John Casey left a comment on my Joe Biden as a new winter coat post from this morning promising I'm going to feel really dumb about what I wrote come the fall:
In the coming months, you will look back at this post, whack yourself right smartly in the middle of your forehead, and say, "Jeeeezzzz, how could I have got that so wrong; the guy is a stone cold trained political killer, and there are Republican carcasses all over the White House lawn."
Boy, I hope so! I really hope so!
But I was already second-guessing myself before John wrote in. See, I wrote that post in reaction to the gigantic let down Obama set us up for with all the fun and games with the secretiveness and the dropped hints and the text messaging the announcement in the middle of the night ploy and it took all day for it to dawn on me that Obama is not running his campaign with my feelings in mind.
All summer McCain and Obama have been playing chicken over their choices for VP, each waiting for the other to go first. If the game of chicken lasted long enough, Obama was going to have to go first, and that's what happened. But Obama found a way to win by going first. He kept the Media attention on his choice all this past week without giving McCain the opportunity to upstage him.
McCain can't make his announcement next week. There's no way he can force the attention away from the Democratic Convention unless he picks Hillary. Which means that, basically, he has to announce his choice as part of the routine business of the Republican Convention. Which means that either his Veep gets lost in the shuffle, or he (or she) upstages McCain himself.
Being upstaged is not something McCain allows.
So, what mattered this week wasn't who Obama's choice would or wouldn't be. In fact, I won't be surprised if we find out that it's been Biden all along. What mattered was that that's what everybody was talking about.