Running for veep

Barring some political miracle or immense gaffe by Sen. Barack ObamaBarack ObamaDefense hawks gird for budget brawl Emanuel: Dreamers ‘part of the Chicago family’ Obama visits Prince Harry at Kensington Palace MORE (D-Ill.), the presidential race is set.

Obama will be facing off against Sen. John McCainJohn McCainDefense hawks gird for budget brawl Trump got harsher GOP reception than Bush on budget Armed Services chairman unveils .1B Asia-Pacific security bill MORE (R-Ariz.) and not surprisingly, the chatter about who will be the vice presidential candidate has intensified.

Some political observers believe it is unlikely that Obama or McCain will pick a senator as his running mate, noting that a governor or former governor is more probable.

But politics is unpredictable, and there is a decent chance that one of the White House hopefuls — more likely Obama — will select a senator.

Other than Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), some Democrats whose names have been mentioned include Sens. Jim Webb (Va.) and Evan Bayh (Ind.).

Meanwhile, Sens. Sam Brownback (Kan.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamGraham: Calling climate change a 'hoax' bad for GOP Graham: Comey should be held accountable for acting on bad intel Trump got harsher GOP reception than Bush on budget MORE (S.C.) and John ThuneJohn ThuneCongress must address student loan debt crisis, a national economic drag Republicans go to battle over pre-existing conditions GOP frustrated by slow pace of Trump staffing MORE (S.D.) have been touted in some GOP circles.

Yet sometimes the person not on short lists is the one selected. Few, if any, predicted that George W. Bush would pick Dick Cheney as his running mate in 2000.

The Hill newspaper wanted to find out whether senators would accept an offer to be vice president. Reporter J. Taylor Rushing asked a pointed question of all 97 members of the upper chamber not now vying for the presidency: “If you were asked, would you accept an offer to be the vice presidential nominee?”

We asked all of them because of the unpredictability factor and were well aware that we would get some amusing responses.

On the serious side, a smiling Webb said, “I’m not really interested.”

Bayh said, “I suspect that’s not the sort of thing you say no to.”

Thune said, “That won’t happen, so I won’t have to worry about it.”

The most entertaining answers, however, were from the senators who don’t anticipate that they will have to go through a background check anytime soon.

Sen. Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiBipartisan friendship is a civil solution to political dysfunction Dems press for paycheck fairness bill on Equal Pay Day After 30 years celebrating women’s history, have we made enough progress? MORE (D-Md.) said, “Absolutely. Absolutely … I’d bring a lot of fun to the job. We would rock the Naval Observatory.”

“I plan to stick to my current job until I get the hang of it,” Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) said.

Sen. Roger WickerRoger WickerIndustry pushes lawmakers to build 355-ship Navy GOP senators on Comey firing: Where they stand United Airlines grilled at Senate hearing MORE (R-Miss.) said, “The chances of that are so remote that I’m more likely to be hit by an asteroid.”

The Senate can be a stuffy place, but it was refreshing to see how members handled The Hill’s question. Some answers were insightful, while others had a good dose of self-deprecating humor. Despite not being short on ego, the Senate showed its human side by answering a question that is being asked more and more these days.

You can see all of the responses here