I have a confession to make. I really like Joe Biden. I went to school with his son (the Attorney General of Delaware), and while I did not know him well, we did have a passing acquaintance. Back when I lived in Washington, I met the Senator on a few alumni occasions, even once having lunch with him. Unlike most politicians I have met, he is interesting, has a personality and interests outside of politics.
In fact, belying the fact that Biden has been a career politician, politics seemed very secondary to him. To me that is a mark in his favor, as I worry that too many people feel that politics (and government) is the font of all that is good and holy in this world.
I also find him to be a real adult and a serious person. His does have a reputation for shooting his mouth off, but again, I think that is because he is not a politicians that measures everything he says against a focus group.
Politically, he is something of a through back to the "old" pre-McGovern Democratic Party. You could label him a "Scoop Jackson Democrat" or maybe better as the old Catholic Democrats that dominated the party in the North East until the late 1960s. Does he bring anything to the ticket? He brings a wealth of foreign policy experience and a lot of gravitas. I do worry that we would be in the same situation as with Cheney and Bush in 2001, namely that President Obama might essentially fob off lots of national security issues to Biden.
But all in all, Barrack Obama could have done far worse.