June 21, 2004


Kerry and the Mark of McCain (Colbert I. King, June 19, 2004, Washington Post)

So what if picking McCain would have meant turning to the right and away from moderate Democratic candidates? The Kerry camp believes Democrats are willing to do -- or tolerate -- anything to break George Bush's hold on the White House. Kerry insiders are counting on differences with the Bush administration on jobs, health care and tax cuts to keep Democratic voters in Kerry's camp.

Besides, goes the thinking, so what if grass-roots Democrats are disenchanted with Kerry? Where do they turn? To the party of Bush, Dick Cheney, John Ashcroft and Donald Rumsfeld?

That, by the way, was the thinking of Maryland lieutenant governor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Kathleen Kennedy Townsend two years ago when she tapped a former Republican, Adm. Charles Larson, to be her running mate. She, too, thought a prominent ex-military officer and longtime Republican on her ticket would appeal to conservative voters who weren't likely to look her way. It turned out, however, that Larson, a former Naval Academy classmate of McCain and a supporter of McCain's GOP presidential bid in 2000, was of little help to Townsend at the polls.

Her party's most loyal constituency, African Americans, hurt by her snub of better Democratic candidates and angered by her taking them for granted, failed to turn out on Election Day as she needed. [...]

One more thing. Despite what Kerry may have been told by his handlers and fundraisers, his candidacy is not a sure thing in communities where concerns for justice, civil rights and economic empowerment are live issues. Townsend found that out for herself. Kerry needs to keep that in mind. His dalliance with McCain didn't win him any points in precincts that can make or break him in November.

Yeah, but they'll swoon over Dick Gephardt, huh?

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 21, 2004 5:19 PM

What idiots!

Nobody---NOBODY---votes for the vp candidate.

Posted by: ray at June 21, 2004 8:31 PM

Agree with Ray. Also as discussed here before Gephardt may keep the unions in line but won't do anything to appease the southern Dems, African-Americans, and the anti-war vote (Gephardt supported the Iraq invasion).

Posted by: AWW at June 21, 2004 10:12 PM

Kathleen who?

Posted by: jsmith at June 21, 2004 10:22 PM

Gephardt will keep the unions in line, just like in Iowa.

Posted by: Jeff at June 21, 2004 10:50 PM

Stated a different way: if the unions didn't help Gephardt, what makes you think they'll help Kerry?

Posted by: John Barrett Jr. at June 22, 2004 1:22 AM

Kerry should pick a celebrity, someone like Ellen DeGeneres. She can do TV and he can go to D.C. and vote.

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 22, 2004 10:27 AM

If for no other reason, a celebrity veep will gain Kerry some attention, something he's gotten too little of lately. After two weeks of media frenzy over Clinton's book and probably an equal amount of time spent on Michael Moore, how much energy will Democrats have for the guy they actually have to put in office?

Posted by: John Barrett Jr. at June 22, 2004 11:53 AM