Speculation has run rampant over the past several weeks as Barack Obama searches for a vice presidential candidate -- guesses have run the gamut from the usual suspects of Bill Richardson, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, Jesse Helms RIP, and even fashion designer Carolina Herrera (a fashion-addled reporter spotted Caroline Kennedy with a Caroline Herrera gift box, and the rumors spread like California wildfires).
But today Barack Obama ended the anticipation with a surprising choice: former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, now in custody facing a war crimes tribunal in The Hague. Asked about Karadzic's alleged participation in war crimes, Obama said only, "We need real change in Washington."
Formerly liberal supporters of Obama struggled to explain the stunning, and potentially illegal, choice. In recent weeks, Obama has courted the Israel lobby, and indicated he may support nuclear power and offshore drilling - Karadzic's stance on these issues is unclear, but he is considered tough on crime and is unlikely to oppose the apartheid state of Israel. Moreover, Karadzic speaks several languages, and "would not hesitate to nuke Iran," according to one Obama insider who requested anonymity.
But the surprises did not stop there. Later, at a press conference on his energy policy, Obama was asked to address the problem of unrest in the Niger Delta that has lead to a decline in oil production. Obama, an internationalist with keen knowledge of foreign affairs, pointed out that oil production would probably not be such a contested issue if the workers were enslaved. Asked if this meant that Obama supported slavery, he answered, "All options are on the table."