I didn't wake up early to see who the VP nominee was because there was little doubt that it had to be Biden. The Obama campaign would never have let speculation run this rampant, as it has over the last week, if he'd been planning to choose another nominee. It would have been too embarrassing for Biden if Obama had gone with someone else after Howard Fineman called it for Biden earlier this week, for instance, and after I posted this on Monday.
How do I know this? They quickly squelched a rumor on Thursday that a big event was being planned in Indianapolis for Saturday, home of Evan Bayh. They didn't want the speculation to go too far in that direction.
Other campaigns haven't been as considerate of their potential VP nominees. The McCain camp is letting rumors persist that he's chosen Romney, for instance—though it's clear that decision is by no means a done deal. Kerry's campaign, likewise, couldn't keep the Gephart speculation down, and an erroneous newspaper cover exists to remind us all how close he came to being Kerry's VP selection.
Why does this matter? Because the close secrecy that the Obama campaign has maintained on this wasn't just to prove to the media that they could outsmart them. It was about decency.
You can argue whether Biden is the best pick. Although I would have preferred Kathleen Sebelius, I realize she had real drawbacks, and choosing her while Russia is bearing down on Eastern Europe would have been seen as a blithe insistence that Obama himself was more than equipped to deal with Russia on his own. While I think he is, the press would have nailed him on that. Digging in on that point wasn't worth the risk.
And when you start adding up the pros and cons, Biden comes out ahead. Plus, he's a genuinely charming man, if first hand accounts can be believed. (I put a lot of stock in first hand accounts, which is why I never really was thrilled about either Kerry or Gore.) I like charm, as long as it's not vacuous or calculated.
So when I saw confirmation on the Obama website that the ticket was Obama-Biden, I couldn't resist. I pulled out my credit card and gave another $50. Because I'm proud to support a decent campaign.