Joe Biden wasn't even on Barack Obama's short list until August 7, when Russia suddenly invaded the neighboring country of Georgia. That's the word from key Democrats meeting here in Denver who say the Obama campaign's need to shore up its foreign policy bona fides helped push the Delaware senator to the top of the pack. "We didn't pick our nominee. Vladimir Putin did," is how one Democrat, who professes to be pleased with the Biden choice, put it. Nonsense, says Team Obama: "Senator Biden was always at the top of any list of possibilities."
... Another factor was the wishes of Democratic Senate leaders, who quietly weighed in urging Mr. Obama not to jeopardize their goal of getting as close as possible to 60 seats in order to overcome GOP filibusters. "If Obama had picked either Evan Bayh of Indiana or Jack Reed of Rhode Island, those Senate seats would have been filled by Republican governors," one Democratic Senate aide told me. "Biden has a Democratic governor back in Delaware and didn't present the same problem."