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Veep Sheet: Chet Edwards Makes Final List

BREAKING FROM AP: Congressman Chet Edwards, the Texas Democrat who represents President George W. Bush's district, is a "finalist" in the veepstakes, according to an Associated Press report.

"Democratic officials say that Edwards was one of the few Democrats whose background was checked by Obama's campaign, and he was a finalist for the job."

Edwards has been favored by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a vice presidential candidate, and his conservative record and background on veterans' issues could help Obama fill out his ticket.

AP says Obama’s choice is imminent – “hours away.”

On the day before Barack Obama is expected to appear with his running mate, is the McCain camp leaking? 

Time’s Mark Halperin claims to have sources saying it’s going to be Mitt.

“2 Republican sources say McCain has apparently settled on Romney as his pick, but no offer has been made.” 

Full stop.

On the Democratic side, it’s a shame the veepstakes are coming to a close — just when the contenders are getting so good at handling it.

Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh volleyed questions from reporters as he and his wife headed for the tennis courts.

“Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), a rumored front-runner on Barack Obama’s shortlist of possible running mates, said ‘not tonight’ when asked by reporters if there was anything new to announce."

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius brushed off The Kansas City Star — and said she’s handling the pressure just fine.

“‘I’m not in agony,’ she said. ‘Are you in agony?’” 

Sebelius added that the attention was good for Kansas: “‘I like anything that puts Kansas in a positive light,’ she said.”

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) deflected questions in Florida. Clinton: “Anything about the vice presidential choice should be directed to the Obama campaign.” 

Meanwhile, some Virginia voters are almost as eager as their governor to hear the big news. 

In an unusual angle on the Democratic side, Wired considers Sen. Joe Biden’s record on telecommunications and intellectual property and finds him “friendly to Hollywood.”

In a less unusual angle, David Brooks hopes for Biden.

“There are other veep choices. Tim Kaine seems like a solid man, but selecting him would be disastrous. It would underline all the anxieties voters have about youth and inexperience. Evan Bayh has impeccably centrist credentials, but the country is not in the mood for dispassionate caution.

“Biden’s the one. The only question is whether Obama was wise and self-aware enough to know that.”

With all eyes focused on the Democratic VP circus, The New York Times prints a conversation-driving piece declaring: “Former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota are the top contenders” for McCain’s vice presidential slot.

Enticing: “People close to the campaign also floated a wild-card choice, Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top American commander in Iraq. They said it was not beyond the realm of possibility that Mr. McCain would ask him to join the ticket, although Gen. Petraeus has no experience in elective government and has said repeatedly that he is not interested in the vice presidency.”

Also, we hear he’s kind of busy at the moment.

A Nevada radio station reports Romney is headed that way next week.

Notable, given that the West is one of the areas where Romney’s presence on the ticket would be expected to help McCain.

The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn, however, wonders if McCain’s housing-related issues make it less likely that the even-wealthier Romney will get tapped as a running mate.

Cohn admits: “This is exactly the sort of baseless horserac speculation that I frequently criticize.”

Politico’s Jonathan Martin flagged it yesterday: a Minnesota National Public Radio station has a poll showing that putting Pawlenty on the ticket puts the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes in play.

Says Larry Jacobs, of the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs: “Our analysis suggests that the McCain ticket jumps by 13 points by adding Gov. Pawlenty to the ticket.”

EBay’s Meg Whitman gets some home-state love from The Sacramento Bee, which writes up the buzz surrounding Whitman’s political future — either as a candidate for vice president or for governor of California.

On the vice presidency, Whitman tells the Bee: “I don’t think I will speculate on that today. He has a lot of very good people to choose from, and I know he will make a great choice.”

A Republican delegate from McCain’s backyard makes a little trouble for the GOP’s presumptive nominee, telling PolitickerAZ McCain should nominate a vice president who opposes abortion and adding: “I would not” vote for Tom Ridge at the convention.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford gives a Bidenesque statement on the vice presidency: Essentially, he’s not the guy.

No surprises there.

UPDATE: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports this morning that Biden has been “gathering the clan” in Delaware — one of his sons flew in from Maine on Wednesday. 

Obama may not even have notified his running mate of his decision when Biden’s son made the trip, but this could be a sign of confidence (or perhaps anxiety — comforts of family, etc.) from the Foreign Relations Committee chairman.

ALSO: Indiana Republican Sen. Dick Lugar, mentioned by some this week as a potential cross-party VP selection after Obama listed him among his most trusted colleagues at the Saddleback Church last Saturday, is headed abroad for two weeks for a trip focused on energy security, reports the Richmond, Ind., Palladium-Item.

This would seem to remove the (very) long-shot contender from the veepstakes.