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Possible Contenders for Kerry's #2


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Possible contenders for Kerry's number two

By Isolin Jorgensen

Published: May 19 2004 20:33 | Last Updated: May 19 2004 20:33


Some of the possible Democratic contenders for the role of vice-presidential candidate to stand against the Bush-Cheney ticket with John Kerry:



John Edwards, North Carolina Senator

Born: 1953, Seneca, South Carolina

Pros: Strong orator with considerable charisma. He could be useful in southern states. His strong fundraising network, could generate significant contributions.

Cons: He is a relative novice in foreign policy, so his lack of experience may be a drawback in an election dominated by war and terrorism.


Bill Richardson, New Mexico Gopvernor

Born: 1947, Pasadena, California

Pros: Gregarious personality with diverse portfolio of experience, including longtime service as a US congressman and stints as UN ambassador and Energy secretary under President Clinton. Should deliver New Mexico - which Democrats won in a squeaker in 2000 - and pull Hispanic votes.

Cons: His record as energy secretary was marred by scandal; Wen Ho Lee and a security breach at Los Alamos national labatory.


Dick Gephardt, Missouri congressman and former House Minority leader

Born: 1941, St. Louis, Missouri

Pros: The longtime congressman has both strong union support and national campaign experience as a presidential candidate in 1988 and this year. His home state, with 11 electoral votes, is a critical swing state.

Cons: Little foreign policy experience. He may not be able to deliver Missouri and his distinct lack of fizz could dampen Kerry's ticket.


Bill Nelson, Florida Senator

Born: 1942, Miami, Florida

Pros: Nelson could help secure this crucial battleground state. He is best known for his trip to space in 1986, and is strong on the environment and space exploration.

Cons: His belief that a strong military should be a top priority will not help Kerry's cause with voters extremely opposed to the war in Iraq.


Evans Bayh, Indiana Senator and former governor

Born: 1955, Shirkieville, Indiana

Pros: A fresh face, articulate, he would bring some executive experience to a Kerry ticket.

Cons: No national name recognition, much less international exposure. Very conservative on the issue of abortion.


Bob Graham, Florida Senator and former governor

Born: 1936, Dade County, Florida

Pros: Extremely popular in Florida, a crucial battleground state. An experienced domestic politician, he is a two-term governor and three-term senator.

Cons: May be too conservative on abortion and death penalty.


Tom Vilsack, Iowa Gov

Born: 1950, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pros: Would offer geographic balance. Considered a key ally of Kerry; his wife, Christie, helped Kerry score a surprise (and probably make-or-break) win in the Iowa caucuses. He could carry Iowa, and would play well in such Rust Belt swing states as Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Cons: Virtually unknown nationally. May be too low-profile and not hardhitting enough to stand up to Dick Cheney in debates.


Wesley Clark, retired US general

Born: 1944, Chicago, Illinois

Pros: A retired four-star general who commanded Nato forces in Kosovo, he would benefit a campaign that promises to focus on war and terrorism.

Cons: Ranked poorly in the Democratic primaries, winning just one state, and has been linked with some leftwing social causes.


John McCain, Arizona Senator (Republican)

Born: 1939, US territory, Panama Canal Zone

Pros: Senator Kerry has already suggested he would like McCain as his defence secretary. The highly decorated war hero has great name recognition and has been highly outspoken against President George W. Bush's current foreign policy on Iraq.

Cons: McCain says he is a loyal Republican and will not accept the nomination.


Max Cleland, former Georgia Senator

Born: 1942, Atlanta, Georgia

Pros: Vietnam veteran who lost two legs and an arm in the war, is one of Kerry's most effective spokesmen on the Iraq war.

Cons: He may be proving to be a useful bulldog against Bush, but has neither the experience nor the political clout to balance Kerry's ticket.

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I like Edwards, but I think Kerry is going to grab someone out of nowhere who is as moderate as they come. He needs to balance out the ticket if he wants to keep from getting skewered as a liberal.


That's why I think most of the usual suspects are out and leads me to beleive it may be Clark. But then again, Clark beleives in time machines and is a complete fruit loop.


I think the best Kerry can hope for is to maintain his standing with his selection. There isn't anyone out there who knocks your socks off, so I don't think he's going to get a big boost from anyone he selects.

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