“Now, with Joe Biden at my side, I am confident that we can take this country in a new direction; that we are ready to overcome the adversity of the last eight years; that we won’t just win this election in November, we’ll restore that fair shot at your dreams that is at the core of who Joe Biden and I are as people, and what America is as a nation. So let me introduce you to the next Vice President of the United States of America… ” — Sen. Barack Obama, Springfield, IL

PHAWKER: Strong choice. Look at it this way, all summer long John McCain has been working hard to define all the things that Obama is not and why that disqualifies him for the presidency. With one Veep pick, Obama fills in every hole in his resume. Joe Biden is everything Obama is not: A respected foreign policy expert with 30-plus years of Washington experience who’s not afraid to take the gloves off when need be. He is also — and we should not underestimate the importance of this with certain voters no matter how uncomfortable it is for anyone to say out loud — old and white. Mission accomplished.

NEW YORK TIMES: Everything You Need To Know About Joe Biden But Were Too High To Remember

FRANK RICH: What Obama also should have learned by now is that the press is not his friend. Of course, he gets more ink and airtime than McCain; he’s sexier news. But as George Mason University’s Center for Media and Public Affairs documented in its study of six weeks of TV news reports this summer, Obama’s coverage was 28 percent positive, 72 percent negative. (For McCain, the split was 43/57.) Even McCain’s most blatant confusions, memory lapses and outright lies still barely cause a ripple, whether he’s railing against a piece of pork he in fact voted for, as he did at the Saddleback Church pseudodebate last weekend, or falsifying crucial details of hisobama_mccain_boxing_1.jpg marital history in his memoirs, as The Los Angeles Times uncovered in court records last month.

What should Obama do now? As premature panic floods through certain liberal precincts, there’s no shortage of advice: more meat to his economic plan, more passion in his stump delivery, less defensiveness in response to attacks and, as is now happening, sharper darts at a McCain lifestyle so extravagant that we are only beginning to learn where all the beer bullion is buried. […]

After all these months, most Americans, for better or worse, know who Obama is. So much so that he seems to have fought off the relentless right-wing onslaught to demonize him as an elitist alien. Asked in last week’s New York Times/CBS News poll if each candidate shares their values, registered voters gave Obama and McCain an identical 63 percent. Asked if each candidate “cares about the needs and problems of people like yourself,” Obama beat McCain by 37 to 23 percent. Is the candidate “someone you can relate to”? Obama: 55 percent, McCain: 41. Even before McCain told Politico that he relies on the help to count up the houses he owns, he was the candidate seen as the out-of-step elitist. MORE

MARK LANEGAN & ISOBEL CAMPBELL: (Do You Wanna) Come Walk With Me?

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