Senator John Edwards of South Carolina insists that he is not interested in the lower half of the Democratic ticket in 2004:
Asked if he would agree to run in the second slot with one of eight candidates to be the Democrats’ presidential nominee, Edwards said: “I’m absolutely not interested in being vice president. No, the answer to that question is no.”
Uh-huh. Let me explain two things to you that make this statement an absolute farce:
1. John Edwards won’t be in elective office after 2004, only having served one term in the Senate.
2. John Edwards is from the South.
It’s hardly a secret that Democrats are stumbling badly in the South as the electorate there seems to have finally recognized that the socialist, isolationist leftists have grabbed control of the party. A Northerner will take the top spot, and it’s likely to be Howard Dean or possibly John Kerry, a Northeasterner, culturally opposite of the South anyway. In order for the Democrats to have a prayer of capturing an Electoral College win south of the Mason-Dixon line next year, there has to be a credible Southerner on the ticket, and so far Edwards is the one who most fits the bill.
John Edwards wants to remain a player in the party, and since he’s not running for electoral office this year, he’ll be sitting out politics for the next two years if he loses the nomination. Any other Southerner would have to risk their office in order to run on the bottom half of a doomed ticket, and the Democrats can’t afford to drop further back in either the House or the Senate (with one possible exception: Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, who has a new Democratic governor to name her replacement, but who also barely won her last election). If he wants chits from the party that he can call in later, he’ll need to suck it up and pay some dues in 2004. Expect the ticket to read “Dean-Edwards” in 2004.