Karl Rove has apparently tried to head off any chance that presumptive GOP nominee John McCain would select good buddy Joe Lieberman as his running mate.

According the Politico story, Rove contacted Lieberman and asked him to withdraw his name from consideration for the post.

The response?

Lieberman dismissed the request, these sources agreed.

Lieberman “laughed at the suggestion and certainly did not call [McCain] on it,” said one source familiar with the details.

“Rove called Lieberman,” recounted a second source. “Lieberman told him he would not make that call.”

Rove did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Even if Lieberman is not the pick, the Karl Rove fingerprints are now ever so slightly appearing on the McCain campaign, which can only strengthen the Obama/Biden strategy of shackling team Mac to the Bush Administration’s shortcomings.

And if Drudge is right, we could get a leak of the McCain running mate’s identity as early as 6 pm this evening, with possible confirmation by 8pm, just a few short hours before Barack Obama is due to give his speech in Denver.