- good cop, bad cop. What do you make of that, Debbie?
STABENOW: Well, Rick, let me just talk about the substance of what he said, because it's right on. You know what, we in Michigan, we can't take four more years of this.
We're seeing wages go down if you have a job at all and every single cost go up. And when I look at the fact that there are 8.5 million Americans out of work -- first of all, we don't need any more experience that has brought that from John McCain and George Bush. So they're right to put them together. McCain has supported Bush 95 percent of the time. He's voted against autoworkers on things that we need. He's voted against working people.
SANCHEZ: No, we get it. We get it.
STABENOW: (INAUDIBLE) alternative energy, and on and on and on.
SANCHEZ: And you're saying, look, this is not tiddlywinks, it's politics. It's a blood sport. They're supposed to hit each and hit each other hard. Nobody has a problem with that. Frank, you OK with that?
DONATELLI: I'd like to comment on that. The senator is right that Michigan's economy is bad, but it's bad primarily because their governor has done what Senator Obama has promised to do to the whole country, which is in a soft economy, raise taxes. That's the absolute worst thing you can do.
SANCHEZ: So, you're saying -- I got you.
DONATELLI: If Michigan has a bad economy, it's because of their governor. Not because of anybody else.
STABENOW: Rick, I need equal time on that.
SANCHEZ: All right. Take ten seconds.
STABENOW: I need equal time on that if I can...
SANCHEZ: Take it. Take it.
STABENOW: ...Because the reality is Bush and McCain policies have created a race to the bottom in this country. In the global economy, they set up if you only work for less, lose your health care and your pension, we can compete. The problem is there will always be somebody who can work for less someplace else. That is a loser. And what Barack is talking about --
SANCHEZ: Guys, guys, we've got to leave it here because we promise we're going to see the entire speech. And I want to make sure we're able to do that. We've also got people trying to get in here on my own Twitter page. This is twitter.com/ricksanchezcnn, if you want to join us.
I'm going to start using your comments that you see right there. "I give Obama a solid B on the social networking says one of our Twitter friends. I'll take what you're saying to our guests when we come back. Joe Biden, he thinks the U.S. is in real bad shape. How bad? He tells us in his own words in the third part of his speech today.
SANCHEZ: One of our friends on twitter.com just wrote, he says, "Obama chose Joe Biden because he appeals to Hillary's voters. He championed two major women's rights laws." All right. There you go. We're going to keep sharing some of those as they come in. This now is Joe Biden talking about a couple of interesting thing. He goes on, as you're about to hear, in calling John McCain his friend and then he goes on to say that things have never been worse in the United States as far as he can tell, at least in his lifetime. Here are his words now. Let's listen to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: The next President of the United States is going to be delivered to the most significant moment in American history since Franklin Roosevelt. He will have such an incredible opportunity, incredible opportunity, not only to change the direction of America, but literally, literally to change the direction of the world.
Barack Obama and I believe, we believe with every fiber in our being that our families, our communities as Americans, there's not a single solitary challenge we cannot face if we level with the American people.
And I don't say that to say it; history, history has shown it. When have Americans ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, let their country down when they've had a leader to lead them?
Ladies and gentlemen, we believe that our tomorrows will be better than our yesterdays, and we believe we'll pass on to our children an even better life than the one we lived. That literally has been the American way, and it can be that way again. But there's a big, missing piece. The missing piece is leadership.
In all my time in the United States Senate, and I want you to know there's only four senators senior to me, but Barack, there's still 44 older than me. I want you to know that part. But all kidding aside, of all my years in the Senate, I have never in my life seen Washington so broken.
I have never seen so many dreams denied and so many decisions deferred by politicians who are trying like the devil to escape their responsibility and accountability. But, ladies and gentlemen, the reckoning is now.
And the reality, the reality is that we must answer the call or we will risk the harshest version and verdict of history. These times call for a total change in Washington's worldview. These times require more than a good soldier. They require a wise leader. A leader -- a leader who can deliver. A leader who can deliver the change we need.
I'll say straight up to you -- John McCain and the press knows this, is genuinely a friend of mine. I've known John for 35 years. He served our country with extraordinary courage and I know he wants to do right by America. But the harsh truth is, ladies and gentlemen, you can't change America when you boast. And these are John's words, quote, "The most important issues of our day, I've been totally in agreement and support of President Bush."
Ladies and gentlemen, that's what he said. You can't change America when you supported George Bush's policies 95 percent of the time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: This is a guy who really has got that fire in his belly, as some of my friends online here on Twitter have been writing to me tonight. Let's bring in our historian, Ellen Fitzpatrick. She's been patiently watching us talk about this.
Where would you place a Joe Biden as a prospective vice presidential candidate especially considering the way this guy is not afraid to like just put his personality and his passion out there for all to see?
ELLEN FITZPATRICK, POLITICAL HISTORIAN: Well, I think what's interesting about the segment that you just showed is that he's invoking the example of Franklin Roosevelt and the new deal. And in doing that, he's really telling us a story about where the Democratic Party is today. He, of course, is bringing up the great depression of the 1930s and the role that Roosevelt played in bringing African- Americans into the Democratic Party. And what we're seeing in this ticket really are two sides, two pieces of the history of the Democratic Party fusing.
SANCHEZ: But is that a message for this particular time in America? Anybody can pick that up?
FITZPATRICK: I think it's a very powerful message without generational change.
SANCHEZ: Why? Why now, though?
FITZPATRICK: Generational change. Generational change that is -- we're looking at a moment of deep dissatisfaction with the current administration. We're looking at a shift in power to one of the young nominee who just as Kennedy drew a contrast with the Eisenhower administration and two terms of a generation that needed to be left behind, this is what this ticket is saying and Obama is trying to say today.
SANCHEZ: Look what someone has just e-mailed to me. This is from zoo3kin, this is an interesting question. I'm not sure anyone of us in the media has caught this. Was the 3:00 a.m. text message sent by Obama last night a final swipe at Hillary Clinton for her 3 clock a.m. ad?
Guests on our panel, think about -- well, no.
SANCHEZ: We got -- hold on. We got to go to a break. When we come back, I want you guys to take a swipe at that because I hadn't taught about it. Maybe you have. Stay there, we'll be right back.
SANCHEZ: Boy, I'm reading here. People are all over this 3:00 a.m. call. Apparently folks here online are wondering whether perhaps it was a 3:00 a.m. call that was used as a swipe by the Obama people to get back at Hillary Clinton for the 3:00 a.m. ad that she had put out on the very day that they picked not her but Joe Biden as a vice presidential running mate.
Welcome back, everyone, to the world headquarters of CNN. I'm Rick Sanchez. Let's take that to our panel because I do find it somewhat intriguing. Who would want to take a stab at that?
HOLMES: I'd love to jump in. Actually, there's been a lot of Internet chatter, a lot of speculation that that might be the reason why it was sent at 3:00 a.m. There's an alternative explanation, which is that's when the cell phone company would allow such a huge bulk of e-mails to be sent out, text messages to be sent out so it wouldn't overload the system. So, I guess, whichever theory best suits your predilections.
SANCHEZ: That sounds fair.
Frank, do you buy it?
STABENOW: If I could jump in, Rick, and just say, there is no way in the world, no way in the world that they were trying to put this in Senator Clinton's face as we're coming together in unifying. There is no way. I understand the cynics and all the folks trying to look for angles, but I don't buy it.
SANCHEZ: This is not a CNN story. It is not an NBC story. This is a story that is being generated on the Web. I'm watching it develop now. I'm getting tens if not hundreds of people talking about it. I didn't look for it. I didn't put it out there. It just started coming to me.
SANCHEZ: Frank, what do you make of it?
STABENOW: I know, but my guess is it started with somebody in the McCain campaign headquarters. That's my guess.
SANCHEZ: You think? Frank, speak for the McCain campaign.
DONATELLI: We start all these rumors. You know --
(CROSSTALK) STABENOW: Well, they certainly want to keep us divided, but we're coming together.
DONATELLI: He had a chance to pick Senator Clinton and he didn't do it. In fact, I'm surprised to learn that he didn't even vet her. So he never seriously considered her for vice president. If they think that Senator Biden, somebody who by the way was elected with Richard Nixon in 1972 --
SANCHEZ: What are you trying to say, he's old?
DONATELLI: No. It says that he's been around a long time. And this idea of a new, young ticket for change is ridiculous. It's the same old politics.
SANCHEZ: All right, we're going to have to leave it there. We're going to come back to Debbie and talk a little bit about more on this, as well as the rest of our panel. Stay with us. We're coming right back.
In the next segment, you're actually going to hear Joe Biden in his own words talk about John McCain is now, quote, "trying to swiftboat if not swiftboating Barack Obama." That's the next part of his speech. He gets passionate as he often does. Again, we'll be right back. Stay with us.
SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez here at the world headquarters of CNN. Just looking over my notes as I went through tonight and looked at the entire speech that Joe Biden had given. This next segment that you're about to hear is when he comes down real hard on his, quote, "friend," John McCain, accusing him of, quote, "swiftboat politics." Those are the words he uses. Here they are. Listen for yourself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: You can't change America when you believe, and these are his own words, that in the Bush administration we've made great progress economically. You can't change America and make things better for our senior citizens when you signed on to Bush's scheme of privatizing social security. You can't change America and give our workers a fighting chance when after 3 million manufacturing jobs disappear, you continue to support tax breaks for companies who ship our jobs overseas.
You can't change America and end this war in Iraq when you declare and, again, these are John's words, "no one has supported President Bush in Iraq more than I have," end of quote.
Ladies and gentlemen, you can't change America, you can't change America when you know your first four years as president will look exactly like the last eight years of George Bush's presidency. My friends, we have --
CROWD: Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!
BIDEN: My friends -- yes, we can.
CROWD: Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!
BIDEN: My friends, I don't have to tell you, this election year the choice is clear. One man stands ready to deliver change we desperately need. A man I'm proud to call my friend. A man who will be the next president of the United States, Barack --
You know, you learn a lot of things being up close with a guy. You learn --
CROWD: Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama!
BIDEN: Let me tell you about Obama. You learn a lot about a man when you campaign with him. When you debate him 12 or 13 times. When you hear him speak. When you see how he thinks. And you watch how he reacts under pressure. You learn a lot about his strength of his mind, and I think even more importantly, the quality of his heart.
Ladies and gentlemen, no one knows better than I do that presidential campaigns are crucibles in which you're tested and challenged every single day. And over the past 18 months, I've watched Barack meet those challenges with judgment, intelligence, and steel in his spine.
I've watched as he's inspired millions of Americans, millions of Americans to this new cause. And during those 18 months, I must tell you, frankly, I've been disappointed in my friend, John McCain, who gave in to the right wing of his party and yielded to the very swiftboat politics that he so -- once so deplored.
And folks, campaigns for presidents are a test of character and leadership. And in this campaign, one candidate, one candidate has passed that test.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: That's how he treats his friend, and one would wonder, of course, how he treats his enemies. He's coming down, there's no question, gang. He's coming down real hard on John McCain, especially when he brings up the term swiftboat politics. By the way checking Facepage now as we continue to -- thousands of people are joining us tonight. Pardon me, I misspoke, this is Facebook.
We start at the bottom. Samuel writes Biden is the right choice. But look at this one. This is coming in from Louise. She says who cares what the 18 million Hillary voters thing? Clearly, Obama choose Biden and has moved on. Hillary should do the same. It seemed to be pretty clear since then.
So there you have two comments coming in, and these are coming in now. Let's go to break. We're going to bring the panel back on our conversation as we continue talking about this important speech tonight by Joe Biden.
SANCHEZ: Twitter.com, all joining us as well as our panelists. Let's go now to the very next or the end of the speech that Joe Biden delivered today. And then we promise we'll leave plenty of time to go to our panelist to get their reaction. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: But I was proudest, I was proudest, when I watched him spontaneously focus the attention of the nation on the shameful neglect of America's wounded warriors at Walter Reed Army Hospital.
Ladies and gentlemen, I know I'm told I talk too colloquially, but there's something about this guy. There's something about this guy. There's something about Barack Obama that allows him to bring people together like no one I have worked with and seen. There's something about Barack Obama that makes people understand if they make compromises they can make things better.
It's been amazing to watch him. But then again, that's been the story of his whole life. I end where I began. This is a man raised by a single mother who sometimes was on food stamps as she worked to put herself through school, by grandparents from the prairies of Kansas who loved him, a grandfather, a grandfather who marched in Patton's Army and then came home and went to college on the G.I. Bill. And a grandmother, a grandmother with just a high school education, started off working in a small bank in the secretarial pool and rose to be vice president of that bank.
Ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen, these remarkable people gave Barack Obama the determination and drive, and, yes, the values to turn down that big job on Wall Street, to come to Chicago's south side, where he helped workers help themselves after the steel mills had been shut down and the jobs disappeared.
Ladies and gentlemen, my wife Jill, who you'll meet soon, is drop dead gorgeous. My wife Jill, who you'll meet soon, she also has her doctorate degree, which is a problem. But all kidding aside, my Jill, my Jill, my wife Jill and I are honored to join Barack and Michelle on this journey, because that's what it is. It's a journey.
We share the same values, the values that we had passed on to us by our parents and the values Jill and I are passing on to our sons Beau and Hunter and Ashley. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm here for their future. I'm here for the future of your kids. I'm here for everyone I -- I'm here for everyone I grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, who's been forgotten and everybody in Claymont, Delaware, in Wilmington where I lived. I'm here for the cops and the fire fighters, the teachers and the line workers, the folks who live -- the folks whose lives are the measure of whether the American dream endures.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Debbie Stabenow, does he have the right stuff or does he -- as he says, is he too colloquial?
STABENOW: Well, I think he's great. I mean, Joe Biden tells it like it is. He's authentic, he's real. For folks in Michigan, they love him and will love him. Folks that haven't met him so far.
SANCHEZ: Is that going to serve him well as Barack Obama's running mate, though? Let's go back to you, Amy?
HOLMES: I think it will. And I think that's part of why he was chosen. I mean, you know, when we reflect back say on 1988 when Michael Dukakis chose Lloyd Bentsen, he delivered that very memorable line in the debate with Dan Quayle when he said I knew John Kennedy and you're no John Kennedy.
So I think Barack Obama is relying on Joe Biden to deliver just those types of zingers. And I would also add, Rick, is that Joe Biden, he is focused, he is concrete, he is down to earth, and if a little bit of that rubs off on Barack Obama who tends to dealing of distraction and kind of can talk around in a circle, that will actually help Barack Obama.
SANCHEZ: That's kind of a sideways shot.
Ellen, I want to bring you in here. If you were to pick a vice president, a Mondale, a Quayle, a Cheney, John Adams, any one of them as a comparison to what you think at this point in time Joe Biden would be, whom as a historian would you choose?
FITZPATRICK: I think in a lot of ways what the Biden choice brings to mind is the choice of LBJ by John F. Kennedy.
SANCHEZ: But wasn't that a bitter pill?
FITZPATRICK: It was in some ways, but it was a pill that when it took, when it was swallowed, produced a victory for the Democratic Party by unifying a diverse and complicated group of people who were committed to liberal change. And I think that's what we're seeing here.
SANCHEZ: By the way, we're going to have a special on that tomorrow night right here at 10:00. We're putting together a special report on vice presidents past and present and controversies as well.
By the way, I have to share this with you. It is from Sam. He says, Rick -- this is on Facebook -- I'm counting on you to do the same kind of coverage when McCain announces his vice president as you're doing tonight when Barack Obama has announced his vice president. Sam, we've already made that decision. I can guarantee you we will. We'll be right back.
SANCHEZ: All right. Let's start with some of the responses that you've been given me so far. From the top, you see that right there, This is from Earl. He says, "I can't wait to see the polls by next week to see how Biden will really help Obama." Sounds like there's a lot of anticipation there.
Let's look at this one as well. This is from Sam. He says "Biden is one of the reasons why Washington is broken. He Borked Bork and changed the traditions of the Senate. " Obviously there not a fan.
Let's go to my Twitter page now. To the very top. "I can't believe the Clintons were not even consulted on this pick. It seems like there are hard feelings, Rick."
And then we've got several here from Karoli (ph) as well. And she has been e-mailing throughout the night. She also says that she would like to help us improve some of the substance that we talk about in this. We will, we promise. We're just getting started. All right, we'll be back in just a second with some closing thoughts. Stay with us.
SANCHEZ: All right. As you can see, we're trying to do something somewhat revolutionary here. We're trying to bring you the news while at the same time connecting with you on some of the social networking sites like Facebook, and MySpace, and Twitter and the like.
So, if you want to keep up with us while we're doing our newscast. Add to our conversation as you did tonight. You can find me on twitter.com/ricksanchezcnn. You can also go to Facebook or you can go to MySpace. Same thing. There's myspace.com/ricksanchezcnn and Facebook as well. There you can keep up with the news, share in our conversations and in our newscast. And Man, is this fun. Thanks so much. We'll see you again tomorrow right here at 10:00 p.m. Good night, everybody.