Obama does not disclose his vice president pick (Lead)

August 22nd, 2008 - 12:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 22 (IANS) Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says he has decided on his running mate in the November elections, but he’s not saying who it is.”I won’t comment on anything else until I introduce our running mate to the world,” he said Thursday. “That’s all you’re going to get out of me.”

Obama, hoping to be America’s first black president, is expected to appear at a rally with his running mate in Springfield, Illinois, Saturday. It’s unclear just when the campaign will announce the vice presidential choice via text message.

The top contenders for Obama’s No. 2 spot too are staying mum on the selection process as the vice presidential guessing game continues. Listed among the probables are Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Joe Biden, Indiana Senator Evan Bayh and Virginia Governor Tim Kaine.

Kaine would neither confirm nor deny reports he was being vetted, but he said he was flattered to be mentioned as a contender.

“You’re just going to have to hear from the campaign and they’ll make the announcement when they’re ready,” the first-term governor told CNN’s “American Morning” Thursday. “My mom in Kansas City loves it when someone will talk about me as VP,” he said.

Kaine also said he thinks that if Obama can take Virginia - which hasn’t voted for a Democratic president in 44 years - then the senator from Illinois would win the White House.

CNN said other candidates at the heart of the VP buzz have largely gone underground: Biden has been seen driving around in his truck, but he’s avoided any lengthy interviews. Bayh has also been keeping private - as much as he can, at least, with reporters staked outside his home.

Former first lady and one time Obama rival Hillary Clinton too has been mentioned as a possibility following a poll indicating that nearly half of her supporters have yet to embrace Obama.

Clinton was considered one of the top VP contenders shortly after she ended her own White House run and endorsed Obama but rumours of lingering tension between the former rivals have persisted.

The Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll shows that just 52 percent of Clinton supporters say they will vote for Obama. Twenty-one percent favour Republican John McCain, while 27 percent are still undecided or say they will vote for “someone else”.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. Other big names thought to be in the running include retired Gen. Wesley Clark, Senators Chris Dodd, Chuck Hagel and Jack Reed, Texas Representative Chet Edwards, former Senator Sam Nunn, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius.

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