Barack Obama selected Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware late Friday night to be his vice presidential running mate, according to a Democratic official, balancing his ticket with an older congressional veteran well-versed in foreign and defense issues. Biden, who has twice sought the White House, is a Catholic with a generally liberal voting record and a reputation as a long-winded orator.
The official who spoke did so on condition of anonymity. Among those on the short list, Biden brought the most experience in defense or foreign policy—areas in which Obama is rated relatively poorly in the polls compared with Republican Sen. John McCain. A native of Scranton, Pa., he also has working-class roots that could benefit Obama, who lost the blue-collar vote to Clinton during their competition for the presidential nomination.