Tuesday, July 6 2004
EDWARDS:
He's been the favorite for weeks so this should come as no surprise, though to be honest I didn't think Kerry would tap Edwards. What's interesting about this pick is what it tells you about how the Kerry camp views the state of the race. I suspect that despite all of their public declarations about how they love their current position, there was a realization behind the scenes that the status quo was leading to a Bush reelection.

Edwards is tacit acknowledgment that they needed to do something to give the campaign an adrenaline shot. But while this pick may play well in the next three weeks I don't know how well it is going to work after Labor Day when the real contest begins.

You may see polls in the next few weeks showing Kerry competitive or even ahead in North Carolina, forget about 'em, the Kerry-Edwards ticket will carry no southern states. Edwards may be enough to solidify a Bowles victory in the NC Senate race and help on the margin in a couple of the other open Senate seats in the South, but he is not going to turn Georgia, North Carolina or Florida into Kerry wins.

The Edwards pick is a poll-driven mistake. At the end of the day they probably kept coming back to all of their internal polls showing Edwards giving them a bigger bump than all of the other possibilities. Don't get me wrong, Edwards is not a disastrous choice. The press is going to love it, and there is no question he will bring a youthful vibrancy and vigor to the Kerry campaign.

Chris Matthews was suggesting a couple of weeks ago that Edwards will clean Cheney's clock in the VP debate with his trial lawyer expertise. Well, we'll see. Everyone keeps forgetting about that little event three years ago in September, and I suspect Cheney's supreme competency and seriousness will provide a stark contrast to the boyish charm of Senator Edwards.

In many ways the Edwards pick is the Kerry campaign's attempt to recreate the magic of the Clinton-Gore ticket in 1992. The Democrats' problem is we live in a very different world today from the 1990's, when the collapse of the Soviet Union had relegated national security to the backseat.

This is a very serious election, and the Bush-Cheney campaign will make that abundantly clear. Kerry would have been better off with the safe, solid choice of Dick Gephardt who at least would have helped potentially win Missouri.

Edwards will give Kerry the bump in the polls they were looking for, but on election day Erskine Bowles is the real winner from this pick, not John Kerry. J. McIntyre 8:23 am Link | Email | Send to a Friend

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