Mark Halperin’s three things to watch for in presidential politics for Friday, August 22:
1. Keep an eye on Barack Obama’s choice for a running mate, which is likely to be announced before the next PageCast. This morning, the Senator told CBS’ Harry Smith he’s looking for a VP who could step in to be president, help him govern and challenge him– someone who is not “a yes person.” Reporters are sitting by their cell phones waiting for that text messsage. Watch who the Obama campaign picks, paying particularly close attention to Delaware Senator Joseph Biden (whose house is being staked out along with the other top candidates). Also watch closely to see how the choice is rolled out.
2. Watch John McCain also continuing his veep deliberations. At least two Republican sources say McCain has apparently settled on Romney as his pick, but no offer has been made. Though, the New York Times is floating Gen. Petraeus and others say Pawlenty is still a top contender. Watch to see how the McCain campaign handles the rollout of Obama’s choice, and perhaps their own.
3. Pay attention to the controversy involving houses and homes on the campaign trail. McCain started the storm by not answering a question on how many houses he and his wife own during a Politico interview. Obama and his campaign have gone full throttle — releasing and ad characterizing McCain as an elitist and having some strong language on the stump. McCain has hit back with an ad invoking former Obama confident and Chicago developer Tony Rezko, who was indicted for fraud, as part of Obama’s “house” problems. Watch to see if that story escalates into a huge war today with more advertisements and rhetoric. Also watch to see if that issue stays alive in the media between the two campaigns.