American voters want candidates for vice president who appear capable enough to step into the Oval Office in the unlikely and tragic situations in which they are needed. That, among other things, made Sen. Barack Obama's choice of Sen. Joseph Biden as his running mate a wise one.
But it already has been pointed out that Biden brings something that had been lacking to the Democratic Party ticket. Some have referred to it as "gravitas." Others have cited Biden's long experience in the Senate, representing Delaware. Still other analysts have noted that Biden is an acknowledged expert on foreign policy.
That is all well and good - but if the Democratic Party ticket wins in November, it will be Obama, not Biden, who takes the oath of office as president. If history is any guide, Biden will be relegated to a spot in the administration far below that of No. 2, in reality.
Biden - like most candidates for vice president - is only political window-dressing, in other words. Voters are unlikely to forget that when they cast ballots on Nov. 4.