Obama, McCain in the hunt for vice presidents

Other News Materials 22 May 2008 22:23 (UTC +04:00)

Barack Obama has begun his search for a running mate as he closes in on the Democratic presidential nomination, CNN reported Thursday, citing a party activist in Washington.

John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, is also narrowing down his choices and plans to meet with three possible vice presidential options over the weekend, The New York Times reported.

Obama has picked Jim Johnson, who also ran 2004 Democratic candidate John Kerry's selection process, to begin screening potential candidates, according to CNN.

Obama on Thursday said he remained focussed on winning the Democratic nomination against Hillary Clinton, and his campaign would not comment on the report.

The Illinois senator is less than 100 delegates from reaching the 2,025 total needed to stand for his party in the November general election. Only three primary contests are left, ending on June 3.

McCain, a senator from Arizona, will meet with former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Florida Governor Charlie Christ and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal at his ranch in Arizona, the Times reported citing sources in the Republican Party.

The picks of both Obama, 46, and McCain, 71, will be closely scrutinized. McCain's advancing age gives him greater reason to choose a candidate viewed as capable of taking over the top office.

Obama, who was elected to the US Senate in 2004, will be looking to make up for a relative lack of inexperience, likely picking either a state governor or a candidate with strong national security credentials, dpa reported.