One thing that occurs to me about Biden as VP is that this really would be a very different administration than what we've seen for 8 years, which is really what Barack Obama is arguing for. Sure, Joe Biden has more seniority in the Senate than all but four of his colleagues there (since he's been in the Senate since he was 30). More important, however, is that Biden has always spoken his mind about what's right for his constituents or for America, and he's notoriously not a favorite of the K Street lobbyists for this very reason. In fact, he's listed as the "poorest" Senator in the Senate, despite his years of service and opportunities for, shall we say, "financial self-aggrandizement" (whereas John McCain is the "richest" -- because he married money).
But it's not whether Obama represents change -- he obviously does, unless you haven't seen our currency -- or whether Biden doesn't. The change comes in "how" the government operates, and the first step of that is nominating a VP who will argue forcefully within an administration for his point of view but not insist upon it, and maybe even speak out publicly when he is of a different mind. That's the way our early Republic worked, and if an Obama-Biden administration have some public dust-ups over policy proposals in the next four years, but can continue to respect each other and work together, that's one sign of a change in Washington, no doubt about it.
The charge that, by responding in tone and content to McCain's low-road attacks, Obama is going back on some pledge not to "attack" his opponent, here's what he actually said on November 10, 2007 (emphasis added):
"Our moment is now. I don't want to spend the next year or the next four years re-fighting the same fights we had in the 1990s. I don't want to pit Red America against Blue America. I want to be President of the United States of America.
"And if those Republicans come at me with the same fear-mongering and swift-boating that they usually do, then I will take them head on. Because I believe the American people are tired of fear and tired of distractions and tired of diversions. We can make this election not about fear, but about the future. And that won't just be a Democratic victory; that will be an American victory."
Finally, and probably most importantly, in July McCain claimed, "I have a perfect voting record from organizations like the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and all the other veterans service organizations." One problem with that: the VFW and American Legion don't compile congressional voting records.
Even more seriously, among those that do, McCain has a dismal record for veterans. According to the Disabled American Veterans, he has supported their issues only 34% of the time. Obama, on the other hand, has voted with disabled vets 89% of the time -- almost as much as McCain has voted with George W. Bush.
Another veterans group that tracks voting records, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, gives McCain a "D" -- since he voted to support their issues only 58% of the time. Obama supported this group's favored legislation 89% time, earning a B-plus.
More information (and from which I culled this information) is here, from the Central Shenandoah Valley News Leader.