And the winner is..... Joe Biden

After weeks of speculation - to the point where it got ridiculous in the last few hours - the Barack Obama team proved one thing: it can keep a secret.

The highly anticipated Obama text message - which reached this blackberry at 3:03:48am (Eastern Time) - reads:

Barack has chosen Senator Joe Biden to be our VP nominee. Watch the first Obama-Biden rally at 3pm ET on Spread the word.

An email from the Obama campaign - received at 4:49am (Eastern Time) confirmed the earlier text:

I have some important news that I want to make official. I've chosen Joe Biden to be my running mate. Joe and I will appear for the first time as running mates this afternoon in Springfield, Illinois -- the same place this campaign began more than 19 months ago.

I'm excited about hitting the campaign trail with Joe, but the two of us can't do this alone. We need your help to keep building this movement for a change. Please let Joe know that you're glad he's part of our team. Share your personal welcome note and we'll make sure he gets it:

The McCain team did exactly that. Their personal welcome note welcomed Biden to the team even before the Obama camp folks requested it. Now that's thinking ahead. Their welcome-wagon email was received at 2:22am (Eastern Time):

There has been no harsher critic of Barack Obama's lack of experience than Joe Biden. Biden has denounced Barack Obama's poor foreign policy judgmkent and has strongly argued in his own words what Americans are quickly realizing -- that Barack Obama is not ready to be President."

The Monitor's Peter Grier has the full story.

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