In the vice presidential watch, any statement is parsed and interpreted for hints.
So when Terry McAuliffe, Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman and chief cheerleader, said very nice things about Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia this week, the political world noticed.
Speaking to the Fairfax County Democratic Party on Tuesday, McAuliffe praised Kaine as a possible running mate for Democrat Barack Obama, the Falls Church News Press reported.
The newspaper said, "He told the large audience in the school cafeteria that there are only two factors in picking a vice president. The first, he said, is the ability of the choice to govern effectively as president, if need be. The second is personal compatibility with the presidential candidate. "These are the only two factors that really matter
Chris Kofinis, a Democratic consultant, said on MSNBC today that the names he is hearing the most are Kaine, Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, Senator Joe Biden of Delaware, and Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, who accompanied Obama on a tour of Afghanistan and Iraq this week.
Kaine is being mentioned because of his close relationship with Obama. As a Globe profile last month started: "He is the popular governor of a critical swing state. He has working-class roots and a Harvard degree, and strong support from both business and labor. He is a devout Catholic and speaks fluent Spanish, and was the first governor outside Illinois to endorse Barack Obama for president."
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.