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Like Biden, Bayh or Hillary for veep nod?

    It has been common practice for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee to announce his pick for running mate just as the delegates gather over the weekend before the national convention opens on Monday. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois is signaling he is staying with this custom. Bets are he will announce his choice by Saturday.

   As of Wednesday morning, Obama had not hinted his preference, except he has off-handedly referred to the prospective running mate as "he," which suggests that his arch rival during the primary season, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, is not going to be it.

     The leading contenders include:

     Sen. Joseph Biden, Del., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

     Sen. Birch Bayh, Ind., former chairman of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council and a strong primary backer of Sen. Clinton.

     Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, a former congressman who served in the Clinton administration as U.N. ambassador and secretary of energy. He endorsed Obama at a pivotal point in the primary.

     Others mentioned include Gov. Kathleen Sibelius of Kansas, a strongly pro-choice Catholic; Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, a co-chair of the Obama campaign; and retired Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni, who endorsed George W. Bush in 2000, but later became a critic of administration policies in Iraq.

     Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, President Kennedy's daughter, heads up Obama's vice presidential screening committee, a possible indicator that her ailing uncle Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., could have some input on the choice.

      Will any of these people make you more or less inclined to vote for Obama? Do you have favorite who is not mentioned here?

    --Douglas Turner

   
   

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Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

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Tom Precious

Tom Precious

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Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

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Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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