RALEIGH — Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore is nearing a decision for a running mate, and the buzz is that Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina is at the top of a very short list of candidates.
The vice president's campaign office in Nashville has confirmed the short list is now very short -- only two names, those of two U.S. senators -- Edwards and John Kerry of Massachusetts.
Gore staffers are also keeping options open by saying a wild card could be played, but Edwards' name is the one talked about most prominently.
There is lots of speculation but so far no specifics.
"I'm going to stay with my policy of not saying anything about this," Edwards says.
"He is looking for someone who can fill the job as president if called upon, who will be a partner and who will share his philosophy," Chris Lehane, with Gore headquarters, told reporters.
Whoever gets the call, it will come by 9 a.m. Monday morning. Gore spent Sunday with Warren Christopher, who is helping with the search for a vice-presidential candidate.
According to the Gore campaign office, that person will be taken to a briefing, then would fly to Nashville in preparations for an "official" announcement Tuesday at noon.
Edwards' office has been very busy, as can be imagined.
All of this happening with the Democratic National convention set to begin in a week.
Gore could use a boost in the polls with his choice for vice president. The latest Gallup Poll shows a "convention bounce" for the Republican ticket.
Of likely voters, 56 percent say they would choose Bush, which is a two point increase over the poll taken just prior to the Republican convention.
Forty percent of likely voters say they support Gore, -- unchanged from the pre-convention poll.