Reports are that Barack Obama has made his Veep decision and will be campaigning with the running mate on Saturday, so that means he should be announcing the pick really soon now. Ryan Wu had a long blog post on the subject a couple weeks ago, and I joined in the discussion. So lemme just give a really brief rundown that will make me look good if I guess right:
Hillary Rodham Clinton: A couple months ago I would have said there was no way Obama picks Clinton; now I could see it happening --- maybe even more likely than anyone else. Obama's been losing ground against McCain over the past month or so as he hasn't really put up a good defense against the Republican slime machine, and Clinton would, if nothing else, be a fierce campaigner. More pros: popular in Appalachia, still has a lot of fans in general. Cons: Said McCain was more qualified than Obama, hurts the "change" message, is hated by many.
Brian Schweitzer: Still my favorite, would be a very pleasant surprise to see him picked. Very smart, and while Montana only has 3 electoral votes, he could be very popular throughout the West. Could have "regular guy" crossover appeal, and reinforces the change message. Cons: Unknown on the national scene, short experience record.
Joe Biden: Has been in the news a lot lately. Could be counted on to be a fierce campaigner, but could also shoot his mouth off and embarrass himself (and Obama). Has been in the Senate forever, which means experience (good), but also means "Washington insider" (bad). Delaware isn't exactly an electoral powerhouse, either.
Tim Kaine, Mark Warner, Jim Webb: I don't really know a whole lot about any of these three Virginians, but the idea here is that carrying the Old Dominion (and maybe North Carolina) could tip the election, and, more generally, that all three are Democrats with crossover appeal to Republicans. Webb has military bona fides, but is maybe too conservative for Obama.
Kathleen Sebelius, Evan Bayh: The Kansan governor and Indiana Senator have both shown crossover appeal and have very little in the way of negatives, but neither is seen as really being able to energize the electorate. Is bland really what Obama needs at this point?
Dark horses: Sherrod Brown (gets you Ohio), Jack Reed (liberal with military bona fides).
Not going to happen:
Feel free to mock me mercilessly if any of the following get tapped to be running mate.
Wesley Clark (lame campaigner, brings nothing *but* military experience)
Bill Richardson (lame campaigner, rumored to have skirt-chasing problems)
John Edwards (cheated on sick wife)
Christopher Dodd (seriously, what does he bring to the table?)
Chuck Hagel, Lincoln Chaffee (are Republicans)
Janet Napolitano (isn't going to beat McCain in Arizona, rumored to be lesbian)
Sam Nunn (too conservative, out of the spotlight too long)
Howard Dean (would be mocked)
Al Gore (doesn't want the job, already had it for eight years, bad blood from 2000)
Anthony Zinni (no political experience)
Update 8/22/08 9:40 A.M.: I should probably also list "some guy I've never heard of" under "legitimate possibilities"... this article is talking up Representative Chet Edwards of Texas, who is currently George W. Bush's congressman in Crawford. I don't know anything more about him than what's in the article... regular-guy appeal can help nationally, but Obama's not going to win Texas regardless*. And I should add Colin Powell to the "not going to happen" list since not only is he a Republican, but also since his testimony at the U.N. helped get us into Iraq in the first place.
*Well, he's not going to win Texas unless he performs way better than expected, an LBJ-in-'64-style drubbing of the Arizona Republican. Obama only gets Texas if he's got plenty of other electoral votes and doesn't need it.