With news on Tuesday that US Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama has passed former first lady Hillary Clinton in pledged Superdelegate, the Democratic Party's nomination process is entering its final phase; and it appears Hillary's preparing her swan song. Rumour has it that in early June, unless she can manage to seat the Florida and Michigan delegates, Clinton will bow out, and end the protracted battle once and for all.
This in mind, let's look at the likely choices for the second-half of Obama's ticket, the vice-presidential candidates.
Bill Richardson: He's the current Democratic governor of New Mexico, but is best known for his work with the Clinton administration during the 1990's, particularly in energy and foreign relations. Not only does he bring experience (former US Congressman, US Ambassador to the United Nations, Secretary of Energy), he also brings the crucial Latin vote, as his mother is Mexican and he lived in Mexico City for many years.
Furthermore, he'd temper John McCain strength in the American Southwest, and could possibly even deliver for Obama McCain's home state of Arizona. Richardson was an early candidate for the 2008 presidential election, but dropped out early in the race, after disappointing performances in Iowa and New Hampshire. In March, Richardson publicly endorsed Senator Obama, a move that caused much consternation in the Clinton camp, especially given Richardson's close ties to husband Bill. Many have seen this as a wily move, one which nicely places Richardson on the inside track for the vice-presidential nomination.
Image: New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson interacts with the media outside Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas.
Photograph: Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images
Also see: Chelsea: Another Clinton comes to the fore