One possible explanation: They meant to send it out a few hours earlier but the sheer volume of texts caused problems so it got delayed. A likelier explanation: They meant to send it out this morning, but the networks scooped them by confirming the pick around midnight so they had to push it out ahead of schedule to save as much face as possible.

The politically useful explanation: So abiding is their hatred of Her Majesty that they couldn’t resist rubbing her face in one last pile of shinola by sending it out at the hour appointed in her famous ad. Unto you I say again — best convention evah.

By all accounts, Hillary Clinton was not vetted for the second spot, nor was she consulted by the Obama campaign on who should be taken–not even as a courtesy. If she had been the pick, the 3 a.m. text message might have had some real resonance–a signal that the two had put a tough campaign behind them in order to work together on the serious issues the next administration will have to deal with.

But what’s with holding the text message until 3 a.m. for Joe Biden? The only explanation that makes any sense is that Team Obama just couldn’t resist one last dig at Hillary.

I was so sure he’d be forced to name Hillary that even though I went to bed after all the news about Biden had broken (but before the text was sent), I still raced to the TV this morning expecting to find that he’d pulled the greatest head fake in modern political history. Compare his numbers among Democrats to McCain’s numbers among Republicans in Gallup’s new poll. Quote: “If each candidate were supported equally by his partisans, and independents split equally, that would translate into a 7- to 10-point lead for Obama over McCain in the race for president.” Against all expectations, the Hillary nuts really are a factor and we’re reaching the point where I’m not sure why anyone would think they’ll be coming home to the party. Her supporters on the trail don’t seem to believe her endorsements of Obama, and Obama himself has done practically nothing — virtually no help with her campaign debt, and amazingly, not even a cursory vetting for VP — to bridge the gap. Instead he ends up with a guy towards whom 75 percent of the public is indifferent and whom another 10 percent (mostly disgruntled Hillaryites, I’m sure) say will make them less likely to vote for him. Exit question: Even if Goldfarb’s blowing smoke, given how eager Hillary’s supporters are to find reasons to be aggrieved, shouldn’t Barry and his constellation of advisors have anticipated that 3 a.m. might be, um, the very worst time to send this out?

Update: A reader e-mails Jonah Goldberg to say that in light of the volume of texts, 3 a.m. was probably the “best (only)” time they could have done it. Really? You’ve already kissed off every time zone except the Pacific by that point. Why not just hold it until 4 a.m. or a little later? The cat was already out of the bag.

Update: I’ve been wondering if this theory would have any traction on the left, where it’ll actually do damage, or if it’s simply a fleeting righty diversion. Here’s your answer.