Muckraker: Grist on Politics

Barack Obama is expected to reveal his vice presidential selection sometime this week, possibly as soon as today, though it’s looking like a campaign event in Springfield, Ill. on Saturday is the most likely location for an announcement. If you’ve turned on cable news in the past few days, the pundits have been jabbering non-stop about who he might select. Most speculate that the running is probably down to four possible candidates: Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, and Delaware Sen. Joe Biden.

In past references to his as-yet-unannounced veep pick, Obama used the phrase “he or she.” But in a campaign event yesterday in North Carolina, Obama dropped the “or she” (via Marc Ambinder):

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Let me tell you first what I won’t do. I won’t hand over my energy policy to my vice president, without knowing necessarily what he’s doing. I wont have my vice president engineering my foreign policy for me. The buck will stop with me, because I will be the president. […] But here’s what I do want from my vice president, I want somebody who has integrity, who’s in politics for the right reasons. I want somebody who is independent. Somebody who is able to say to me, ‘You know what, Mr. President, I think you’re wrong on this and here’s why,’ and will give me [applause] who will help me think through major issues and consult with me, would be a key advisor. I want somebody who is capable of being president and who I would trust to be president. That’s the first criteria for vice president.

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Some are speculating that this description sounds an awful lot like Biden, whose name seems to be the most discussed of late. But Biden told a news crew camped outside his home yesterday that he’s “not the guy.” Just in case the pundits are actually right for once, check out Grist’s interview with Biden from last year and a fact sheet on the senator.

On the Republican side, it’s less clear who is on the short list to serve as John McCain’s running mate. McCain is expected to announce his selection on August 29, which is both the day after the Democrats wrap up their convention and the senator’s 72nd birthday.