Candidate: Joe Biden
Political Background: U.S. Senator from Delaware, Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Former Chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee
Campaign Website: http://www.joebiden.com
Dem Appeal: Stalwart Dem that has lots of experience, pro-environmental record, moderately-fair trade stance, pro-gun control, supports universal health care, anti-torture advocate, pro-union, pro-embryonic stem cell research, generally supports rehabilitation of criminals instead of incarceration, supports national ban on smoking, pro-flex fuel and alternative energy pursuits.
Cross-over Appeal to Republicans: Considered more moderate than other Dem candidates, shown more support for victory in Iraq than most Dems, realizes threat from nations like Iran and North Korea, supports border fence, supports partial-birth abortion ban/refuses to authorize federal funds for abortion.
Cons: Has Flip-flopped on gay marriage issue/missile defense, has tendency to speak before thinking, moderate message lost in a sea of partisanship.
My Personal Thoughts: Another good candidate (well, good for the Democrats) in the wrong year. Actually, hindsight tells me that Biden had a much better chance in say, oh, 1992...as he probably would have given Bill Clinton a run for his money.
Biden is actually a bit of a moderate conscience for the Democratic Party who usually ends up toeing the party line when push comes to shove. Many independent pundits agree that Biden would be a top-tier candidate if one of the Democratic "big 3" were not in this race. Biden has been one of the most consistent 2nd-tier fundraisers and seems to have a small, but strong, base of support that should keep him in the running for a VP candidacy unless something catastrophic happens to either John Edwards, Barack Obama, or Hillary Clinton between now and January 3rd (the Iowa Caucus).
Biden is another one of those "qualified for the job" politicians that simply didn't have a chance once the Democratic Party's "big names" jumped in. However, if the Democrats want to win over moderate and conservative independents, they would be well-advised to choose Biden as a VP candidate.