What About Bob?
Now that the Veepstakes is beginning in earnest (see here and here), I'd like to give a plug to one person who's been noticeably absent from most people's lists: Florida Senator Bob Graham. I realize that his presidential campaign was lackluster, and he doesn't guarantee that Florida would go to the Dems. However, there's two reasons why he should be at or near the top of the Veepstakes
1) National Security I know this is mentioned so often as to become trite, but this election will come down to national security, and which ticket is perceived as being stronger. Inexplicably, Bush still leads Kerry by a wide margin in this area. Therefore, bringing aboard Graham, who is a bona fide hawk, but not of the mindless Joe Lieberman variety, would shore up Kerry's national security credibility. For this same reason, I think having Edwards, Richardson, or even Gephardt as Veep would be a mistake.
2) Attack! As Kerry has found out in the past few weeks, it's difficult to withstand the armada of WH/VRWC invective without adequate support. Graham has shown time and again that he's willing to go for the jugular on Iraq, the 9/11 commission, Richard Clarke etc. Therefore, he would fill the subordinate attack dog role perfectly.
As I mentioned above, the two biggest concerns about Graham are his mediocre presidential campaign, and doubts as to whether he can deliver Florida. The first concern shouldn't matter anymore. Second, I don't think Graham has to guarantee Florida. If he's able to shore up Kerry's support in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia on national security, he's worth putting on the ticket. Winning Florida would be gravy. Anyway, even if Graham isn't chosen, I hope the Kerry campaign keeps these two factors in mind, because they'll be critical in the next few months.