Obama says mind is made up on running mate

August 22nd, 2008 - 11:14 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 22 (DPA) Barack Obama has said that he has made up his mind on who to pick as his vice presidential running mate, but the world will have to wait for his official announcement in the coming days.”That’s all you’re going to get out of me,” the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said in an interview with the USA Today newspaper Thursday, adding that “we had some great choices”.

Speculation over who Obama will pick as his running mate has reached a feverish pitch in the last few days. One of the top prospects, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, joined Obama on the campaign trail Thursday.

Obama is in the middle of a two-day swing through southern Virginia, which has become one of the most hotly contested states in the country this election season.

Kaine, 50, joined a rally that played up Obama’s economic policies in the southern town of Chester.

Virginia has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Lyndon Johnson in 1964, but an influx of left-leaning and younger voters into affluent northern suburbs near Washington over the past years has put the state back into play.

Obama trounced his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the state’s primary in February and has led in opinion polls against Republican rival John McCain. But a current average of state opinion polls by realclearpolitics.com puts McCain ahead of Obama by 0.6 percentage points.

Kaine, elected governor in the state in 2005, could help put Obama over the top. A rising star in the Democratic Party with a reputation for bipartisanship, Kaine is also a national co-chair of Obama’s presidential campaign.

Obama is expected to name his vice presidential pick by Saturday, via text message and email to supporters. Some pranksters have been sending fake messages announcing the decision in past days, according to CNN.

Other possible running mates include Delaware Senator Joseph Biden, the 66-year-old chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Evan Bayh, 52, a popular senator and former governor of Indiana and; Bill Richardson, 60, a former UN ambassador and the governor of New Mexico.

“I want somebody who’s independent, somebody who can push against my preconceived notions and challenge me so we have got a robust debate in the White House,” Obama told USA Today.

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