Kerry Wants A Running Mate Within Eight Weeks - Is McCain In The Picture?
According to a piece in the NYT this morning, as a result of seeing how damaging it can be to have two principals firing away at you (when you have no surrogate campaign yourself), John Kerry has decided that he wants a running mate selected within eight weeks.
Among the names that search coordinator Jim Johnson has already spoken to are John Edwards, Dick Gephardt, Iowa governor Tom Vilsack, and New Mexico governor Bill Richardson. Bob Graham has yet to meet with Johnson, and 9/11 Commissioner, former Senator and fellow vet Bob Kerrey has taken himself out of the running. According to the piece Kerry is cool to the idea of hooking up with Edwards, and instead is looking closely at the benefits of picking a governor with not as much of a record to comb through.
But the most intriguing material in the piece is that Kerry's people are still thinking about a Kerry/McCain ticket, especially after comments McCain made last week.
Democrats close to Mr. Kerry, including some advisers, said Senator John S. McCain, Republican of Arizona, remained a highly alluring choice. One adviser said that choice would almost guarantee Mr. Kerry's election. Mr. McCain, who like Mr. Kerry is a Vietnam veteran, has said he does not want to cross party lines to join a Kerry ticket, though some of Mr. Kerry's aides held out the hope of a personal entreaty by Mr. Kerry, outside Mr. Johnson's network.
Although Mr. McCain has repeatedly said he would not be Mr. Kerry's running mate, he has also repeatedly offered warm words about Mr. Kerry and tart comments about Mr. Bush, whom he challenged for the 2000 nomination. Last week, Mr. McCain told The Boston Herald that the Republican Party "has gone astray" on issues that deal with the environment and minority groups and that the Democratic Party was "a fine party."
It should be noted that McCain is already trying to add some context to what he said in the Boston Herald piece. Yet his original comments still seem direct and pointed at Bush. Would McCain do it, and do you agree that such a ticket would finish off Bush?