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May 26, 2004
John Kerry, The Lonely Guy

Another Democrat makes it clear that no one from his party is as qualified to be Vice President as a Republican by again suggesting John McCain as Kerry's running mate. Only this time, the Democrat making the suggestion is presumed VP short-list candidate Dick Gephardt:

Representative Richard A. Gephardt, the Missouri Democrat who has often been mentioned as a running mate for Senator John Kerry, is talking kindly about another choice: Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona. Asked after a speech in California on Monday what he thought of Mr. McCain's potential for the Democratic presidential ticket, Mr. Gephardt described him as a "very attractive figure in American politics" who "would be accepted by the Democratic Party," according to CNN.

Mr. McCain is "someone a lot of Democrats could get interested in," Mr. Gephardt said at the Leon Panetta Center in Monterrey.

Gephardt's comments come just days after Ralph Nader revealed his new hobby as political advisor to his opponents by suggesting that Kerry drop the whole McCain idea and focus on either John Edwards or Gephardt himself as the VP candidate. Of the two, Gephardt made the better choice; he's well-respected, has union support, and can probably carry his home state. Most importantly, Gephardt wouldn't overshadow his running mate, although the ticket would look like two flavors of bland.

Instead, Gephardt makes it look like he'd rather sing paeans to Republicans -- pro-life, pro-war Republicans -- than ride the ticket with Kerry. He joins Hillary Clinton, Bob Kerrey, and a host of other Democrats who have urged Kerry to continue sweet-talking McCain. A little of this reminds people that McCain doesn't get along well with George Bush (although McCain denies this), but all of this carrying on about an opposition politician really begins to beg the question: why are there no good choices in their own party?

Kerry has to wonder what his potential VP choices think of his candidacy. He's fast becoming the Maytag Repairman of presidential hopefuls; no one wants to call him. Kerry may wind up having to draft one of the big names despite their public campaigning for McCain, or reach down to the second tier of regional functionaries for a running mate, a move that won't help him move the polls. It almost appears as if the Democrats don't want Kerry to win, or at least don't want to be attached to him when he tanks.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 26, 2004 6:02 AM

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