Now that John Kerry appears to be the Democratic nominee, his campaign has the fun task of deciding whose name will appear with Kerry’s on the ticket.
Campaigns compile a short list containing a handful of qualified individuals for the VP position. Because of my age, I am sadly ineligible. In the interest of respecting our Constitution, unlike our current president and those in his administration, I have compiled a short list of possible vice-presidential candidates and have given you my opinion who Kerry will select.
General Wesley Clark, former presidential candidate – It’s worth mentioning I was a registered Democrat long before General Clark was. Granted he was busy running a war, but I do believe he is still trying to figure out his position on Iraq. He’s out.
Tom Vilsack of Iowa – I don’t think I have to say more than he is from Iowa.
If I am not mistaken, Iowa has negative five electoral votes.Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico – Richardson has a long resume, and has been an up-and-coming voice in the Democratic Party for some time. He might help bring out the Hispanic vote, but his chance of making a huge impact on a national campaign is questionable. His chances? Not very good.
Janet Napolitano of Arizona – Who?
Senator Bill Nelson of Florida – While many view Nelson as very intelligent and a good communicator, his stature on the national stage and even in Florida won’t bring in many votes.
Senator Bob Graham of Florida – Graham is the senior Senator and is very popular in the Sunshine State. He is the former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and his successful tenure as former Governor of Florida could bring some executive-branch experience to the table. With Florida being the biggest swing state this November, his chances are higher than Nelson’s or any of the other candidates mentioned so far. (In the interest of full disclosure, I intern for Senator Graham and highly respect him.)
Howard Dean, former Governor of Vermont and frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination (and future announcer for WWE) – Dean can have more of an impact on this election by doing what he is best at: rallying supporters, raising money and bringing new voters into the democratic process. However, his chances as are slim as they were of winning the nomination after his scream fest in Iowa.
Richard Gephardt, Congressman from Missouri and former presidential candidate – He has strong union support and is the son of many in the Midwest. Gephardt is a longtime Washington insider, though, which might hurt his chances in the long run.
Senator John Edwards of North Carolina – Many see Edwards as a shoo-in for the VP slot after he showed he was a viable candidate and passionate speaker and campaigner. His chances? Good. (As they should be.)
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton – I would vote for Clinton in a heartbeat, but my choice really doesn’t matter here. Quite the polarizing figure, mention Clinton’s name in a room and people immediately start screaming.
Dropping her name in a conversation is more explosive then saying “gay marriage” at a Republican fund-raiser. Her chances? Slim to none. Her eyes aren’t on the VP spot.
So there are Kerry’s options. Who will he pick? None of them. I could be wrong, but I am going to offer another possible scenario.
After four years as leader of the free world, Bush realizes he can think for himself and drops Dick Cheney from the ticket. Cheney has an epiphany, realizes pushing for a unilateral war and picking his conservative base over his own daughter on the issue of gay marriage was wrong. He joins the Kerry ticket as a New Democrat and rallies against huge deficits and permanent tax cuts for the wealthy.
Kerry-Cheney – It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
Charlie Eder is a sophomoremajoring in mass communications and political science.