Senator Barack Obama from Illinois, the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, announced Joe Biden as his Vice Presidential running mate. The announcement came via text message early Saturday morning, to people who had signed up to receive the announcement on the official Barack Obama campaign website.

Obama and Biden after the announcement on August 23rd

Obama and Biden after the announcement on August 23rd

Friday afternoon, several campaign officials had informed the media that the text message announcement would be distributed Saturday morning. Reportedly, the announcement would come a few hours ahead of a scheduled rally at the Old State Capitol State Historic Site in Springfield, Illinois, where Obama and and whoever the VP candidate would be would appear together for the first time as the Democratic ticket.

On August 19th, Biden while leaving his house reportedly said to some reporters, “Hey guys, I’m not the guy.”

Biden had been one of the top choices for being the VP candidate according to Rasmussen polls. Following his trip to Georgia, from August 17th through the 18th, he was surrounded by a lot of speculation that he would in fact be the candidate.

On Thursday, Barack Obama announced that he had already made his decision, but wasn’t yet stating who the VP candidate would be. On August 20th the Obama campaign reportedly sent a email to select news agency with the subject being “Vice presidential…”. However, the contents of the email did not state who he had picked, but instead the first line of the email was “just kidding.”

Joe Biden

Joe Biden

Prior to the announcement of Biden being the VP candidate, Evan Bayh, Hillary Clinton, Chet Edwards, Tim Kaine, Bill Richardson, and Kathleen Sebelius had all been reported as being on the short list.

Obama has been reportedly calling the potential VP candidates and informing them that they had not been picked. Sources said that Governor Tim Kaine and Senator Evan Bayh had been told they were no longer considered. None of the other choices had stated whether or not they had been called, though Representative Edwards specifically stated that he had not been contacted.

The 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado begins on August 25, 2008. Biden will reportedly speak on the third night of the convention.

Republican candidate John McCain of Arizona has not yet announced who his running mate will be. The 2008 Republican National Convention begins September 1, 2008 in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Biden, a Senator from Delaware, is currently the committee chair for the foreign relations committee. Biden has served in the Senate since 1973, and was the head of the judiciary committee from 1987 through 1995.

Source : wikinews

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Pastor Rick Warren

United States Presidential candidates Senators Barack Obama and John McCain each participated in a live forum broadcast from Saddleback Church in Lake Forest. The forum, moderated by pastor Rick Warren, was scheduled to showcase the candidates to an evangelical segment of the population, who account for 26.3% of the American public.

During the forum the candidates were each individually asked a series of identical questions by the pastor, with Senator Barack Obama going first and Senator John McCain taking his turn after being held in a soundproof room as Obama was interviewed. On some questions the candidates differed in their interpretations.

When asked whom they believed were the three wisest people to rely on as president, Obama answered that his wife and grandmother were at the top of his list along with a mix of Republican and Democratic Senators. McCain comprised his list of a range of people: the architect of the troop surge in Iraq, General David Petraeus; Democratic Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis; and the former CEO of eBay, Meg Whitman.

In response to being questioned about their toughest decisions in life, Obama answered that deciding to oppose the Iraq War in 2002 was his toughest, while McCain cited his refusal to leave his men behind in a POW camp in Vietnam when given the chance.

On some philosophical questions the candidates differed in their moral stances. When asked when they believed individuals should be given human rights, Obama responded that the question was “above [his] pay grade” while McCain decisively replied that he believed it should occur “at the moment of conception.” On the concept of evil, Obama related it to the situation in Darfur and on America’s streets. McCain related it to radical Islamic extremism relaying that he believed evil should be “defeated.” He then promised that as president he would hunt Osama bin Laden to the “gates of hell.”

On a few questions the candidates had similar responses. They both answered that the biggest moral dilemmas in their lives were personal mistakes they had made when they were younger. For Obama, it was his drug use, for McCain it was his failed first marriage.

Both candidates were on the stage together briefly between the interviews and shook hands and hugged in a moment symbolic of Warren’s call for civility at the beginning and end of the forum.

Source : wikinews