Vol. 3    No. 17
August 21, 2008
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
Obama-Biden for U.S.

Stories & Columns

Jon Hendricks to perform at Jazz
at 5 on Sept. 3/Say it with jazz,
by Jonathan Gramling

Tracey Williams is new vice
principal at Verona High/Blazing a
new path,
by Jonathan Gramling

Tom Carto looks at the Overture
Center's 2008-09 Season:
Overture and its community,
by Jonathan Gramling

Asian Wisconzine: Ramya
Kapadia's Arangetram/Classical
dance excellence,
by Heidi M. Pascual

Simple Things/Best days: A day at
the beach,
by Lang Kenneth Haynes

Politicas de hoy/Con ganas si se
por Alfonso Zepeda-Capistran

At UW-Richland's Exchange
Program, area teens help
Japanese teens prepare for a year
of study in the U.S.,
From UW-Richland

Jesus Rodriguez joins MATC
faculty/A different back to school,
by Jonathan Gramling

Centerspread/ The Diversity Times
by the People Program Summer
Class of Jonathan Gramling

Poetry & fiber art together in
From Madison Poet Laureate Fabu

MMSD Superintendent Dan Nerad:
Community-school organizer,
by Jonathan Gramling

Real Man-Real Dad Campaign"

Edgewood College Community
by Jonathan Gramling

12th Annual 100 Black Men's Back
to School Picnic/An abundance of
by Jonathan Gramling

The Lincoln-Douglas debates
Sesquicentennial celebration,
by Jonathan Gramling

Editorial Staff
Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Heidi Manabat
Managing Editor

Clarita G. Mendoza
Sales Manager

Contributing Writers
Paul Barrows
Fabu Carter-Brisco
Andrew Gramling
Lang Kenneth Haynes
Heidi M. Pascual
Laura Salinger
Alfonso Zepeda Capistran

©2008 The Capital City Hues
Transitions in Education
Damon Williams, Vice Provost for
Diversity and Climate
  A couple of weeks ago, I was having a lively discussion with friends over who Barack Obama would select as his
vice presidential running mate. Although I didn’t admit it at the time — wanting to appear highly knowledgeable in
these matters — I blurted out the name of U.S. Joe Biden. There were others who were shocked by the suggestion
and I felt like taking it back and not bothering to defend it. But I stuck with it just the same because of the foreign
policy thing.
 I avidly watch the Sunday morning talk shows; I’ve done it for years. And I think one of the faces that has popped up
the most is Sen. Joe Biden as the Sunday morning talking heads dissected and redissected the Iraq War. Biden was
always at the ready to offer his observations and was actually pretty knowledgeable about foreign affairs and his
answers were always pretty nuanced.
 Now that is the main reason I blurted out Biden’s name because I have always felt that Barack Obama was going to
get hammered on the lack of experience in foreign affairs and the whole terrorism thing. Never mind that Barack
spent part of his childhood in Indonesia and could probably bring a more global perspective to our foreign policy,
they would still hammer him anyhow because he wasn’t a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War like McCain is.
While Barack has the wisdom, he doesn’t have the experience.
 Just once, I would love to see the Republicans argue that a president without the lack of foreign affairs experience
can be disastrous by pointing to the record of George W. Bush whose previous foreign affairs experience prior to
winning — or stealing — the 2000 election was hobnobbing with oil producers like the Saudis. He didn’t have
experience and I don’t see the Republicans publically kicking him to the curb or asking him to step down because
he doesn’t know what he is doing. The Republicans don’t seem to have a problem with that.
But Biden has plenty of experience and has visited just about all parts of the world and met with most world leaders.
So Biden is a good pick from that point of view.
 And while Biden has been a member of the U.S. Senator for decades and appears to be an insider, you have to
like the fact that he commutes home to Delaware every day. That’s right, he doesn’t live in Washington, D.C. And so
every day, he hops back on the train and goes home to Delaware, several hundred miles away. So it just seems to
me that Biden does have a life, that he knows the difference between Washington, D.C. and his hometown and must
meet average Joes all the time on the train, at the terminal or maybe in restaurants or grocery stores. So you just
have to like that about him.
 And then he’s Catholic and that has to help. The Republicans have been slicing away parts of the Democrat’s
constituency for the past 28 years, ever since Ronald Reagan was elected. While they have no real intention on
doing anything about it, the Republicans have always played the “abortion card” every four years in order to peal
away part of the Catholic constituency that voted heavily Democratic since 1932 when Franklin Roosevelt was
elected president. The Republicans knew that when they played the “abortion card” they could get many Catholics
to vote against their own self-interest. And so the Catholic vote has become more Republican over the years. So with
Biden on the ticket, maybe Catholics will realize that the Republicans have done nothing on the abortion issue and
go with a ticket that features a Catholic. By the way, when was the last time that the Republicans nominated a
Catholic presidential or vice presidential candidate? Like maybe never?
 And then there is the case for Biden because he comes from a solid working class background and grew up in all
places, Pennsylvania, which is a hotly contested state in this presidential election. Perhaps Biden can appeal to all
those working class Reagan Democrats who have been bamboozled by the Republicans all these years and voted for
people who were eliminating their jobs, not creating them.
 So overall, I think Biden is a good choice. Yeah, he can talk too much at times and has criticized Barack in the
past and called him inexperienced. But I am sure that Barack’s people conducted a focus group somewhere to see if
Biden was attractive to key constituencies. And I’m sure the answer was yes.
 On to the convention and on to November 4.