Barack Obama Picks His Running Mate: Sen. Joseph Biden
updated 08/23/2008 AT 05:00 PM EDT
•originally published 08/23/2008 AT 12:45 PM EDT
At a rally in Springfield, Ill., on Saturday – where Obama first launched his campaign – he revved up the excited crowd and introduced Biden, who bounded up the stage to Bruce Springstreen's "The Rising."
"Joe Biden is that rare mix – for decades, he has brought change to Washington, but Washington hasn't changed him," said Obama. Praising him as a working-class success story and as a deft foreign policy expert who has "stared down dictators," Obama also characterized his running mate as a survivor who bounced back from personal tragedy – the deaths of his first wife and daughter – and trauma, a brain aneurysm that nearly killed him.
The choice of Biden was released by text and email messages from the Obama campaign at 3 a.m., Chicago time. According to the New York Times, the note read, "Friend – I have some important news that I want to make official. I've chosen Joe Biden to be my running mate."
Next up: Republican frontrunner John McCain's announcement of his vice presidential candidate. The Arizona Senator is expected to reveal his choice on his 72nd birthday, Aug. 29, the day after Obama's acceptance speech before 70,000 people at the Democratic Convention in Denver, reports FOX News.