Joe Biden? Admittedly, it caught us by surprise although the headlines suggested "he was just too good to pass up."

That being said, Americans have spent the past several months trying to speculate who Barack Obama might choose as a running mate and although Biden's name came up from time to time, it always seemed to be dismissed.

Most often, because Obama's campaign is all about change rather than business as usual and Biden has been in Washington for six terms - no matter how much they talk about the fact he takes the train home every night to Delaware plus, of course, how often he has reminded America that Obama is incredibly inexperienced and really not ready to take on the presidency - thoughts previously shared by ex-candidate Hillary Clinton.

Like so many politicians, Biden is probably now hoping that not many people remember his comments on the subject of the man who shares the Democratic ticket.

That's a lot like Hillary who, once she finally realized that it just wasn't going to happen for her, embraced Obama as if she hadn't spent two years trying to dismember his candidacy.

Oh politics.

We remain true to political parties as if they actually mean something - a fact a growing number of younger voters are reminding us is becoming somewhat irrelevant as they move toward independent status and party principles become blurred.

Trying to predict the vice president did add a bit of speculation to a presidential campaign that is sadly in danger of rigor mortis because it has been flopping about for so long that most voters are simply wishing the entire ritual would go away.

Despite the enormous challenge of packaging "change we can believe in" with "you're changing the house I've spent 36 years building," many students of the process were in agreement that the vice president would come from the ranks of someone a bit older who could lend experience to the ticket and a measure of confidence in area where Obama might be a little weak.

The most recent Washington Post-ABC poll gives McCain a two to one lead over Obama in knowledgeability in world affairs. Three-quarters of those polled said the addition of Biden to the Democratic ticket would make no difference in their vote.

The airwaves are already filled with the words of both Clinton and Biden articulating what they have repeatedly stated are Obama's limitations. As the campaign continues, expect to hear those critical words of both Clinton and Biden repeated over and over.

There have been enormous efforts in Denver to create a big tent under which the happy family can live in harmony. A good many of Clinton's supporters didn't even attend the campout and many of them are less than enamored with joining the hike.

Much of the same divisiveness will probably be evident when the Republicans gather next week in Minneaplis-St. Paul.

With both parties split over the standard bearers, it is likely to be a close race all the way to the finish.

Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the East Oregonian editorial board, comprised of Editor and Publisher George Murdock, Associate Publisher Kathryn Brown, General Manager Wendy DalPez, Managing Editor Skip Nichols and Deputy Managing Editor Dave Sager. Other columns, letters and cartoons on this page express the opinions of the authors and not necessarily that of the East Oregonian.

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