WASHINGTON (CNN) - Barack Obama spent a second day off the campaign trail Tuesday, using his time in the nation’s capital to talk with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
But it was his “secret” visit to the office of a key campaign advisor that is drawing just as much attention. For the second day in a row, Obama stopped by the office of Eric Holder – a former Justice Department official who is leading the search for his vice presidential running mate. The campaign was mum on the details of Obama’s visit to Holder’s office other than to note that time had been blocked off for “private meetings.”
The Obama campaign told reporters that the Tuesday meeting would last more than two hours. Obama and his aides have been diligent about revealing very little about the vice presidential search. Whenever he is asked about it, Obama routinely says, “The next time I talk about my vice presidential selection, it will be to introduce that selection.”
With the Democratic convention one month away, speculation is mounting about when Obama will announce his running mate. Will it be before the Olympic Games, which start the first week of August, or shortly before the beginning of the convention at the end of the month? The same political parlor game is taking place on the Republican side as John McCain, too, wrestles with who will be his vice presidential running mate.
As for Obama, several names keep popping up as being under serious consideration such as Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, and Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. In the past 24 hours, Kaine has drawn most of the atttention thanks in part to stories written in The Washington Post and Politico about the Obama campaign vetting the governor. In an interview on Washington radio station WTOP Tuesday morning, Kaine said he is flattered to be mentioned but noted that the decision is up to the campaign.