It turned out to be a false alarm of sorts. What the Times actually reports this morning is that Obama has "all but settled on" his choice, which could be announced as early as tomorrow morning. That all pretty much jibes with what most have suspected since Obama returned from vacation with just a week to go until his nominating convention kicks off.
Various other reporting today suggests that the pick may not be announced until Friday or even Saturday. Just to cover all the bases, why not throw Thursday in the mix? Everyone knows it's coming soon, so where is the "buzz" headed?
While Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and Indiana Senator Evan Bayh remain by all accounts at the very top of any short lists, Delaware Senator Joe Biden has been rocketing up the speculation ladder over the past several days. Events in Georgia and Pakistan have suddenly put foreign policy expertise at a premium for a candidate who's a first-term senator. If it's an elder statesman type that Obama is looking for, Biden looks like a strong contender.
But for all those strengths, Biden has been in the United States Senate for 35 years, making it a little harder to sell the idea that this team is going to change the way politics and Washington work. If it's an outsider Obama settles on, Kaine might best fit the bill. This would be a ticket more in the mold of Clinton-Gore in 1992 in that it would represent a changing of the guard. But Kaine's relative lack of experience could be a drawback.
Bayh remains at the top spot of the CBSNews.com vice presidential Hot Sheet because he seems to fit Obama's needs best. He has experience in Washington, but not too much. He's got some foreign policy credentials but has also been a governor. And, like Kaine, he comes from a potential swing state that Obama would love to put into his column. Drawbacks: His support for the Iraq War may cause problems with the base and he doesn't approach Obama's charisma.
Of course no one outside the candidate and some of his closest advisers know who Obama will choose, or if he's even made his decision yet. And there is some last-minute whispering that is intriguing. After months of being written off as a hazardous choice, Hillary Clinton's name is suddenly popping up again as a "surprise" pick. Likewise, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson have experienced a bit of resurgence while Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd and Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed remains unexpectedly in the mix. Time is short, stay tuned.