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Speculation on VP picks keeping political minds busy



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New tonight Tonight, leading contender for the Vice Presidential slot, Illinois Senator Evan Bayh, has been told he's out of the running. Virginia Governor Tom Kaine is also spreading the word that he's been eliminated.

That leaves Delaware Senator Joe Biden as the leading contender to be on the Democratic ticket with Obama.


The fall campaign season is set to step into high gear with both presidential candidates readying for their national conventions and ready to name their picks for vice president. Watching and waiting, that's been the story today as Barack Obama prepares to name his running mate. Many people have been checking their e-mail and text messages for the early word.

This is the latest innovation in the world of politics. Both campaigns send out a seemingly endless number of e-mails and text messages to supporters. Obama is set to announce his running mate, this week, today, any time now via text message, but so far it hasn't happened.

The waiting is the hardest part; that's what an old song said, and it's been true today as the Obama campaign has generated plenty of suspense and virtually hyperventilating news coverage complete with cameras outside the homes of potential VP picks.

Speculation on VP picks keeping political minds busy

One leading contender for the vice presidential slot, Illinois Senator Evan Bayh has been told he's out of the running. Virginia Governor Tom Kaine is also spreading the word that he's been eliminated.

That leaves Delaware Senator Joe Biden as the leading contender to be on the Democratic ticket with Obama. Democrats from Utah who are going to next week's convention have been mulling over the options.

There's speculation about Sen. Joe Biden. "Well, he's got that foreign policy gravitas that some people say he needs. There's no questioning his credentials on that. He's an amazing debater, which is important. He's an attack dog, and it's clear the Republicans have indicated that's the kind of campaign he wants to run," Salt Lake County Council member Joe Hatch said.

Or could it be Hillary Clinton? "I think she's the best choice for vice president. I think she has the background, she has the sophistication. She spent eight years in the White House, and that's a great apprenticeship in my mind," Salt Lake County Council member Jenny Wilson said.

Speculation on VP picks keeping political minds busy

Some political observers wonder if Obama is strategically building anticipation. Kirk Jowers, the director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics, said, "Since they haven't announced this week, as we thought they would, it does give a little more credence to the fact that this might be someone that's way out there, like an Al Gore, like just someone we couldn't ponder. Because that would be a way to explode the Democratic National Convention."

In the meantime, Mitt Romney remains high on John McCain's vice president list, a pick that would be sure to inspire Utah's GOP and deflate Democrats. "If McCain picks Mitt, what does that mean for Democrats in Utah? It means it's over. No, I don't know if it's over, but it's going to make it very hard. Because Mitt is a favorite son, and people will show up to vote for him," Salt Lake County Council member Jim Bradley said.

We will of course have full team coverage of both national political conventions. Richard Piatt and our team will be first in Denver with Democrats then at the GOP convention in Minneapolis. It all should be very interesting, and we'll likely know both vice president picks within the next week or so.

E-mail: jdaley@ksl.com

John Daley

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