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Saturday, June 12, 2004

Kerry asks, McCain declines 

The New York Times reports this morning that
John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, has repeatedly and personally asked Senator John McCain, the independent-minded Arizona Republican, to consider being his running mate, but Mr. McCain has refused, people who have spoken to both men said Friday.

This is going to get tremendous play in the blogosphere, so I will confine myself to three points.

First, this confirms the severity of the shortage of credible Democrats of national stature. Kerry's closest rivals for his own party's nomination, Howard Dean and John Edwards, are apparently further down the list than a staunchly pro-life Republican. Perhaps that is not surprising, since neither Dean nor Edwards comes from a swing state. But where are the Democrats from Ohio, Pennsylvania, or Florida?

Second, it is bizarre that Kerry asked McCain not once but "repeatedly." Of course, Kerry knows McCain personally from their years in the Senate, so he probably knows the forms of persuasion that do and do not work with McCain, but McCain's public persona is that of a man for whom decisions come easily and no means no.

Third, the upshot of this is that Kerry is seen to have gone hat in hand to a Republican, only to have had his hat handed to him. Perhaps this is of no consequence to Democrats who, after all, do not nominate "tough guys" to be their presidential candidates. But it will sure look wimpy in Peoria.

4 Comments:

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Jun 13, 02:10:00 AM:

I don't think we need two hazy/scary Vietnam stories in one campaign. Unless of course campaign ads and formal debates are going to be replaced with "The Deer Hunter" repeats. Maybe Bush can play the Charlie Sheen role and assasinate John Kerry with a machete. Then again, maybe not.

I was most distressed to notice the lack of comments. Based on web popularity statistics, I'd reccomend assuming the pseudonym "Paris Hilton" in all future posts.

-Mester, out  

By Blogger Robert Prather, at Sun Jun 13, 03:51:00 AM:

First, this confirms the severity of the shortage of credible Democrats of national stature. Kerry's closest rivals for his own party's nomination, Howard Dean and John Edwards, are apparently further down the list than a staunchly pro-life Republican.They could go for Evan Bayh, though they would lose the Indiana Senate seat if they win -- the governor is Republican -- and Bayh would overshadow Kerry. Much more personable and knowledgable. Downside: two Senators when traditionally governors are better candidates.

You're right about the Democrats' lack of depth on the bench.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Jun 14, 05:49:00 PM:

Hey, I don't know what the blogosphere is saying, but I would have thought that Kerry deserved some credit for this (unless we all believe that he knew McCain would turn him down). Doesn't is show a willingness not to worry about the whole "stature comparison" thing? Isn't bipartisanship good? Aren't we in favor of not making any single issue ("staunchly pro-life") the proverbial litmus test? Doesn't it sound like a winning play (if you want to look at it as sports)? -- MCU (Democrat, but not a Kerry fan)  

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