Bunker Mulligan "Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry." ~Mark Twain

April 30, 2004

VP Choices

Filed under: Politics — Bunker @ 7:45 pm

When George W. Bush became the nominee in 2000, he asked Dick Cheney to act as the point man in finding him a suitable running mate. I thought that was a bad choice. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t just ask Cheney to be his VP. He did.

Presidential nominees always look for the running mate who will help them get elected rather than one who would be a good presidential partner. I think Bush chose well. If he had opted for someone else, he may have won easily, and the Florida recount issue would never have arisen. But he probably would not have had as good a VP, one who worked as well with him. Bush doesn’t ignore his vice president as many other presidents have done, and that gives people the impression Cheney runs things.

I don’t think Kerry will approach things the same way. He will follow conventional political wisdom. He is now searching for the optimum running mate. I doubt very seriously that he wants someone to work with more than someone who runs well. Expect him to select a well-worn political hack, who can help him rally the party faithful. Expect him to pick someone from the south or west to shore up support. He may opt for a Midwesterner in hopes of gaining votes in flyover country. John Edwards would be a good choice for political reasons–the good-looking young rising star who can help in the south. But I doubt Kerry will risk being overshadowed.

Whomever he chooses, it will not be with an eye toward partnering after inauguration.

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