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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Obama to Announce Running Mate Choice Saturday; Obama's Half Brother Speaks Out; Are Conventions Still Relevant?
Aired August 22, 2008 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, we have breaking news.
CNN has confirmed Barack Obama will announce his running mate choice tomorrow morning. And we also know that Virginia Governor Tim Kaine is not Obama's choice. And, increasingly, there are other reports and we're getting information at CNN indicating Indiana Senator Evan Bayh out of the running as well.
We have just gotten some new video of the Senator and Michelle Obama leaving dinner tonight in Chicago. That's going into the restaurant, dining tonight at the Hawaiian-Asian restaurant Roy's, reporters shouting outside during this moment, "Where's the text; where's the text?"
Again, we have now confirmed this infamous, famous text message will be sent shortly before a campaign rally tomorrow in Springfield, Illinois -- a senior Obama campaign source telling me just moments ago that text message could come as early as 4:00 a.m. here in the East.
That leaves Delaware Senator Joe Biden as a leading candidate tonight, some are saying the leading candidate. Here's a shot of this evening of his home in Wilmington, Delaware. And you can see the -- certainly see the buzz outside.
We have learned also that a flight from Chicago's Midway Airport has landed in New Castle, Delaware, signifying everything, something, or maybe -- and we still need to be careful -- maybe nothing at all.
It is getting a little silly. But, at the moment, the serious money does seem to be on Senator Joe Biden. We will see.
But here's CNN's Candy Crowley.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The vow of silence inside the Obama campaign is holding amidst real intrigue and high hilarity. At least, the candidate seems amused.
Some things are known. Many of those who are not Obama's choice have been told so. Some time in the last 48 hours, Bill Richardson learned, it won't be him. And Hillary Clinton, always seen as unlikely, is now improbable. Several former Clintonites confirmed on the record what they had been saying anonymously; she was never vetted for Obama's number two.
QUESTION: Do you still want the job?
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: I have never said I did.
CROWLEY: Reporters staked out the home of the most frequently mentioned possibilities, and the news ended up looking like a real estate show. A modicum of activity around the Delaware home of Senator Joe Biden was tantalizing, especially since a charter flight from Midway in Chicago had landed in New Castle. Equally suspicious, Biden has been dodging cameras for days.
SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D), DELAWARE: I'm not the guy.
CROWLEY: Those potential candidates unlucky enough to emerge from their homes today were unhelpful, long shot Kathleen Sebelius, the governor of Kansas.
GOV. KATHLEEN SEBELIUS (D), KANSAS: I don't really comment on my phone calls.
CROWLEY: And Chet Edwards, congressman from Texas, a self- confessed dark horse.
REP. CHET EDWARDS (D), TEXAS: Because I'm probably better known at my son's little league ball games and Boy Scout campouts than in the social circles in Washington, D.C.
CROWLEY: Trying to conduct their lives admit the madness, the frequently mentioned Senator from Indiana Evan Bayh taking his sons to tennis camp, and the governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine, taking his son to college.
Also unproductive, a tip that Obama/Bayh bumper stickers were being printed up at a political paraphernalia factory in Missouri. An official at the plant said nothing was being printed, but conceded there were templates being made, which ends up to be a big nothing anyway. Ask someone who has been there.
STEPHANIE CUTTER, FORMER KERRY STRATEGIST: We had four different signs made up with four different names on them. We had confidentiality agreements, four different speeches written, four different backdrops done. So, we had done enough planning to throw people off the trail that I thought we could continue to hold this.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CROWLEY: Campaigns have played this game forever. It's just that Obama has played it better than most.
KING: Digging deeper now with Candy, also CNN contributors Ed Rollins and Paul Begala, a Republican and Democrat respectively.
Candy, you talked about a new name we hadn't heard today, Texas Congressman Chet Edwards. Where did this one come from? And do we think tonight, on the verge of this, it's for real?
CROWLEY: Well, it's for real that he's been vetted. We do know that.
This was a Nancy Pelosi push, the speaker. She pushed him to Obama. He certainly has been vetted. The question is, did he vet him because it was something that the speaker, who is very powerful, wanted him to do? So, certainly, we know that he is among those who were looked at very closely.
I would suggest that he is probably a long shot at this point, but he wouldn't be a bad shot. I mean, this is -- this is a man who is very, very popular among veterans. He's done a lot to increase veterans' benefits, college health care benefits, all of that, and been honored by probably every veterans association across the country.
So, he is not without some good credentials there. But I would think that, at this point, he would probably be the longer shot, if you're comparing him to say Biden, because as we now know, Governor Kaine is out. And, as you indicated, we are getting some feel that so is Senator Bayh out of the running.
KING: And, as we starting to show Candy, I got a second source sending me an e-mail saying that Bayh is out of the running. We're trying to get more sources to be extra careful on these things, but it certainly does look that way.
We now have more confirmation, I'm told, that Evan Bayh has been told he is not the pick, which bring me to you, Ed Rollins.
All leading indicators are -- and, again, we don't have this part of it confirmed yet, but all the signals are sending us toward Delaware Senator Joe Biden. Barack Obama says he's the candidate who is new. He's fresh. He will bring change, change the way Washington works. Joe Biden has been a senator, I believe, for 36 years now. Does he fit the message?
ED ROLLINS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, the bottom line in this game is, you always try and pick someone who doesn't hurt you and someone who helps you a little bit.
I think Joe Biden is a very fine man. And I think he has served his district and he has served the country very, very well. So, I think he helps the ticket. And I think he adds some stability, particularly in the foreign policy, at a very uncertain time. So, it's not as exciting a choice as a Hillary Clinton would be.
It doesn't fill the gaps that certainly are there by her supporters -- Delaware certainly not a state that matters a whole lot, although it used to be the ultimate barometer state. If you won Delaware, you would win -- you would win the presidency. But now it's pretty much Missouri is the barometer state.
But I think he helps. I think, a week from today, people will say it's a good, solid ticket. KING: So, Paul Begala, let's look at that. I want you to answer this question. It's a two-part question. In one sense, what would Joe Biden bring to the ticket? He was born in Pennsylvania. That's a place where Barack Obama had problems. So, maybe Joe Biden gets you the blue-collar appeal that many thought Hillary Clinton would bring to the ticket.
But do you think the people in this hall behind me, at the Pepsi Convention Center, who voted for Senator Clinton, all those delegates who will be here, will they be offended by the fact that she was not even vetted by the Obama campaign?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, in short, yes. Many of them will be, not all of them.
But, look, Senator Obama said that Hillary Clinton would have to be on anybody's short list, and apparently not his. And, you know, there are some people who will be at that convention who will love Joe Biden. I think everybody in that hall will love Joe Biden. And I certainly would.
He would be -- and I think he will be the choice -- he would be a terrific choice, especially with those Hillary Clinton voters, who tend to be a little more downscale, a little more blue-collar, a little more Catholic. Joe is all of those things. And -- and I think he would be seen as a great pick.
And, yet, I think there are a lot of Hillary voters who are going to say, hey, wait a minute, man. You said you were going to put her on the short list. You know, you didn't even vet her. You didn't call her. You didn't seek her advice. By the way, he didn't seek President Clinton's advice either. He's actually the guy who I think picked the best vice president in American history. You would think maybe you would sort of check in with him.
If I was going to go to the moon, I would call Neil Armstrong. You know, he's been there. He's done it.
KING: A little dissatisfaction there from Paul Begala.
Candy Crowley, we may be leaning a little too far, but let's keep leaning Biden's way. Senator Obama said in that interview the other day he wanted somebody who would challenge him. Well, Senator Biden certainly challenged him in the early Democratic debates, essentially saying, nice guy, not ready to be president. It would be a pretty big step for Barack Obama.
CROWLEY: Absolutely, it would be a big step. And it's going to be interesting to watch Joe Biden see his comments played over and over again about how -- how Obama is not ready.
It reminds me of the George Bush the father talking about voodoo economics, and then getting on the Reagan team. And it haunted him for many, many years. Nonetheless, look, it's always tough, especially when you pick a former rival, because there are so many things out there. But Biden not just -- doesn't only bring this foreign policy expertise. He also brings, as Paul alluded to, those working-class roots. He is, by the way, as of 2006, the poorest member of the Senate. They listed his net worth at minus $300,000.
So, he not only, you know, can appeal to the working class. He kind of is the working class in a lot of ways. And he's Catholic, which certainly might be helpful.
But, beyond that, he will be a very good attack dog. He will be very good in that role that generally is set aside for the vice presidential candidate, because he has a razor-sharp wit about him that can just slice right through things. And it's something that he would employ.
And, again, we could get so surprised by this. We don't want to get too far out. But we have talked about the various assets and deficits of the candidates. And, certainly, there is a lot to kind of recommend Joe Biden for this job.
KING: Negative net worth, and I will bet bottom dollar he knows how many houses he has.
KING: I want to remind our viewers, there's a reason we're talking about Joe Biden. And that is because CNN has confirmed tonight that the Virginia governor, Tim Kaine, and the Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, two men we knew were on the short list for Barack Obama, have been told they are not going to be his running mate, which is why we're talking a lot about Joe Biden.
And let's continue the conversation.
Paul Begala, he is someone who, in this campaign, impressed a lot of people with how sharp he was in the debates, how feisty he was in the debates. Candy just mentioned, they think, in the Obama camp, he would be a pretty good attack dog. But he ran for president once before, in 1988, and that was not such a good campaign.
BEGALA: No, but it shows that he has learned.
I think you're right. I think he was one of the best performers, one of the A-list performers. He didn't get very many delegates, but I think that's a testament to Barack Obama's strength and Hillary Clinton's strength, rather than to Joe Biden's weaknesses.
He also, I think, had the best stump speech of 2007. Going into this campaign, he constructed this -- he's really one of the great orators. I mean, if he's picked, we're in for a treat on Wednesday night.
He constructed the world of September 12, and, if he were president, the speech he would have given, how different it would have been from George W. Bush's. It appealed to unity, and appealed to military service, and appealed to community service and national unity, and it appealed for energy independence.
I say that because, a couple of weeks ago, Senator Obama gave a foreign policy speech, and the first third of that speech read a lot like a Joe Biden speech. And, frankly, that's when I started beating the drum, saying, look, I think Barack may be going for Biden, because it's a very good sign when you see somebody's really good ideas against whom you have run start to work their way into your own campaign.
That -- that shows that Senator Obama is right when he says he wants someone who will challenge him and who he can learn from as well.
KING: All right, we need to leave it there at the moment. Ed Rollins, Paul Begala, Candy Crowley, thank you. We will continue to check in with everyone as we continue our reporting tonight.
And the conversation is under way, as well, on the blog. To join in, just go to our new Web site, AC360.com. That is where you will also find Erica Hill. She's live between the blocks in her commercial-cast.
Up next: change vs. experience. Bill Schneider crunches the numbers.
And, later tonight, a world away from Denver, a reminder of Barack Obama's humble roots -- a long-lost relative watching his older half-brother make history.
Also, new developments on those allegedly underage members of the Chinese gymnastics team. Their parents now weighing in -- that and much more when 360 continues.
KING: The view there, that's a rare shot, isn't it? That's Senator Joe Biden's driveway in Wilmington, Delaware.
Recapping our breaking news, CNN has confirmed that both Tim Kaine, the Virginia governor, and Evan Bayh, the Indiana senator, will not -- emphasis on not -- be Barack Obama's running mate, leaving a wild card, a big name like Hillary Clinton, or Joe Biden.
As Candy said before the break, he's a blue-collar senator. He takes Amtrak to the office. He has got a class to keep tomorrow morning at Widener University Law School. The dean there says he's rarely missed a lecture in the last 17 years. The question tonight is, will he make an exception tomorrow?
A Joe Biden on the ticket would bring a great deal of experience, experience that John McCain already brings to the top of the GOP slate. The question tonight, is that what Senator Obama is looking for, and is that what the voters are looking for?
The "Raw Politics" now from CNN's Bill Schneider.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): Barack Obama could choose a running mate who reinforces his message of change.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are going to fundamentally bring about change in America.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): Barack Obama could choose a running mate who reinforces his message of change.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are going to fundamentally bring about change in America.
SCHNEIDER: How about a Washington outsider, like Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius? Women are often seen as political outsiders.
GOV. TIM KAINE (D), VIRGINIA: The finest of the fine.
SCHNEIDER: Or Virginia Governor Tim Kaine?
OBAMA: Tim Kaine got in this thing for the right reasons.
SCHNEIDER: On the other hand, Obama's limited experience seems to be a weakness.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What process would you use to pull in the experience that you would need?
SCHNEIDER: He could go for Senator Hillary Clinton, who's been in Washington since 1992, or Evan Bayh, two-term governor of Indiana, two-term senator.
SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D), DELAWARE: A staff member.
SCHNEIDER: Joe Biden has been in the Senate for 36 years. How's that for experience?
OBAMA: I have joined with people like Joe Biden to increase $1 billion of investment.
SCHNEIDER: Is it possible for Obama to do both, reinforce his message of change and reassure voters he has people around him with experience?
OBAMA: The key to bringing about change in Washington is going to be to get some good people in there, get a good president, get a good senator, get good congressmen in there.
SCHNEIDER: Chet Edwards has been in Congress for 18 years. He's a moderate Democrat who sometimes supports President Bush and sometimes opposes him.
REP. CHET EDWARDS (D), TEXAS: We have had a lot of disagreements on how to end the Iraq war and -- and on the budget plan of the administration.
SCHNEIDER: After all, he's President Bush's congressman.
(on camera): Senator Obama talks a lot about bipartisanship and ending the partisan gridlock in Washington. That certainly would be a change.
Bill Schneider, CNN, Denver.
KING: Change vs. experience, that was the big question for Barack Obama as he considered his running mate. We're getting closer to the choice. We have a lot of new clues tonight. We will break that down when we come back.
Also, the Hillary factor. She says she's going all out for Obama, but is she really? And is that relationship in jeopardy?
Then, a close Obama relative watching from a world away.
A break first, though -- from Denver, this is 360.
KING: Back now.
You're looking at a picture of Senator Joe Biden's residence there in Wilmington, Delaware, a lot of media attention outside the home tonight.
And here's why: CNN confirming that two other leading names in Barack Obama's veepstakes have been told, it's not them. CNN knows now that the Virginia governor, Tim Kaine, and that Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, we are told by multiple sources, are out of the running.
Senator Obama will send the official word by text message tomorrow morning -- innovation there -- shortly before a joint campaign event in Springfield, Illinois.
Let's talk strategy now with CNN political analyst Gloria Borger, David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, also a CNN contributor, and CNN's Suzanne Malveaux, who has spent a lot of time with the Obama campaign.
Gloria, let's start with you.
Change vs. experience, hope, changing Washington, those are the big Obama campaigns.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.
KING: How do you -- how do you meld Joe Biden into that message, if it in fact is Joe Biden?
BORGER: Well, I think he clearly went for the reassuring route, to reassure those people that believe that he could not go toe to toe with John McCain on national security. He also went the route of somebody I think he grew to feel quite comfortable with on the campaign trail.
And I -- I also think that he believes he -- that Joe Biden is Catholic, from Delaware, near Pennsylvania, could do him some real help with -- with those folks, those working-class voters that he has some problems with, that he believes, I believe the campaign thinks that Joe Biden could really help him with.
KING: And, David Brody, what would it tell us about Barack Obama, if in fact it is Joe Biden? A lot of people throughout this campaign, especially the Republicans say, huge ego, this guy is just so full of himself, even some top Democrats. I have an old friend in the Obama campaign who calls him Obama-me, says he has such a big ego.
Joe Biden is no shrinking violet. You're not getting a quiet guy.
DAVID BRODY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: No, not at all.
And I think the Obama campaign will spin it that way, to say, look, this is a guy, Joe Biden, that is going to give some straight talk, to coin a phrase, So, I mean, I think that's a big part of it.
And I think what we're learning about Barack Obama is that there's no doubt there is a killer instinct inside of him. He wants to win. And he knows that, on foreign policy, which is where his weakness will be, that he needs Joe Biden, if this is going to be the case.
On the economy, McCain has had some problems of his own. So, Barack Obama, the calculation could be at this point, that the economy, he can handle on that front, but it's foreign policy where he really needs the help. And that may be why Biden is the pick.
KING: Suzanne Malveaux, it is hard to find a presidential election, especially in recent years, where the vice presidential pick has made much of a difference, the pick itself. But it is a window on how the candidate thinks.
And when the candidate is 47 years old, a relative newcomer to the national stage, lot of people want to look in that window. What do we know about the process, the questions Barack Obama had for his staff and for himself about what he wanted?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, sure.
I mean, there was one thing that they didn't expect was this level of frenzy, the fact that we're all carrying BlackBerrys or cell phones, waiting for this text message.
(LAUGHTER) MALVEAUX: But this really does show the kind of discipline from the Obama campaign.
I mean, this is a man who has sat side by side, face to face with these candidates. And he has needed to feel comfortable. He says he wants somebody who is an independent thinker, someone who offers something in addition at the table here, brings something at the table, not someone who necessarily is going to want his job as president.
So, he's given us a lot of indication, a lot of clues. But it also shows, too, that this whole text message idea is one that he's reaching out directly to voters, directly to the people, not to the media, necessarily, that that is something that they want to focus on. And they want to keep that message. That has been very important as a part of the process.
KING: Does it matter? If you look -- again, if we go back, you know, George H.W. Bush picks Dan Quayle.
KING: Everybody vilifies for him. He goes on to win 40 states.
BORGER: If it's a real mistake, it matters. You know, if you blow it, and you pick someone who is really not up to it, and you pick someone who can't be president, and you pick someone who can't help you govern.
And, again, that's where I think Joe Biden could help Barack Obama. He knows his way around the Senate. He knows his way around the foreign policy bureaucracy in Washington. So...
BRODY: Yes, that's a good point, because part of this, the way the Obama campaign will spin this, is to say, look, if Joe Biden is the guy -- we keep saying if -- but they will say that he has gotten things done in the Senate. They will point to that, a gun bill that he was able to shepherd through a while back. But they will go -- they have a litany of bills that they will say, listen, this is a doer. This is a guy that can get things done.
And that's what Obama -- that's how it will play into the Obama narrative.
KING: And, Suzanne, how will it play right here, in the floor of the Pepsi Center? Because Barack Obama's message to the country on television and the world is: I'm ready. I might be 47 years old, I might be new, but I'm ready to be president.
That's what he has to convey this week. In this hall, there are a lot of people who are going to say, wait a minute. Where are the Biden delegates? This room is going to be packed with a lot of Obama delegates, but a lot of Clinton delegates. MALVEAUX: Well, that's absolutely right. And, I mean, he has Delaware. He doesn't need Delaware. So, that's not really the gift that he gets.
But he does get the gray-haired experience. He does get what he doesn't necessarily bring, and that is, you know, that level of experience that a lot of people are looking for, that kind of sense of reassurance, something that is familiar.
BORGER: But he also gets a guy with a big mouth.
BORGER: Just remember that.
KING: All right.
I need to quiet -- I need to quiet all of ours at the moment.
Suzanne, David and Gloria, thank you very much.
More in a moment. We will introduce you to a man who shares a father with Barack Obama, but lives a very, very different life from his half-brother.
But first, Erica Hill joins us now with a 360 bulletin.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, John.
Tropical Storm Fay is expected to finally leave Florida this weekend. Fay made landfall in the state three times this week. That breaks a 50-year record. Homeowners swamped by the storm -- and there were hundreds -- were finally able to begin cleaning up today. At least six deaths in Florida are linked to the storm.
Just after takeoff in Las Vegas today, the pilot of a homemade plane radioed, he was in trouble. Moments later, that plane crashed into a home near the airport, and exploded, killing the pilot and two people inside the house.
Four of China's six gold medals for gymnastics remain in question tonight. Were the girls who won them old enough to compete? The families of five medalists have now been asked for more documentation to prove the girls are in fact 16. If cheating is proven, those medals will be pulled, John.
KING: That is a remarkable story. We will keep an eye on that investigation.
And, Erica, here it is, tonight's "Beat 360" photo: Senator Hillary Clinton races reporters before touring the New York State Fair today.
Here's the caption from Ashley, our staff winner, who quipped: "No, really, I'm for Obama. Can't you see the excitement on my face?"
HILL: That is one very happy expression.
KING: Oh, I thought it was pretty good.
You think you can do better, though?
HILL: Oh, it's good.
KING: Go to our Web site, AC360.com. Click on the "Beat 360" link. Send us your entry. We will announce the winner at the end of the program.
And, remember -- this is the big thing -- the winner gets a "Beat 360" T-shirt.
KING: In a moment: how Barack Obama's running mate could tip the balance in key battleground states. Yes, we brought the magic map right here to Denver.
And then Senator Hillary Clinton on Obama's choice and her role in his campaign.
Plus, they share the same father, but have little else in common. Meet Barack Obama's half-brother. We will hear from him just ahead.
This is 360.
KING: A look here at some new pictures, fresh pictures, of Barack Obama tonight leaving a restaurant in Chicago. He had dinner with his family. You see the daughters coming out here, Senator Obama following, and then Michelle Obama -- a nice dinner at home in Chicago tonight, as Senator Obama spent some time working on his speech, his big convention speech, earlier today, taking a break there for a little valuable family time, ignoring questions about the big decision he will make, many think has made, and the text message that will go out from the Obama campaign in the hours ahead.
And, when any candidate picks a vice president, one of the things we try to figure out is, how will it impact the race? Can it move a state in any way in his favor? Would it hurt?
Let's look at the electoral map. And let's start from this perspective. We have confirmed tonight, CNN has, that the Virginia governor, Tim Kaine, is not going to be Obama's choice. You see 13 electoral votes here in the state of Virginia.
It has been trending Democratic in recent days, Obama deciding not to pick Tim Kaine. That is a calculation. He thinks he can get this state by himself.
Another candidate we learned was taken off the list tonight, told he's not the choice, Indiana Senator Evan Bayh. This has been a reliably red state for some time, a Republican state, 11 electoral votes out there. Had it been Bayh, this state would have been in play. The Obama campaign says it still plans to contest here -- a much more difficult road now in a state that has been reliably Republican in presidential politics for some time.
Let's look at the map. Joe Biden is the choice that many are indicating tonight. The leading indicators are pointing at Joe Biden. Delaware is way down here. You'd have to pull out the map. Its electoral votes have always been Democratic. So what is the value of a Joe Biden?
No. 1, it's the big national picture: foreign policy experience, if it is Senator Biden. No. 2, he is a Catholic originally from Pennsylvania. That's a key battleground state: 21 electoral votes. We give it to the Democrats right now. But it's a contested state. The McCain campaign playing hard. Joe Biden would help out there.
They also believe that he could help, someone like him, a blue- collar guy, in West Virginia, which has been Republican, but the Democrats want it back. And in Ohio, a toss-up, as we put it right now. The Republicans have never won the presidency without carrying Ohio. The Democrats trying to take that one away.
So the key question is, how much impact would it have? And that's tonight with our strategy session -- excuse me, focus is on the jump ball for Obama in this selection, the big selection of his running mate. How does that potentially change the map?
Joining me here, CNN political analyst Gloria Borger, David Brody again from the Christian Broadcasting Network.
Do we over-think these things, vice-presidential picks? We spend so much time on them, and we're going to move on to McCain once we get through Obama. But it is an interesting race, in that you have two guys with very different challenges. Obama 47, a newcomer, the first African-American. McCain will be 72, the oldest guy on election day. So they each have different things to prove with their pick.
But let's stay on Obama at the moment. And we talked to Suzanne right before she left. I want to follow up on the point again, because I find the whole convention stage craft fascinating, in that one challenge, the big projection you want to make, is ready to be president. But inside here, I think a lot of these Democratic delegates, almost half of them, will be for Hillary Clinton, just shy of that, will think, well, he didn't show her much respect. We were talking to Paul Begala earlier tonight. Didn't call Bill Clinton to ask him his opinion. Didn't call Hillary Clinton to even say, "I can't pick you, but what do you think?"
GLORIA BORGER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.
KING: Think that matters?
DAVID BRODY, CHRISTIAN BROADCASTING NETWORK: Yes, yes. I think it does matter and I think there's going to be anxiety throughout the week about this. You know, I'm sure within the Obama campaign, how is this going to play out exactly? I mean, there's already rallies that we know planned and Hillary Clinton speaking and Bill Clinton speaking. So sure, this is going to be a big part of it.
But the question really will be how much will the week get overshadowed by all of this Hillary Clinton potential madness that may go on? And that is going to be a big factor in all of this, especially going forward in terms of party unity.
BORGER: I heard Paul Begala's complaints, but I also think that Hillary Clinton has got a prominent speaking role. Bill Clinton has a prominent speaking role. Hillary Clinton's name is going to be put in nomination. During the platform committee discussions, there was some things the Clinton folks wanted that they did get in the platform.
I think that they've gone out of their way to say, "We understand that you had 18 million votes."
And if they do pick an experienced vice presidential candidate like a Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton really can't say, "Well, he's not qualified," because of course, he would be qualified. If it were a Tim Kaine, it might be a different story.
BRODY: But they can't control the visual images. I mean, the Obama campaign has done this, maybe text book, as you say. But they can't control what signs we're going to see and control what's going on outside in those streets of Denver. And that will be the wild card in all of this: how will the media and others play that story line? Very interesting.
KING: And if the Republicans go up with an ad that Barack Obama picked a guy who a few months ago said he wasn't qualified to be president. Does that matter? We see -- we see vice presidents get in line all the time.
BORGER: It depends who John McCain picks. If John McCain were to pick a Mitt Romney, you know, Mitt Romney said some things about John McCain and John McCain said some things about Mitt Romney.
BRODY: And my guess is you'll hear Senator Biden, if it's Senator Biden, dot dot dot, you know, say, "You know, over these last few months I've really seen Senator Barack Obama come into his own." We're going to have a narrative in that, and they'll be able to somehow...
KING: Did we learn anything about Obama, his management style? This is a pretty tightly-kept process. Like this is about as disciplined and as secretive, especially -- and I'll get a lot of e- mails for this one. The Democrats aren't usually so good at this.
BORGER: No, they're really not. And I think we've seen that it is, as Suzanne was saying earlier, a very, very disciplined operation. And I think, you know, they don't call him no drama Obama for nothing. He said, "Look, I don't want this to leak, kept it to a handful of people. Those people did not talk about it.
And if it is Joe Biden, the most interesting thing will be that Joe Biden has kept a secret, because I talked to people on his staff who say they've spoke with him this morning and that he didn't mention it. So maybe it will be a different Joe Biden.
BRODY: Let me also say that the YouTube clips are ready, you know, at RNC headquarters, obviously. Look, if the Obama campaign, when they knew this pick was coming, they realized that Biden is good for, let's say, five gaffes before November 4. They know this. They understand this. They're willing to take that risk. If it's Biden, here we go again. But yes, sure.
KING: A little more reporting to do but a lot more drama ahead, as well. David Brody, Gloria Borger, thank you both.
And coming up, more on Hillary Clinton. What she had to say about all things political and vice presidential.
And they have the same father, but their lives could not be more different. Meet Barack Obama's half brother.
Plus, ready, set, go, here in Denver where the Democrats are just raring to go. Stay with us. This is 360.
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it's a fair assessment that I've done more than anybody has done in my position, and I intend to keep doing everything that I can.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Senator Hillary Clinton earlier in New York today, the focus tonight growing on one of her Senate colleagues, Joe Biden of Delaware. A much more senior senator but perhaps, at least not nationally, the brand name Hillary Clinton is.
CNN has confirmed that Indiana Senator Evan Bayh and Virginia Governor Tim Kaine have been told they will not be Barack Obama's running mate.
Some new information: a source close to Evan Bayh saying, "We are all sad, but Evan was cool with this, whatever happened. He understands what he's got: a family and a life he's very happy in." Now, as for Senator Clinton, we've learned the former Democratic frontrunner was not vetted as a possible running mate by the Obama camp. Some Clinton supporters are saying, that's a snub. Now there are fears all this talk about party unity may be just a pipe dream.
Let's get the latest on Hillary Clinton and all else from CNN senior political correspondent Candy Crowley.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, John, it's going to be really interesting. You are right that in fact Hillary Clinton is going to remain for a while the focal point of this convention.
We are seeing that, in response to that question that she was asked, you played a little bit of it, it was really about a story that appeared today about how people listened to her when she was campaigning for Obama and they didn't really believe that she was all that much for him. There are the conspiracy theorists that believe she doesn't want Obama to win.
There's probably no way that Hillary Clinton can win this. It may be that in fact no matter what she does, people are going to doubt that she really wants him to win. This often happens when one candidate loses and is seen as not really supporting someone who they've been really very tough on for the past several months.
So what we know about Hillary Clinton at this point is that it seems really improbable that she will be the pick, simply because of the vetting. I know that the Obama campaign at least some of those in it, when they were talking and they haven't been talking much lately, but when they were talking they did voice concern, not so much about Hillary Clinton but about her husband's post presidency. About the people that he was speaking to when he got enormous fees from. It's a matter of public record, but it had been gone through, about who funded his library. Hillary Clinton helped raise some of those funds.
So there were lots of details out there that one would think would have needed to have been vetted in order for Hillary Clinton, in fact, to be seen as a serious consideration for Barack Obama. We do have others out there we ought to point out. We do know that Chet Edwards has been vetted. Jack Reed of Rhode Island was another one, Kathleen Sebelius from Kansas.
So there are others that we have yet to kind of take off the table. But certainly we are looking at Biden, who by the way, did not endorse anyone during this primary. Said that he would endorse whoever became the nominee. So that should also help with the Hillary/Biden relationship, which has been very good today.
KING: Candy Crowley for us in Chicago as we await now the official word, which we're told will come on that infamous text message sometime early morning. We'll all be up all night waiting for that.
Next on 360, Barack Obama's half brother. He lives half a world away from the presidential candidate. Their lives and life stories could not be more different. The exclusive interview ahead. And later, your backstage pass to the Democrats' party. A preview of the Democratic National Convention coming up. Stay with us.
KING: At home you see right there, it's dark out. That's a driveway in Wilmington, Delaware. That home getting a lot of attention tonight, because it is the home of Delaware Senator Joe Biden.
We know he's on Barack Obama's short list for vice-presidential candidates, but we also know that two others on that list, the Indiana senator, Evan Bayh, and the Virginia governor, Tim Kaine, have received phone calls from Obama tonight telling them they are not, not going to be his vice presidential pick.
So a lot of attention focused on Senator Joe Biden's home tonight, even though we have not confirmed as yet that he is the pick and there are others who we know were vetted. But a lot of tea leaves pointing at Joe Biden tonight. He is in Wilmington, Delaware.
We're waiting the big announcement tomorrow. That is in Chicago. The text message will go out in the morning with the official word. And of course, we continue our reporting on CNN, and we'll bring you the latest as we progress.
Barack Obama has spoken about the close bond he shared with his mother and of his relationship with his father. We know a good deal about his parents. But up close tonight, we want to introduce you to Senator Obama's half brother. He lives in Nairobi, Kenya. This is his first television interview.
Here's CNN's David McKenzie.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Barack Obama's memoirs have inspired many in Kenya. Obama tells his personal story and his reconciliation with his Kenyan father. For this young man, it's an intensity personal book.
GEORGE OBAMA, BARACK OBAMA'S HALF BROTHER: I never knew my father. I was 6 months old when he died.
MCKENZIE: Meet George Obama. His birth certificate shows he is Barack Obama's half brother. I found George in Haraumaslan (ph) in Nairobi, far away from the glamour of the presidential campaign. He says that Obama's history helped him come to terms with his own past.
G. OBAMA: It's good (ph) to learn about my father. The same way he did -- he came here, he was fighting for his roots. So I was interested in finding my roots.
MCKENZIE: Barack Obama first met George when the Kenyan was a young child, calling the experience a painful affair. George sensed the awkwardness.
G. OBAMA: Yes, I think maybe he don't have anything to say, you know? It's like you are trying to -- it's like you're meeting someone for the first time, so you really don't have anything to say.
MCKENZIE (on camera): Barack Obama's father left the family in America and came here to live in Kenya. That's where George Obama was born. They share the same father, but they couldn't have more different paths.
(voice-over) While Barack Obama grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia, and settled in Chicago, certainly gaining prominence, George Obama has led a very different life, growing up in the ramshackle slums of Nairobi. Some of the neighbors feel that perhaps the candidate Obama should help the brother Obama.
EMELDA MARGRETTE NEGEI, OBAMA'S NEIGHBOR: I would like Obama to visit his brother, to see how he's living, to improve our way of life. If he sees the place he's living, he has to come and change the place.
MCKENZIE: George bristles at the thought recent magazine articles claiming that he was impoverished and desperate just don't sit well.
G. OBAMA: I was brought up well. I live well even now. I think I like it here. I'm Kenyan, so definitely I would really love to live in Kenya.
MCKENZIE: George is training to become a mechanic and helping out his extended family as best he can. He says he knows why Obama will be president.
G. OBAMA: I think because he wants to be. I think in life what you want is what you're supposed to get.
MCKENZIE: He'll be rooting for his brother come November while drawing inspiration from a story and a history that they both share.
David McKenzie, CNN, Haruma (ph).
KING: Remarkable story, remarkable look there at Barack Obama's half brother.
Ahead on 360, the conventions are almost here. Why nominating conventions matter in 2008 and why everything can change once they begin. A preview coming up.
And later, ready to roll. A tortoise on wheels. Will she get her mojo back? It's our "Shot," coming up on 360.
KING: Pretty fancy hall. Have we mentioned, 45th Democratic National Convention begins Monday. CNN will be right here in Denver live on the floor and behind the scenes, bringing you complete coverage of the party's big nominating event.
Like all modern national political conventions, the DNC's will be very carefully scripted. And of course, so will be the RNC's in St. Paul the first week of September. But are they still important or even relevant? They sure are and for a ton of reasons.
Here's CNN's Joe Johns.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If you thought political conventions don't really matter anymore, you'd be wrong. Yes, it's choreographed to the minute; it's a controlled love fest. But in a controlled environment like this, the candidates can make or break themselves on their salesmanship. Barack Obama may be the one with the most to gain or lose.
PETER FENN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: He's introducing himself again to the American people. He's putting his message out of change, of the future versus the past. So the eyes are going to be, I think, on Obama, who is less well known, less well defined than is John McCain.
JOHNS: Polls show Obama needs to win over skeptical voters next week. Analysts say he needs to do that by showing them who he is and that it's safe to put him in the White House.
He also needs to keep it all together with Hillary Clinton and her supporters. And that's what Democrats are talking about when they talk about unity here.
THOMAS HOLBROOKE, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN: Folks the media, no disrespect intended, are going to be looking for signs of disharmony and in part because there's really not much else happening there. And one of the potential stories is what if there's a big blowup with Clinton delegates.
JOHNS (on camera): Then there's the phenomenon people in politics only talk about every four years or so. It's called the bounce. That's the spike in the polls a presidential candidate gets after being anointed at a political convention.
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Reporting for duty.
JOHNS: Professor Thomas Holbrooke of the University of Wisconsin has studied the bounce since back to the 1960s. He predicts Obama should get one.
HOLBROOKE: This convention gives him a chance to drive home the message, the message of the last eight years, the message about him as an alternative, the agent of change.
And because he's behind where we would expect him to be in the polls right now, I expect him to get a more substantial bump than he would, let's say, if he were running at 55, 56 percent in the polls. JOHNS: For McCain, the challenge is to separate himself from the Bush administration without alienating Bush supporters. But that convention is still more than a week away, and we know what they say about a day in politics.
Joe Johns, CNN, Denver.
KING: In a moment, a note to all rabbits itching for a race. There's a new tortoise in town, and she's got a new set of wheels. Yes, a tortoise on a skateboard. Check it out. That's tonight's "Shot."
But first Erica Hill joins us again with a "360 Bulletin."
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She's a force to be reckoned with, John.
John, Russia today saying it has withdrawn from Georgia into South Ossetia, completing its end of that cease-fire agreement, which was reached last weekend. But because Russian troops do remain in so- called buffer zones, Georgian and U.S. officials say Russia is not keeping its end of the deal.
On Wall Street, a rocky week ends on a high note. Oil prices plunged more than $6, and that helped to fuel a stock surge. The Dow up nearly 200 points in the session to end at 11,628. The NASDAQ gained 34, the S&P 500 up 14.
And in Oklahoma, take a look at this video here. A massive fireball soaring hundreds of feet into the air after a train derailment. It happened northeast of Oklahoma City this afternoon. That train was carrying ethanol and crude oil.
The only people onboard, an engineer and a conductor, incredibly here, John, were not hurt.
KING: It's incredible when you look at those flames. Wow!
All right, Erica, now our "Beat 360" winners. Our daily challenge to viewers, a chance to show up our staff by coming up with a better caption to the picture we post in our blog every day.
Tonight's picture, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton chatting with reporters before taking a tour at the New York state fair.
Our staff winner, Ashley, she clinched it with this tonight, "No, really, I'm for Obama. Can't you see the excitement on my face?"
(SOUND EFFECT: "Awww!")
PHILLIPS: I liked it.
KING: It wasn't so bad.
Our viewer winner is Amy from Kansas City, Missouri, who submitted this: "Please relax, you'll find out if I'm going to be Obama's veep when your kids get the text message."
(SOUND EFFECT: "Oooh!")
HILL: Good one, Amy.
KING: Come on, a little more cheery. No cheer for Amy.
Amy, your "beat 360" t-shirt is on the way. You can check out all the other entries we received on our blog. Play tomorrow by going to our Web site, AC360.com.
Coming up, the most famous turtle in, of all places, Jerusalem.
Plus, we've a lot more information about who isn't going to share the ticket with Barack Obama. Bayh and Kaine are out, but whose name will be in tomorrow's promised text messages? We're looking at all the clues tonight.
Also ahead, in choosing a running mate, Obama had to navigate between change and experience. We'll bring you what we know at this hour about how Obama struck a balance in narrowing his choice of a running mate.
KING: Let's take a look at tonight's "Shot." More fun with animals.
Not exactly a speed demon here, but this tortoise has been equipped with its own set of wheels. Look at that, a skateboard, to be exact.
HILL: What a lucky turtle.
KING: The 10-year-old tortoise, the lucky tortoise indeed. The tortoise is disabled, and her keepers at a zoo in Jerusalem hope the new wheels get her out and moving about again.
Let's hope she doesn't meet Turtleman of Kentucky.
KING: Remember, he's a 360 one of a kind. Erica's favorite right here. Turtleman's mission: dive into ponds and swamps looking for unsuspecting reptiles to eat.
HILL: I'm on a mission to take Turtleman down, John. I'm just throwing it out there.
KING: That's your mission? He calls this fun.
HILL: It's not fun. What did the poor turtle do to him? KING: He also pointed out to us, and this is critical, lost his front teeth in a chainsaw accident.
HILL: Yes, not from a turtle. Interesting.
KING: Come on.
HILL: No, I can't love him. I'm sorry. I love the turtle, though.
KING: You don't love Turtleman. Turtleman is hurt.
You can see all the most recent shots on our Web site, AC360.com. The address again, AC360.com.
At the top of the hour, Barack Obama's running mate, the breaking news on who's in, who's out and when that long-awaited text message will be coming your away. That's ahead on 360.