Dick Gephardt as Kerry’s VP?! Speaking of miserable failures….

Matthew Yglesias fears it’s a done deal — Richard Gephard will run as Kerry’s VP.

If true, there isn’t much that could make me more depressed. Kerry has his own personality issues, and thus he needs someone like John Edwards or John McCain (yeah, I’m still dreaming) or Wesley Clark or Bill Richardson …. or just about anyone but Gephard.

Gephardt is a tired old Democrat owned by the unions and devoid of anything resembling a personality. Read the Yglesias article to see why this would be a disaster for all concerned — except Bush and the Republicans.

Kerry has to be smarter than this — he has to know that a bright, energetic young Southerner like Edwards would give his ticket the injection of charisma and vitality it needs. Right?

I know that Kerry likes Gephardt more than the others on his short list, but since when does a president have to like his VP? John, this is a strategic decision to help you get elected, as when JFK picked the detested LBJ as his running mate. If you have to, hold your nose and pick Edwards (actually that sounds kind of gross, but you know what I mean). But if you go ahead and pick Gephardt, all bets are off. It will confirm the worst fears that you’re just another old liberal with no new ideas and no vision and no sense of courage and daring. Please, say it isn’t so.

Update: Just yesterday, polls show Edwards is the No. 1 choice.

The Discussion: 12 Comments


Might as well plan the victory party for Dubya. I think all that will keep him out of office is if we find him naked, drunk and coked up, having sex with Paris Hilton and videotaping it all.

June 16, 2004 @ 2:45 pm | Comment

Edwards is by no means the future failure of Kerry’s race for presidency.

Edwards will be able to seal the deal on a South that has lost thousands of jobs and believes in a more conservative approach to liberalism. If that makes sense.

Watch his numbers go up a tick more if he chooses Edwards.

And I thnk he will.

June 16, 2004 @ 3:57 pm | Comment

Doug, I thought he would pick Edwards as well, and I agree, there’d be a big uptick. But if Yglesias is right…. No, Kerry can’t be that dumb. If he is, I’m moving back to Asia.

On another note, what the hell are you doing up so early??

June 16, 2004 @ 4:04 pm | Comment

I agree, what a dreadful uninspired choice. Although, even though Edwards would bing in more net voters, I don’t see how he helps Kerry with the Electoral math. Bush carries the South regardless of who Kerry picks a VP, just like Kerry carries California even if Bush picked, say, Ahnold.

June 17, 2004 @ 12:37 am | Comment

All the same, Conrad, I don’t think that Bush will carry the South if even remotely arch-conservative voters feel they have a voice in a Democrat White House in Edwards.

I am showing my colors here, and I am also showing my lack of precise knowledge on electoral votes, but it seems likely that Conservatives are looking for a president that actually has an intellectual nut in his brain.

Then again, didn’t the Baptist Coalition, or whatever that huge conglomerate of Baptist flint and steel preachers calls itself, break off from the baptist Church recently?

Those wacky Southerners. Also, I’m referring to the not exactly Southern, but middle southern states like Virginia, North Carolina, (skipping over the stench in South Carolina), Georgia and Florida.

Right, Florida is Jeb’s house, but still.

Is it hope or dumb equations?

I’m up early because I can be up early. Also, I told someone I would chat with her. She lives in Iran.

June 17, 2004 @ 1:30 am | Comment

Memo to hk:

Re: Stones

As a Southerner I should take umbrage to whacky comments but won’t.

A quick lesson in politics in the south or anywhere else in the States for that matter … think sociology.

To be sure, Edwards certainly got my attention and still does so long as he chooses the wise move. (That was my personal opinion.)

More generally, Edwards just might be a comer in the next election if he does not accept the party nomination for the 2 spot this go round.

Why? You guys are playing catch up ball. People see that.

Do you realize how difficult it would be for Edwards to get out from under Kerry’s or any one else’s shadow as the near leader of a failed ticket going up against some one like Condi Rice?

The real problem is that the dyed in the wool blue have not come to terms with the basic problem: picking a winner with a real platform with a real future.

Notice I said platform as in political planks you can stand on.

Bush has got them even if you don’t like them. Clinton had them. 41 did not, cold warrior redux. Reagan had them. Carter had them but lost them in a sand storm, historical irony. Ford was flaccid because of Agnew and Nixon had them but threw them away.

Before he quit, Johnson had them as did Kennedy. Ike pretty much ran a goodly chunk of WWII oh so very well such that people felt safe enough to go to school and bring in real tax dollars. Truman knew his business, as well, what with rebuilding Europe and Japan abroad and starting the desegregation process at home.

And, FDR … . Think of it this way. The only thing he ever did wrong was to die before I was born and able grow old enough to vote for him. I could mention Wilson who started off well. Oh, never mind.

Gore? I sometimes wonder if he didn’t take a fall.

And, now Kerry. You simply cannot run a campaign on the one implicit party plank: “I hate Bush.”

That kind of unreasoned knee-jerk reaction in the ranks will get Kerry hurt and badly because people listen and draw their own conclusions based upon Kerry’s erratic positions as well as the derisive comments from the faithful.

Folks in the south, especially the south, will be polite and diss him and you with their silence and their vote.

That is what is happening with Kerry, now.

By the way, have you ever visited the south as in below the fortieth parallel?

America is a really big country.

June 17, 2004 @ 7:32 am | Comment

Michael, Edwards may not win the South for Kerry (he won’t), but he’d certainly be a plus. Here in Arizona, people love Edwards, and he certainly brings some diversity to the ticket. With Gephard and Kerry, there is zero diversity, zero personality. In heavily divided states like Florida, this personality (and yes, the fact that he’s a Southerner) just might help tip the scales.

Kerry does have ideals and ideas. He just hasn’t had a platform to give them to us yet. They aren’t dazzling or “sexy” but they’re practical. His strategy is to tour and meet with the voters in key states, and wait for the convention and the debates, when he can finally have the camera. We’re at war and the spotlight isn’t on Kerry now. It will be in a few weeks.

Contrary to what you say, hating Bush is a powerful reason why many voters are planning to vote for Kerry. It shouldn’t be the only reason, but it cannot be discounted as an enormous factor working against Bush, and it could well decide the election. Look at California, where hatred of Davis drove voters to decide he simply had to be replaced, never mind by whom. They signed the referendum petition not in favor of anyone’s message, but in favor of getting Davis out of office at all costs.

June 17, 2004 @ 8:15 am | Comment

Until he must choose, the smart thing is to lavish possibilities on every candidate. Even Mr. Vilsack [sic?] the lowly governor of Iowa.

June 17, 2004 @ 1:24 pm | Comment

It may be too late — see my newest post.

June 17, 2004 @ 2:03 pm | Comment


when i fly home, I fly into RDU.

So, yes, I’ve been to the South. And when I grew up, I knew all of below the 40th parallel very well.

Including Arkansas, Mississippi, TExas, Louisiana, etc.

But I am not Southern.

And I’m not sure what in your argument is about the South. You’re just talking about politics.

June 17, 2004 @ 5:13 pm | Comment

Michael’s comment was a tad on the snarky side…. And, of course, his conclusions were all wrong.

June 17, 2004 @ 6:18 pm | Comment

How can Kerry even consider Gephardt? Why does he keep shooting himself in the foot? Reading the above posts just makes me shake my head in wonder.
The “vote for Kerry because he isn’t Bush” line is going to get old and tired real quick. It just reeks of desperation. Kerry has to get serious and start campaigning like he really wants to win this thing.

Personally, I see Bush getting re-elected.

June 20, 2004 @ 11:14 pm | Comment

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