August 3rd, 2008
01:17 PM ET
14 years ago

VP fever intensifies as conventions near

[cnn-photo-caption image=
caption=" Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine could be in the running to be Barack Obama's VP."]

(CNN) - It happens once every four years: Political pundits, news junkies and water cooler crowds obsess over whom the presidential contenders will pick to be their No. 2.

sked by CNN's Howard Kurtz what drives the compulsion behind the "glorified guessing game," A. B. Stoddard, an associate editor at The Hill, said every journalist is hoping for a "James Bond moment" when he or she can be the one to expose the story.

That, she said, "obviously never happens."

"But it comes in a lull in the campaign - June and July. You know, the primary is over. It tends to get a little dull. Usually the negative ads ... haven't appeared yet, and so it's sort of a perfect time to begin the guessing game.

"It is their first presidential decision," she said on CNN's "Reliable Sources."

Roger Simon, chief political columnist for, said another benefit of dangling names in front of the public is that the candidates can use the media to vet those in the running.

"If there's anything is some guy's closet ... some local reporter who has covered this person for eight or 12 or 16 years might know about and might it get out before the candidate has committed to an embarrassing choice," he said.

Before the 1980s, presidential candidates typically did not unveil their running mates until the convention, often on its very last day.

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. norml

    he has good creds.

    August 3, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  2. S. Boatman

    Im Sure Obama Will Use The Same Good Judgement He Has Been Using And Choose Wisely!

    August 3, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  3. Bill From Fl

    If he dosen't choose Hillary, he can kiss the Presidency GOODBYE.

    August 3, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  4. Bhracak

    Obama is all in denial that he is taking advantage of his "color".

    He should instead be proudly accepting the fact, that YES, he is NEW, and his "skin" is giving him advantage, he has movivated lot of his skin color people to get involved. Nothing wrong in accepting the FACT, it won't hurt whites.

    Then, he is shy of one-on-one debate with the old guy, WHY ?
    If he thinks he has substance, go ahead and take on the opposition party, why run away from public debate ?

    August 3, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. rob

    Since there is a very real chance of McSurge not living through his Term(s). His choice of a VP candidate is of a vital concern to his potential supporters.

    August 3, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  6. williefloyd

    "You know the primaries are over, the negative ads haven't started"!!!
    Those are the only ads mccain has had. Who are you trying to kid?


    August 3, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  7. The Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    I think obama will pick Nancy Pelosi or Larry Craig or Barney Frank

    One of the above. They will help the ticket.

    WITH "HIS EXPECTANCY" it is always, "c'est moi, moi et moi.

    Give me a break

    He is too foreign, too risky, too different, and has a funny name. In his own words. (Obama is not the one)

    Let's go to McCain. He is a patriotic, he loves our flag and our democracy. Elect him and he will protect our values.

    August 3, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. pedro

    I conisider my self A Conservative Liberal I think Obama should pick Sen. Clinton as his VP in order to unite the Democrats. If he doesn't he will lose them and lose the election. And to the people who say if he picks here i won't vote for her, these people are the most liberal people and will never vote for Mcain so stop saying that your pissing people off!

    OBAMA/CLINTON = Vote Yes

    OBAMA/SOMEONE ELSE = I'LL Wait 4 years

    August 3, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. The Obvious Choice

    McCain secured his nomination several months ahead of Obama so why is its still to this day McCain has not selected a VP?
    It seems he is waiting on Obama to make his pick so he can then FOLLOW!
    By now McCain should have picked his VP just another instance of how McCain is NOT ready to Lead!
    Obama 08/12

    August 3, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. ALECO1 -----NOKOMIS,FL


    August 3, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. Sherry, Atlanta

    President Obama's judgement has been good-thus far.
    He will make the RIGHT CHOICE

    August 3, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  12. Charlotte

    Your right about the lull. These two jerks are both boring. The only excitement is which one will flip-flop next. So far, Obama is ahead on the flip-flops. FISA,NAFTA, and now OFF-SHORE DRILLING. His race card is getting worn out and he needs a new deck of cards, all jokers..

    August 3, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. Ted van Tol

    Go Barack, lead and pick your VP now
    and let McCain pick his own Oliver Hardy.

    August 3, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  14. Chuck, Montgomery, AL

    VP hysteria is only in the minds of the CNN talking (empty) heads. You people are just itching. It get's sickening to watch Blitzer salivate at the very thought of being able to bring it up over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over ...................................

    August 3, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  15. bk

    Nobody wants to be vp for bobble head Obama. He reminds me of Bush when he ran for the CHANGE president too. Arrogant, no foreign policy experience, and lost every debate. Unbelieveable and he still got elected, not once, but twice and look what happened. We got CHANGE alright. I hope the american people don't make that mistake again by electing Obama. The inexperienced Messiah.

    August 3, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  16. gg


    I am a supporter. Even gave you money. I will support an Evan Bayh on your ticket. However, in a fight, you need a fighter. Obviously not Clinton b/c you may not be able to trust her. But Biden has the ability to speak his mind. I believe he was instrumental in Democrats being the majority party in 2006 with his weekly appearances. Do not fall for those who will say his foreign policy will overshadow you. You are a special politician that many of us do not believe can be overshadowed. That being said, you need someone with the ability to go to the hill for you as you inspire and lead our country. Someone who can call John McCain OLD and INCOMPETENT and not be attacked because they are old also, but not as old in terms of mid 60s in comparison to 72.

    I will respect your choice but wanted to put this email plea out. Have confidence in yourself that no one can outshine your great talents. That is something that I have taken from your candidacy personally. Lastly, please raise the issue of COMPETENCE. This campaign is about the ability to go out to a town hall or meet with a leader (see Dali in Denver) without the need to have notecards in your hand. This is not a picture I believe the American people want their president to portray. It may not be that Senator McCain is too old to remember, it may just be that he is not as competent as you. You are a Harvard educated professor. He is someone that graduated 2nd from last at the Navy. Believe me, in this time of need for a smart politician, we need competence in the Whitehouse. We have had enough of the guy who shares my values and the guy that is like me. I for one as an independent would like the smart guy.

    August 3, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  17. Fella from Chicago

    Go ahead Barack and choose Governor Kaine. Senator McCain will choose Representative Cantor from Virginia. Whoever you choose, it will be checkmate and you lose. Senator McCain is sooooo much better at playing this game.

    August 3, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  18. Edward

    Surely in a nation of 300 million people there are hundreds capable of being President if called upon. Indeed, when our nation was born with only about 3 million, there were dozens of white men who could have done the job. Now, we have men and women of every race to choose from! Boo to the press talking heads who will inject cynicism into the selection of the VP candidates for both parties. Instead, please give us the candidates' positions on the issues so we can be informed voters.

    August 3, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  19. bill for barack

    "usually the negative ads ...... haven't appeared yet" ????????????
    What do you think McDubya is doing ?
    Running Howdy Doody re-runs ?
    That poor excuse for a human being has been nothing but negative.
    Well, he's been a liar too ............

    August 3, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  20. Molly

    Who cares who Fraud obama wants as VP – he Will NEVER be elected – he is NOT qualified to lead our country – so pick your grandmother for all I care – or maybe your "uncle" Rev. Wright.

    August 3, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  21. Mad

    With the polls leading the Democrats only 3 percent? Shame didn't all those others who had crazy supporters have like 17+ points ahead

    Wow its easy to tell the first time voters who support Obama because they think that a small lead is a good thing

    You don't know Republicans

    Whoever he picks he is dead- unless of course Clinton which won't happen

    McCain just needs a conservative- he has the independents covered

    I personally would like that Minnesota guy

    August 3, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  22. aware

    Obama is going to lose so his VP choice doesn't matter! If his numbers are way down he might ask Hillary but she would be foolish to accept! 🙁

    McCain has many excellent choices so his choice is really interesting to think about! 🙂

    McCain 08 and Hillary 2012! This is the only way to go unless you want America to enter a downward spiral far into the future.

    August 3, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  23. Mad

    +ad on to last comment
    his "record high voters"
    Are coming from such states as: Alabama, Mississippi, North Dakota, Wyoming, South Carolina, and other die hard Republican states-

    Even the states he wants to turn over are still leading Republican

    +CNN doesn't even poll the real people it seems since I don't know of anybody in this poll
    but out of 300 million americans its normal

    August 3, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  24. aware

    Obama is going to lose so his VP choice doesn't matter! If his numbers are way down he might ask Hillary but she would be foolish to accept! 🙁

    McCain has many excellent choices so his choice is really interesting to think about! 🙂

    McCain 08 and Hillary 2012! This is the only way to go unless you want America to enter a downward spiral that will reach far into the future.

    August 3, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. LatinosforMcCain

    Latinos for McCain 2008

    Obama is a LOSER!!!!! and a Whiner!!!!!

    Latinos for McCain 08

    August 3, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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