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Kerry's VP search

Fish Fillet

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Kerry meets with Gephardt

Democrat's search for running mate intensifiesThe Associated Press

Updated: 9:46 a.m. ET June 17, 2004WASHINGTON - John Kerry is intensifying his top-secret search for a running mate after meeting with one top candidate, Rep. Dick Gephardt, in a secluded Capitol office.


The meeting, which lasted more than an hour, is not the only session Kerry plans with potential vice presidential candidates in the next several days, said Democratic officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because Kerry has insisted that the talks remain under wraps until he announces his nominee in July.


Kerry must make his selection before the Democratic National Convention, which begins July 26.


Gephardt, a former House minority leader, ran against Kerry in a crowded Democratic nominating field. A favorite of organized labor, Gephardt hails from the swing state of Missouri.


?I?m happy to do it if he wants me to do it,? the lawmaker told The Associated Press before the meeting. ?I?m equally happy to not do it, and just help in other ways.?


The Kerry-Gephardt meeting came as another candidate, Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, made the rounds in Washington while refusing to say whether he was meeting with Kerry. However, officials close to the deliberations said he did not get together with the presumptive nominee.


Sebelius in town, but no meeting


Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, a Democrat touted by some party officials as a potential candidate, also was in Washington on Wednesday. She said she was not meeting with Kerry.


Later, Kerry met at his Washington home with campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill and Jim Johnson, head of his vice presidential search team. Officials said Kerry did not interview candidates at his home.


He planned to meet with staff at his campaign headquarters Thursday before flying to Michigan for a fund-raiser.


Officials said Sen. Bob Graham of Florida is among the Democrats expected to meet with Kerry in the coming days. They said much of Kerry?s search process, including whom he is meeting with and his full list of prospects, has not been made public.


The Kerry-Gephardt meeting, conducted in Kerry?s Capitol hideaway, sparked a raft of running mate rumors, a ritual in presidential politics.


?Against the backdrop of the presidential campaign, you always have this subtle, sometimes overt, unofficial campaign for vice president,? said Michael Feldman, an aide to former Vice President Al Gore.


The 2000 parade

Gore watched a parade of ambitious Democrats, including Kerry, angle for a spot on the 2000 ticket. Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut eventually won the veepstakes that year, edging out Kerry and a third senator, John Edwards of North Carolina, who again is running hard for the No. 2 job.


The last major candidate to bow to Kerry in the primaries, Edwards has urged his fund-raising team to help fill Kerry?s coffers. The Southerner has traveled the country on behalf of the nominee-in-waiting, accusing Republicans of creating two Americas ? one for the wealthy and one for everyone else.


A recent Associated Press poll conducted by Ipsos-Public Affairs suggested that a majority of registered voters want Kerry to pick Edwards.


Four years ago, few predicted that George W. Bush would turn to Dick Cheney, who headed his search team, or that Lieberman would become the first Jewish vice presidential nominee.


?The vice presidential nomination almost always doesn?t go to the person who the people most expect. That doesn?t bode well for John Edwards,? said Steve McMahon, adviser to former Kerry rival Howard Dean.


The VP selection is already a trainwreck. What a joke.

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I think he is going to pick Edwards... That is my gut feeling. I like Gen. Wesley Clark, but to be honest is like adding sugar to honey. Kerry needs a complimentary partner in Edwards, who is a more charismatic and better speaker than Gen. Clark. Edwards also resonates with younger people and some moderate Reps.

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All of these "candidates" are either tired old retreads (Gephardt), Space cadets (Clark), shameless panderers (Edwards) or political no-names nationally (the rest).


Kerry isn't going to derive one ounce of momentum out of making this selection.


I thought Kerry had electability issues. Wow, this mkes it even worse.

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darn, & he was so close to getting your vote Fillet...


what recent VP nominee really made much of a positive difference in the election anyway? was there anyone voting for clinton who wasn't going to do it until Gore was tapped? anyone who only voted for Bush once Cheney was announced? Reagan with Bush Sr? Bush with Quayle?


I don't think it helps much. A bad choice can hurt though.


For example I think Leiberman probably hurt Gore more than helped.

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