Speculation is running wild today that Obama is within days (possibly hours?) of announcing his VP pick (Biden?) and that McCain will announce his the day after the Democrat National Convention.

Wellllll … not to be a smarty, but it would only make sense that Obama would announce his VP pick this week.  After all, the DNC starts early next week.  And the sooner the better on the announcement, to deflect from his poor performance at Saddleback this past Saturday.  McCain announcing his pick the day after the DNC makes sense because it would clearly be an effort at diverting a little attention away from The One’s big acceptance speech at the convention at the end of next week.

In other election news, will Obama have an uphill battle in the all-important battleground state of Virginia?  The NY Daily News reports that “Independent” mayor of NYC Michael Bloomberg may be on the presidential ballot in VA come November:

Just in case Mayor Bloomberg changes his mind about that whole running for President thing, the Independent Greens of Virginia have a ballot line with his name on it – literally.

Late last week, “Indy Greens” Chairman Carey Campbell got word from the Virginia state Board of Elections that his minor party’s petition drive to get Bloomberg on the ballot had been successful.

“Yes, it’s true,” an exuberant Campbell declared. “In eight months and 15 days, we collected over 70,000 signatures. Right now, we’re the only state in the nation that has Michael Bloomberg on the ballot for President.”

The Independent Greens are affiliated with the Independence Party of America, a national organization set up by New York Independence Party Chairman Frank MacKay in anticipation of the never-realized Bloomberg presidential bid.

Campbell said he didn’t officially coordinate with anyone connected to Bloomberg for the petition drive, but he was in touch with the mayor’s top political aide, Kevin Sheekey.

Bloomberg has until Sept. 5 to decline the Virginia ballot line.

Don’t get too excited just yet.  According to The Huffington Post, the “Independent Greens” have written in Ron Paul as Bloomberg’s “running mate.”

Stay tuned …

Update 1: The day after the DNC is also McCain’s bday.  Hmmm.

Update 2 – 9:32 PM: Here’s the NYT story Drudge was talking about re: Obama’s veep announcement:

WASHINGTON — Senator Barack Obama has all but settled on his choice for a running mate and set an elaborate rollout plan for his decision, beginning with an early morning alert to supporters, perhaps as soon as Wednesday morning, aides said.

Mr. Obama’s deliberations remain remarkably closely held. Aides said perhaps a half-dozen advisers were involved in the final discussions in an effort to enforce a command that Mr. Obama issued to staff members: that his decision not leak out until supporters are notified.

Mr. Obama had not notified his choice — or any of those not selected — of his decision as of late Monday, advisers said. Going into the final days, Mr. Obama was said to be focused mainly on three candidates: Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia and Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware.


Mr. Obama’s advisers said he all but reached his decision while on vacation in Hawaii. They said it was the end of what proved to be an unexpectedly intense process, condensed because he did not want to start actively vetting potential running mates before Mrs. Clinton quit the race in June.


If all goes according to plan, the announcement will be made with text and e-mail messages to supporters early in the morning, in time to capture coverage on the morning news shows and take advantage of a full day’s news cycle.

Mr. Obama and his running mate will begin, perhaps that day, a visit to swing states. Plans call for them to be on the trail together for much of the time between the day of the announcement and the day Mr. Obama arrives in Denver, a week from Wednesday, but their most intense campaigning together will come after the convention.

Mr. Obama’s schedule calls for him to awaken on Tuesday in Orlando, Fla., and by the end of the day be in Raleigh, N.C. By Wednesday, he is scheduled to be in Virginia. The Obama campaign has cautioned against reading anything into his schedule, saying it could be changed in an instant to accommodate the plan to introduce the running mate.

Aides said the announcement would come at the earliest on Wednesday morning.

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