The New York Times sheds some light on the back-room dealings, global developments and veep-vetting sessions that went into whittling down Barack Obama’s short list of vice presidential candidates to the final contender, who heard Obama’s final pitch while at the dentist’s office.

The New York Times:

Mr. Biden was hardly considered a likely pick at the start of the process. His reputation for verbosity was Washington legend. While he impressed at the debates by defying expectations with his brevity, his presidential campaign foundered and ended quickly.

“I think in his heart of hearts he thought in the end he wouldn’t get it,” said Gov. Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania, a friend. “During the vetting process you mostly hear why you wouldn’t be a good candidate,” he added, naming “the change issue” and “some of the things he said during the campaign.”

But Mr. Biden had some powerful patrons in his corner whose opinions Mr. Obama respected, like Mr. Rendell; Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, the chairman of the House Democratic caucus; and Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts — not only a respected Senate lion but also uncle to a senior member of Mr. Obama’s vetting team, Caroline Kennedy.

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