Tags: Kerry's | Veep | Short | List

Kerry's Veep Short List

Monday, 16 February 2004 12:00 AM

The cardinal rule in selecting a vice presidential nominee is to "do no harm." Furthermore, the veep nominee preferably should bring to the ticket 'something' that the presidential nominee himself would not have had: a state, a region or a group of voters.

Plus, the traditional role of the veep nominee is to be an 'attack dog' against the other ticket.

With these rules in mind, let us predict John Kerry's vice presidential short list – not necessarily in order of preference.

Winning Florida virtually guarantees the White House. Gore barely lost it four years ago. Is it winnable this time – even with a state icon like Graham on the ticket? That is the question in-depth polling will measure between now and the Democratic Convention in Boston this summer. Graham also is an effective and eager attack dog against G.W. Bush. He has led the charge in criticizing Bush on 9/11 and Iraq.

True, Edwards is new, fresh, young and attractive, and is generally the second-most-popular Democrat after Kerry. But he does not appear to give Kerry anything Kerry doesn't already have. Perhaps in Border States Edwards can sell well. Perhaps. Also, his so-called 'positive' campaign raises the question: In a general election will he be willing to "go negative" on Bush-Cheney and be an attack dog? Will he risk his all-positive image? Will he be any good in this role?

Richardson's negatives include trying to help Bill Clinton out by getting Monica Lewinsky a job in the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. Would Kerry want all that raised again? Does Kerry want any more of the Clinton taint attached to his campaign?

Kerry and McCain – two decorated Vietnam vets – would be a stark contrast to Bush and Cheney, two Vietnam 'avoiders.' Kerry and McCain are the best of friends. They both hate G.W. Bush. But McCain is a Republican and only last week agreed to serve, at President Bush's request, on the new Intelligence Panel. Will McCain bolt the GOP to join Kerry? That is the million-dollar question.

One name circulating about – Hillary Clinton – is

Besides, what does Hillary bring to the ticket? New York? Kerry will win it anyway!

Conclusion: Kerry will want McCain but if he can't get him, the short list above is where he will find his running mate.

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The cardinal rule in selecting a vice presidential nominee is to "do no harm." Furthermore, the veep nominee preferably should bring to the ticket 'something' that the presidential nominee himself would not have had: a state, a region or a group of voters. Plus, the...
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Monday, 16 February 2004 12:00 AM
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