August 23, 2008 12:45 PM

The guessing game is over: After several intense days of media speculation, Sen. Barack Obama has announced that six-term Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware will be his running mate on the Democratic ticket for President.

At a rally in Springfield, Ill., on Saturday – where Obama first launched his campaign – he revved up the excited crowd and introduced Biden, who bounded up the stage to Bruce Springstreen’s “The Rising.”

“Joe Biden is that rare mix – for decades, he has brought change to Washington, but Washington hasn’t changed him,” said Obama. Praising him as a working-class success story and as a deft foreign policy expert who has “stared down dictators,” Obama also characterized his running mate as a survivor who bounced back from personal tragedy – the deaths of his first wife and daughter – and trauma, a brain aneurysm that nearly killed him.

The choice of Biden was released by text and email messages from the Obama campaign at 3 a.m., Chicago time. According to the New York Times, the note read, “Friend – I have some important news that I want to make official. I’ve chosen Joe Biden to be my running mate.”

Next up: Republican frontrunner John McCain’s announcement of his vice presidential candidate. The Arizona Senator is expected to reveal his choice on his 72nd birthday, Aug. 29, the day after Obama’s acceptance speech before 70,000 people at the Democratic Convention in Denver, reports FOX News.

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