Okay, I lost interest in the Olympics at about 10:35 last Saturday night when Michael Phelps won his historic 8th gold medal. Part of it was the fact that that sports that remained (outside of volleyball which I do enjoy watching) are not sports of which I am particularly fond, and part of it was the fact that the media (and NBC) seemed to stop caring enough to shield me from finding out results before they were aired. (Somehow knowing Shawn Johnson was going to win the gold made watching her win the gold not all that exciting. I mean, it's like knowing who Keyser Soze is before the movie even starts!)
So this week, outside of getting myself mentally prepared to go back to work and fighting the demon grapevines, my focus has shifted to my spectator sport of choice -- politics. I'm not even going to begin to discuss how upset I am that the start of the Democratic convention coincides with my return to work (and lack of 24/7 access to convention coverage). We've all had a nice little break here this summer, recovering from the Fight Club that was the primaries, and the time has come to complete the family for November. According to all reports, tomorrow, Barack Obama will be speaking in Springfield (a mere 2 hours and 10 minutes from my house!) to kick off his journey to the Democratic Convention in Denver AND announce his running mate. All week, I've been pouring through various articles online dissecting the believed-to-be major contenders for the spot. Mostly, though, I've been on pins and needles waiting to see if the vice presidential choice *I* targeted months ago will actually be the one chosen. The choice I have long said would be the perfect choice is intelligent, has a tremendous amount of experience in foreign relations, and endured a disappointing campaign during the primary. This candidate was my top choice until dropping out. And that person is . . . . Joe Biden.
Yes, I was one of the ten people in America who actually intended to vote for Joe Biden last winter. I was devastated when he ended his campaign the night of the Iowa primary and spent the next several weeks between Iowa and Illinois agonizing in trying to choose a candidate to replace him. (Anyone who knows me well will know that decision making is not one of my strengths.) I was a Biden supporter for a lot of the same reasons why he seems to be one of the top candidates for Obama's veep -- he's experienced, he knows his stuff when it comes to foreign policy, and he is a bulldog in a debate. Last September, I attended a candidate's forum in Davenport, Iowa, where all of the Democratic candidates (minus Obama and Kucinich) debated and I was impressed by Biden's intelligence, passion, and fearlessness. He was charming but with substance and wasn't afraid to take on Hillary Clinton who was, at that time, pretty much assumed to be the nominee. As my sis and I left the forum that evening, we both remarked how charmed we had been by Biden and that Hillary would be wise to consider him to be her veep.
My admiration for Biden was furthered throughout the winter and spring as I would catch his appearances on Meet the Press and listen to him talk about foreign policy, the one area which concerned me the most where Obama was concerned. When Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in Pakistan, Biden was a terrific voice of reason and seemed to be the one "talking head" I saw who seemed to understand the complexity of the situation over there and who seemed to offer the best ideas for how the U.S. should respond.
According to what I've just read this evening on cnn.com, Biden appears to be emerging as the likely choice. Sources in the camps of Virginia Governor Tim Kaine (whose appearance on Meet the Press last Sunday was not particularly impressive) and Indiana Senator Evan Bayh have apparently revealed that neither Kaine nor Bayh will be the choice. Another source reports that Hillary Clinton was never seriously vetted. That leaves, according to the list I've been able to cobble together via CNN, The NY Times, and the Huffington Post, Biden and longshot Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas with most pundits leaning towards Biden. Unless Obama has a surprise to pull out of his hat tomorrow morning in Springfield (like Congressman Chet Edwards of Texas), it looks like my man Joe is the one.
Now . . . who is McCain going to choose . . . .?