The conservative-leaning Drudge Report, citing a leak from the New York Times, claimed late Monday that the vice presidential choice for Sen. Barack Obama could come as early as tomorrow morning.

He also cited a second source close to the Obama camp that said an announcement was more likely expected Wednesday.

The piece was blogged by the LA Times. Excerpts:

"As The Ticket previously reported, the campaign says it will make the announcement first via e-mail to supporters who've signed up. We've had false alarms in both camps already," the LA Times noted. "They may be accidental. But they also serve a campaign's purpose of hyping interest and anticipation first among the media and then the voting public.Politico reported earlier this morning that an announcement was expected this week.

"A person familiar with the campaign's planning noted that Obama's schedule at the end of this week is open, but said the announcement could come 'as late as the weekend,' according to the online newsmagazine. "Obama and his inner circle have held his intentions tightly, while a wider circle of aides in Chicago has been kept far enough out of the loop that they’re willing to speculate freely on the possible choice."

"There are plenty of tea leaves to read," Politico added. "Obama's schedule this week takes him through the home states of a few possible contenders: He's spending Monday in New Mexico (Gov. Bill Richardson) and Wednesday in Virginia (Gov. Tim Kaine and former Gov. Mark Warner)."

Democrat Barack Obama piled up nearly eight million fundraising dollars in a single lucrative night, as anticipation built over his looming choice of White House running mate.

"I will win, don't worry about that," Obama told a crowd of 1,300 people at a fundraiser Sunday night in California, one of three back-to-back events which netted a staggering 7.8 million dollars, his campaign said.

Obama's vow opened a crucial week in his White House duel with Republican John McCain, the last before his party's nominating convention in Denver, with expectations high that he will soon name his vice presidential nominee.

Given the deteriorating economy, "bungled" foreign policy and unpopular Iraq war, Obama said it would be nice if voters would simply think "'Toss the bums out, we're starting from scratch, we're starting over.'"

"These are the knuckleheads who have been in charge -- throw em out. But American politics aren't that simple," he said, arguing people needed to be prodded into voting for change.

And he warned Republicans had a "whole machinery that they're cranking out" full of negative character attacks designed to scare people away from him.

But the Illinois senator, introduced in San Francisco by House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi as a "leader that God has blessed us with at this time," vowed not to make the mistake of previous Democratic nominees in failing to sufficiently repel Repubican assaults.

"Not only do you have a candidate who doesn't take any guff. Not only do you have a candidate who will hit back swiftly and forcefully and truthfully.

"But you've also got American people who are rising up all over the country and saying, enough is enough," said Obama, in remarks detailed in a pool report of the private event distributed by the Obama campaign.

With AFP.