WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama prepared to name his running mate, perhaps as early as Friday, from a small field that included at least one dark-horse finalist.
Democratic officials said little-known Texas Rep. Chet Edwards
was one of the few Democrats whose background was checked by
Obama's campaign and he was a finalist for the job.
Among others mentioned: Govs. Tim Kaine of Virginia and Kathleen
Sebelius of Kansas, as well as Sens. Joe Biden of Delaware and Evan
Bayh of Indiana.
Obama was to disclose the name to the world through a text message that could be sent at any time before a massive rally in Springfield, Ill., on Saturday, where he will present his No. 2 to the nation. The two then will undertake a pre-convention tour of battleground states.
The Illinois senator refused to say who he chose but gave some hints in an interview aired Friday.
"Obviously, the most important question is: Is this person ready to be president?" Obama told "The Early Show" on CBS. Second, he said, was: "Can this person help me govern? Are they going to be an effective partner in creating the kind of economic opportunity here at home and guiding us through some dangerous waters internationally?"
And, he added: "I want somebody who is going to be able to challenge my thinking and not simply be a 'yes person' when it comes to policy-making.
Although it appeared unlikely, Obama's vanquished rival Hillary Rodham Clinton still could emerge as his No. 2, and it was possible that there were other wild card prospects beyond Edwards who could
emerge. Among them: GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, who traveled
with Obama to Iraq and Afghanistan; Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry,
the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, or Democratic Sen. Chris
Dodd of Connecticut.
Edwards is a favorite of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who praised
his "extraordinary credentials" on ABC's "This Week" on Aug. 3 and said: "I hope he will be the nominee."
One Democratic official with knowledge of the conversation said
Obama told Pelosi recently that she would be pleased with the choice. Other Democratic officials said he was on the short list. All spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss Obama's selection process.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)