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Veepstakes: The final round

Posted: Updated:

Aug. 1, 2008

By Samantha Hayes

WASHINGTON -- History would tell us that we shouldn't speculate on who the candidates will pick as their running mates. Well, at least we shouldn't report on it. After all, here in Washington, this sort of guessing game could be an Olympic sport.

But lest a reporter get overzealous, let's be reminded of what happened a little more than four years ago. Tuesday, July 6, 2004.  Thinking they had a hot tip, the New York Post, on its front page, showed a picture of John Kerry, the Democratic nominee, with Congressman Dick Gephardt under the banner "Kerry's Choice."  Not quite. Kerry chose North Carolina Senator John Edwards.

In this Presidential election, the veepstakes, as it's called, is twice as fun because there is no incumbent candidate.  We are as curious about Obama's pick as we are McCain's.  Stopping short of naming anyone in particular, here are a few people widely thought to be on the "short lists."

Obama: A lot of speculation this week about Virginia Governor Tim Kaine. Kaine, who is in his first term, would reinforce Obama's theme of bringing change to Washington. He also speaks Spanish fluently and endorsed Obama before much of the Democratic establishment. Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, who had supported Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Joe Biden, and Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius are also thought to be in the running.

McCain: The Washington Times is floating the idea of a female VP pick, especially as McCain tries to attract women who had supported Clinton. Sarah Palin, the conservative governor of Alaska, and Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and one of McCain's top economic advisors are thought to be two top choices, according to the paper. In the governor category, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Mitt Romney, the former rival and former governor of Massachusetts are also considered front-runners.

A headline-grabbing announcement from the candidates before the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Beijing on Friday, might be a good bet. But that's as far as this reporter's speculation will go.

By the way, there is an auction on eBay for a copy of the New York Post's Gephardt blunder from 2004.  At last check, the highest bid was $19.99.  Incorrectly reporting one of the biggest stories of the election? Priceless.

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