The major-party presidential contenders are both stumping today in possible swing states in November -- Democrat Barack Obama is in Virginia, and Republican John McCain is in New Mexico.
But it's all about the veep -- who gets picked, when the announcements will happen, what the fallout will be.
In the swirl of speculation, every utterance is being parsed. For instance, some heard in Obama's speech at a town hall meeting Tuesday night in Raleigh, N.C., an indication that his choice will not be a woman.
Asked how he would use his vice president, Obama declared that he wouldn't repeat the example of Dick Cheney, who led an energy task force and has become one of the most powerful second-in-commands in US history.
"Let me tell you first what I won’t do. I won’t hand over my energy policy to my vice president, without knowing necessarily what he’s doing," Obama said, according to ABC News. He added: "My vice president also will be a member of the executive branch. He won't be one of these fourth branches of government where he thinks he’s above the law."
Obama also said, "I want somebody who is mad right now that people are losing their jobs and is mad right now that people are seeing their incomes decline. That's the kind of person that I want, somebody who in their gut knows … that we have to grow this country from the bottom up."
Two candidates believed to be on Obama's short list -- Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia and Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana -- don't exactly register high on the anger meter.
One who is fiery is Senator Joe Biden of Delaware, but he seemed to throw cold water on speculation that he is Obama's favorite.
The Obama campaign had a little fun with the media amid the hyper-speculation. Spokesman Bill Burton sent out a press release this morning with the subject line: Vice Presidential.... In the email, he teased: "Just kidding."
On the Republican side, another Joe -- Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut -- appears to be getting serious buzz.
He would be a highly unusual pick for McCain. Lieberman was the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2000 and is still nominally a Democrat, though he won re-election as an independent after losing the Democratic primary. He also supports abortion rights -- anathema to many conservatives in the party.
The Washington Times reports that GOP officials in many states are trying to put the kibosh on Lieberman, a close friend of McCain who has been an ally on the Iraq war and who has been campaigning with him.
The Associated Press is reporting that whether he's the vice presidential nominee or not, Lieberman will speak at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul the week after next.
One early favorite who has fallen by the wayside is Rob Portman, a former Ohio congressman and former budget director under President Bush.
He told Columbus Dispatch editors on Tuesday: "I don't think it's going to be me, and my wife is very happy with that."
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 email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.