I read today that Claire Shipman of “Good Morning America” (that august daily broadcast of highly credible reporting) discussed the following six people as “possibilities” for the Kerry VP candidacy: National candidates: John Edwards, Dick Gephardt, and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson; regional candidate: Bob Graham of Florida; and wildcards, Hillary Clinton and John McCain.
OK. I can forgive Edwards being named becuase everyone is naming him; Gephardt is semi-viable to me, though I don’t know how much he brings to the ticket (labor? Won’t they vote Democrat anyway?); I don’t know much about Richardson, and will readily admit it; Bob Graham, though a weakling in the presidential race, is apparently very popular in Florida. But where the f@!$ do you come up with Hillary (who, are we all clear, doesn’t want to be VICE president) and John McCain (because obviously, if something should happen to President Kerry, what we’re going to want as a party is to throw in the towel and admit that Republicans are better in crisis).
Someone else (on the New York Times editorial page!!!) today apparently made an argument for the inclusion of one Bill Clinton on the ticket.
First, ignoring what I believe is a constitutional impossibility of that scenario (a president may serve no more than two terms OR ten years, meaning that if Kerry died in office within the first half of his term, I think Clinton could become president again, but then he’d – what? Have to resign after two years? In the meantime, of course, he could appoint his wife VP and save us all the trouble of VOTING), let’s talk about the VP selection more generally. Does anyone out there understand that it’s more than just a cosmetic job? Certainly, there’s an element of that in selecting a candidate, but you need more than well-resumed window-dressing when selecting someone to be, potentially, a heartbeat away from the presidency.
The continual focus on the VP “race” finally has me frustrated. I like speculation, but only if it’s *smart* speculation. I don’t understand how people are getting away with continually presenting Edwards as the front-runner for the VP decision when the Kerry camp leaked that they find him weak on foreign policy, which Kerry has said he’ll use as the litmus for choosing a running mate. So far the only reason anyone seems to have for Kerry picking up Edwards is that “everybody out there thinks it’s a good idea.” Well, newsflash, this isn’t a voting issue for the grand public. The DNC doesn’t get to pick the prettiest guy to be VP, and I don’t think they should get to. If we want to go back to some kind of system where the runner-up in the primaries is annointed as the second man/woman on the ticket, that’s fine, I’m OK with it. Until we do, though, I wish everyone would stop treating this like the swimsuit portion of the competition and do some homework before they hit the airwaves with theories.
Of course, having ranted about this, Kerry will probably announce tomorrow that not only is he choosing Edwards as a running mate, the two will be running off to San Francisco to get married. And then I’ll send them flowers and start thinking again about joining the Green Party.