Open Auditions for John Kerry's Ticket; as John Kerry Wraps Up the Democratic Presidential Nomination, His Advisers Focus on Strategies for the General Election and Critique Potential Running Mates

Insight on the News, March 15, 2004 | Go to article overview

Open Auditions for John Kerry's Ticket; as John Kerry Wraps Up the Democratic Presidential Nomination, His Advisers Focus on Strategies for the General Election and Critique Potential Running Mates


Byline: Jamie Dettmer, INSIGHT

Latte liberals who turned out en masse for the 90-minute debate between the Democratic candidates at Wisconsin's Marquette University on Feb. 15 found their firebrand hero Howard Dean disappointing. There was none of the red meat they had come to expect in fact, the former Vermont governor appeared relatively docile compared to North Carolina's Sen. John Edwards, the former trial lawyer who had made a political virtue of being nice and avoiding negative attacks on rivals.

Instead of blood and guts from Dean, the audience at Marquette saw a much tougher Edwards set out to sharpen his policy differences with Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts. In the process the one-term senator cautioned the Democratic front-runner not to be "so fast" in assuming that he had wrapped up the party's nomination. By contrast, and even when coaxed, Dean declined to repeat his past accusations that Kerry is "part of the same corrupt political culture" as George W. Bush because of the Massachusetts senator's ties to "special interests."

For the less politically sophisticated in the audience the whole exercise was perplexing, but for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, the shift in rhetoric was significant. For all of Edwards' warnings to Kerry not to assume the race for the Democratic presidential nomination was over, both the North Carolina populist and Dean were auditioning for a new role namely, pitching to be chosen as Kerry's running mate. They just picked different ways of doing so.

Welcome to the veepstakes. Due to Kerry's early command of the primaries maneuvering for the vice presidency has come earlier this election cycle than is normal. Vice President John Nance Garner of Texas famously said the job wasn't worth a bucket of warm something-or-other, but in recent times the choice of the man to be a heartbeat away from the presidency has become increasingly important both in terms of the running mate being able to boost a ticket during the campaign and later too when it comes to governing the country.

"Edwards is out now to show he can be muscular and go mano a mano with [Vice President Dick] Cheney, and Dean as he withdrew from the race needed to demonstrate maturity and an ability to be able to tone down and appeal to swing voters," says a Democratic insider.

And Edwards since his strong showing in the Wisconsin primary has continued to toughen up when it comes to competing with Kerry. Dean, since his withdrawal from the race a couple of days after the Marquette debate, has been careful not to repeat his earlier criticism of the Massachusetts senator as a member of the politically corrupt gang in Washington.

Not that Edwards is ready to express interest in the running-mate slot to do so would spell immediate doom for his presidential campaign. But few party insiders doubt that either Edwards or Dean would reject an approach from Kerry when the time is right. Behind the scenes, supporters of both are talking up their veep credentials, with Edwards' backers being the most forthright. The argument in favor of Edwards is that the one-term senator has proved what an effective campaigner he can be, especially in the the South and among African-Americans.

"Edwards can dent Bush in the South and help eke out a victory or two south of the Mason-Dixon. That could be enough in a likely tight presidential contest to deliver the White House for Kerry," pronounces an Edwards aide. Some prominent African-American politicians have gone on the record as wanting a Kerry-Edwards pairing. Rep. Jim Clyburn, South Carolina's senior black politician, said: "I do believe that with a Kerry-Edwards ticket we can sweep this nation and bring the South along with it." And the Rev. Jesse Jackson has voiced confidence in a Kerry-Edwards ticket.

The North Carolina senator's advocates maintain that Edwards has a populist and charismatic touch that the much stiffer and patrician Kerry is unable to muster and that he has an ability to appeal to rural voters not just in the South but in the Midwest, too, where the general election could be finally decided. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Open Auditions for John Kerry's Ticket; as John Kerry Wraps Up the Democratic Presidential Nomination, His Advisers Focus on Strategies for the General Election and Critique Potential Running Mates
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.