Unless my head is truly befuddled, I believe today is the day Barack Obama will announce his choice for a running mate this fall. The press has been all over the map - Bayh! Biden! Richardson! Clinton! - and most of those watching on the sidelines scratch their heads and mutter, "Wha'?" The last time a VP choice really mattered all that much to anyone was 1960, when JFK picked LBJ to balance out his ticket (Dukakis tried to emulate Kennedy in 1988, and elevated Lloyd Bentsen, who had the one moment of real glory for Democrats during the VP debate with the hapless Dan Quayle). Since then, its been a press orgy but not much else.
This year, I think the Democrats understand that the VP stakes are a press priority, so they have been playing it up in order to keep people interested. Since Dick Cheney has been such a vital part of the Bush Administration, many insiders believe the choice of running mate will take on new meaning. I don't think so. Cheney's role was as much eminence gris for the Washington naif W. as anything. Cheney had shown a remarkable ability to play off the bureaucracies against one another in order to get his own way as Ford's Chief of Staff and later as Bush 41's Secretary of Defense. He would grease the squeaky wheels of government for his President, and has been remarkably successful, if somewhat dark and underhanded, about it.
In any event, much of the blogosphere has been abuzz about a possible Obama/Clinton ticket, and I think in many respects it would be a good choice. It does come with a downside (and a real one, not the fake ones the press will explain in exquisite, and false, detail), though, and I believe Obama recognizes that. He's got Sen. and former President Clinton both in his camp now; there seems to be no need to have her on the ticket.
In any event, time will out. I do not believe it will be any of the persons mentioned so far (I forgot Kaine!). In fact, I think Obama is smart enough to know how to do this right (including not telling his staff so the choice isn't leaked before the announcement).
Al Gore, anyone?