Who's It Gonna Be?

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 20, 2008; 9:59 AM

We are witnessing a new phenomenon in the annals of veepstakes mania: the pre-reaction.

It's like everything else in our fast-forward media culture: Why wait for the actual event? Whip out that keyboard and tell everyone what you think about Obama's VP choice right now.

Don't know who it is? So what? You're not going to let a little thing like that get in the way, are you?

As I've been chronicling in this space, various pundits have been sounding off for months on all kinds of potential choices for both Barack Obama and John McCain. But now that O is on the verge, and the buzz (informed or otherwise) is growing louder for Joe Biden, a number of liberal bloggers are offering their blessing. Sometimes it's a qualified blessing, but they're comfortable with the Delaware Democrat.

The working assumption is that it's come down to Biden and Evan Bayh, with the Indianan deemed the safer but less exciting choice. Tim Kaine's stock is fading with the selection of fellow Virginian Mark Warner as keynoter, according to this analysis. A few folks are still floating Kathleen Sebelius, Dick Lugar and other names. Almost no one is expecting Hillary Clinton.

Wait! Biden's car passed some reporters yesterday and he said, "I'm not the guy."

But--wait! A source close to Biden says pay no attention, he still could be the guy. And in a later drive-by, Biden told the scribes he had no idea whether he'd been chosen.

But when will--hold on! Lynn Sweet says the rollout comes Saturday in Springfield.

But--oh boy--the Chicago Sun-Times reporter doesn't say that will be the running mate's first appearance, so it could be sooner.

Aha! CBS says the announcement will come Friday afternoon. Hmm . . . What's the definition of afternoon?

And, on the Republican side, I haven't even gotten to the Joe Lieberman boomlet, which succeeds the Tom Ridge boomlet.

"The goal is to maximize favorable publicity -- and build excitement for the conventions -- without creating problems that could mushroom in the hothouse atmospheres of Denver and St. Paul," says the L.A. Times. But by heightening the melodrama, the effect seems to be one of raising the stakes for the eventual choice.

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