Out of Denver . . . From the Obama campaign Wednesday morning: "Senator Obama, Senator Joe Biden, Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will depart Denver Friday for Pennsylvania, the first stop on the bus tour. The 'On the Road to Change' tour will make stops in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, and will mark Obama and Biden's first campaign tour as the Democratic nominees. Obama and Biden will meet with voters to discuss America's economic challenges and the Obama/Biden blueprint for change."
Set your clock (maybe even text yourself a reminder, for old time's sake): McCain is making his choice at noon ET Friday, Politico's Jonathan Martin reports.
"John McCain is planning to rollout his vice-presidential nominee in three battleground states this weekend, with large-scale rallies planned for Ohio, Pennsylvania and Missouri, according to aides and advisers," he writes. "The GOP nominee-in-waiting will move to immediately change the campaign conversation from Barack Obama's football stadium acceptance speech Thursday to the new Republican ticket, to be revealed at a noontime Friday rally in a Dayton, Ohio, basketball arena."
He continues: "The Missouri rally is being billed to local Republicans as something of a unity rally, since it will feature McCain, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee -- the GOP presidential finalists who effectively divided the vote three ways in the Show Me State's Super Tuesday primary. A McCain aide warned not to read too much into McCain's planned guests, however."
The betting line has shifted: "There are new indications today that he is looking at Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and not foe-turned-pal Mitt Romney," Paul Bedard reports for US News & World Report. "Sources close to Romney tell us that his camp has not had vice presidential talks and dealings for a while, leading them to believe that the other running mate topping McCain's list has edged him out. Of concern is the likelihood that the Democrats would dub a McCain-Romney ticket the richest ever."
Romney, R-Mass., may have seen his stock fade with reporters asking questions about how many houses candidates own -- but he's confident at least what he said about McCain isn't worse than what Biden said about Obama.
"I didn't say that he was not qualified to become president," Romney said at a Christian Science Monitor lunch Tuesday, per ABC's Teddy Davis. "Republicans in our debates pointed out differences on issues and relative capacity. That's very different from saying that he is not qualified to be president."
Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., was also roaming Denver Tuesday, and former mayor Rudolph Giuliani, R-N.Y., does the GOP counter-offensive Wednesday.
Pawlenty gets his tryout Thursday. The AP's Liz Sidoti, on the mile-high auditions: "Romney, a former McCain rival, would bring economic credentials and a battle-honed pitch from the rough-and-tumble GOP primary to the team, while Pawlenty, a longtime McCain ally, would bring a solid conservative resume and blue-collar roots."
The new McCain ad (no one named Clinton in this one!) aims to scare: "Iran. Radical Islamic government. Known sponsors of terrorism. Developing nuclear capabilities, to 'generate power' but threatening to eliminate Israel. Obama says Iran is a 'tiny' country, 'doesn't pose a serious threat.' Terrorism, destroying Israel, those aren't 'serious threats'? Obama -- dangerously unprepared to be president."