More On Kerry's VP Pick And Clinton's Impact
A couple of updates from the campaign trail for your consideration today.
First, according to the AFL-CIO and others, Kerry’s running mate selection is down to three: Dick Gephardt, Tom Vilsack, and John Edwards. The AFL-CIO goes farther and says that it will be Gephardt and not Edwards who gets the nod. I personally think Edwards is better than Gephardt, and both will be better nationally and in swing states than Vilsack, but I admit to knowing very little about Vilsack. A recent AP poll shows that a Kerry/Edwards pairing polls slightly better than Bush/Cheney, and that other combinations poll slightly behind Bush/Cheney. It should be cautioned however that these results are different from a CBS News Poll from last month that showed a Kerry/Edwards ticket with a ten-point lead over the Bush/Cheney ticket.
Secondly, Bill Clinton will be using his book tour to help John Kerry. Not only that, but the Kerry campaign will be using Clinton wherever he can help. This departure from the mistake that Al Gore made in 2000 can be a great benefit to Kerry. Clinton plans to market his book in areas of the country where Hillary’s book sold well, and having Clinton work the swing states hard for Kerry can only pay dividends this fall. As I and others have said before, having Clinton work Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arkansas, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the like will help with the base as well as remind voters that despite his flaws, things were better with Clinton in office.
Plainly put, the one thing Clinton can do to help is to get voters to focus their decision on the future. Clinton can do something that Kerry has had difficulty doing so far. Simply ask voters who do you want managing the environment, international relations, tax and budget decisions, the courts, your personal liberties and rights, Social Security, Medicare, education, and health care the next four years? John Kerry or George W. Bush?
That is what this race comes down to in the first week of November, and Clinton can boil it down and make voters think. Of course, we'll have to see how eager Clinton is to draw blood after the kind words from W this morning at the unveiling of Clinton's portrait in the White House.