Obama’s choice of Biden raises stakes for McCain

The Associated Press

DENVER–Barack Obama’s choice of Joe Biden as a running mate sets the bar for John McCain. The Republican could use his own pugnacious No. 2 to deliver attack lines and a solid debate performance.

An appeal to working-class voters also would be a plus, although most political strategists add quickly that running mates historically make scant difference in the outcome of a presidential election.

“Highly overrated,” said Mike Murphy, a Republican who was a senior adviser in McCain’s 2000 campaign.

The GOP nominee-in-waiting is in the final stages of deciding who should join him on the ticket, and Obama’s selection of Biden — a savvy debater, willing attack dog, and blue-collar champion — is certain to figure into McCain’s calculation.