Obama picks Biden for vice president

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama named veteran politician Joe Biden as his running mate today, his campaign confirmed.

Mr Biden, who chairs the US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee and has three decades of experience, will help the Obama campaign challenge the frequent criticism that it lacks foreign policy experience.

Mr Obama’s choice of the 65-year-old Delaware senator as his vice presidential nominee was officially confirmed by a text message to supporters this morning as his campaign continues to embrace technology to garner support.

The announcement comes ahead of the Democratic Party’s national convention in Denver, Colorado, next week, where Mr Obama is likely to be officially nominated as the party’s presidential nominee.

Mr Biden will help strengthen the 46-year-old Illinois senator’s foreign policy credentials.

Other potential vice presidential nominees, including Virginia governor Tim Kaine and Indiana senator Evan Bayh could have helped deliver a certain set of voters, or reinforce Mr Obama’s message of change.

Mr Biden will now make a speech at the convention on Tuesday, but most US pundits agree that vice presidential candidates do not swing elections.

Mr Obama’s two-month search for a running mate was conducted almost entirely in secret.

His Republican rival John McCain is expected to name his vice presidential nominee next week. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney are reportedly among those being considered.