Friday, June 18, 2004

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Does John Kerry have moles in his campaign?

Mickey Kaus, June 17, 2004:

Q.: If you were a mischievous Bush person and wanted to make some trouble for John Kerry, what would you do? A.: Start a rumor that Kerry has picked John Edwards as his running mate. That will ratchet up the current press buzz that Edwards is the inevitable, obvious choice, due to his charismatic brilliance as a campaigner. Then, if Kerry doesn't want to choose Edwards, he will a) be faced with annoying unwanted pressure and b) look like a vain man who doesn't want to be upstaged. If Edwards is the pick, then a) the pre-emptive rumor will blow the big surprise of Kerry's announcement and b) Kerry will look like he's been stampeded. It's win win! And it won't be a hard rumor to start. (emphases in original)

Jim VandeHei and Lois Romano, "Kerry's Search: In Depth, In Secret." The Washington Post, June 18, 2004:

Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) has emerged as the favorite of many Democratic senators and Kerry friends and advisers. Edwards's stock has shot up in recent weeks as private polling shows the freshman senator providing a boost to the ticket in key states because of his southern appeal and perceived likeability, two sources close to the campaign said. "The delay in announcing someone has helped Edwards," a Democrat close to Kerry said....

Kerry's competitive streak, which has run deep throughout his career, is also coloring his decision, friends say. Kerry, they say, sometimes appears conflicted when talking about his desire to find a strong leader, or a peer, who could without a doubt run the nation in wartime and his concern of being upstaged or unfavorably compared with his running mate, stylistically or professionally. (emphases added)

posted by Dan on 06.18.04 at 12:45 PM


These "friends" talking about Kerry's search sure don't sound like the kind of friends I like to have.

posted by: Rich on 06.18.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]

John Edwards is the obvious choice, and Kerry will be criticized for choosing Edwards in a way that implies unpleasant things about Kerry's character. But, Kerry will criticized in that way, regardless of what he does on the Vice-Presidency or any other issue, because Republicans and the Mickey Kaus types of this world enjoy doing it.

If I were in Kerry's campaign I would recommend that Kerry meet with Bill Clinton in a well-publicized way, and then start the rumor that Kerry is begging Bill to consider becoming his vice-President. This would be like throwing red meat to the lions. The media would have a field day, and Democrats could talk about how Kerry is so fearless about being upstaged and about how Kerry is able to "think outside the box" etc. Clinton could demur after a week or two of pondering the possibility, and bow out, leaving Kerry to choose Edwards or almost anyone else.

posted by: BrianWild7 on 06.18.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]

Can Clinton even be VP since he already served two terms as President?

posted by: Rich on 06.18.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]

Clinton most likely can't serve as VP, but there's a little bit of uncertainty about it. Kaus talked about it a couple of weeks ago.

So what did Kerry do to make Kaus dislike him so much, anyway? I know Kaus leans conservative, but he's not usually strongly ideological. But man, he just can't stand Kerry at all. He must have stolen Mickey's girlfriend or something.

posted by: Devin McCullen on 06.18.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]

Rumors don't have to make sense. . . They just have to be juicy.

posted by: Hal on 06.18.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]

Substitute McCain for Clinton in the above discussion, as has already occurred: draws the connection to veteran status, integrity, bipartisanship, patriotism, balls, and creative thinking. ...Associating Kerry with Edwards, in contrast, detracts from the Kerry candidacy's gravitas, even if it does compensate for its stiff upper lip... The Edwards rumor also generates disappointment that no surprise is in store--come on, where's the drama we want? ...Edwards's likeability will also undergo far harsher attacks and scrutiny than it did in the primaries, when Mr. Positive was decidedly in non-attack mode, and could expect some reciprocity.

posted by: Seattle Lite on 06.18.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]

Daily Kos is floating the rumor that Howard Dean is back under consideration, after a Zogby poll that shows Kerry/Dean outpolling Kerry/Gephardt by up to sixteen points. (As he points out, somebody paid for the poll.)

Dean alienates people who would never have voted for Kerry in the first place, so there's no net loss there; he fires up the Democratic base better than any other candidate; and if an all-Southern ticket can win the White House (or if you can choose a VP to lock in your base, as Bush did with Cheney), then why not an all-New England ticket?

Personally I still lean toward Sam Nunn, but his name shows up on the "should have been considered" list more often than the "juicy rumor" list.

posted by: Scott Forbes on 06.18.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]

If you haven't already done so, please vote in the on-line Vice-Presidential Preference poll in
Sozadee CA
Where Wes Clark leads John Edwards and John McCain.

posted by: The Messenger on 06.18.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]

Several of my cousins's families have lived and worked in DC and environs for generations. One of my cousins has a very dear friend who works in BC04 HQ in Arlington. Within the past two weeks the very dear friend has flipped and begun filling in Kerry HQ, through a series of cut-outs, every bit of information which crosses this persons desk, most of which deals with...

But that would be telling.

posted by: adaplant on 06.18.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]

Why does anybody think John Edwards can win anything in the South? Simply because he's from the South? He wouldn't even win his Senate seat back if he ran for it a second time. Al Gore was from the South and he didn't win a single Southern State. Clinton and Gore were both from the South and only won Arkansas in 2 tries.

National Democrats won't win in the South until they change their policies, not the state of birth of their candidates.

posted by: DSpears on 06.18.04 at 12:45 PM [permalink]

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