A brief thought on the vice-presidential choice.
For starters, I have no idea who Kerry will pick. And I haven't even given a lot of thought to who he should pick, though I do agree with John Judis, who wrote in a guest-post
here a week before last, that personal chemistry shouldn't be the criterion Kerry uses.
All that aside, here's a thought ...
Smart money seems to be on John Edwards or Dick Gephardt getting the nod.
But if you look back over recent American history you have to go back to Ronald Reagan's choice of George Bush in 1980 to find an instance in which a favorite or even prominent contender got picked. In fact, with the possible exception of Lloyd Bentsen in 1988, I think you might even argue that not since Reagan's choice of Bush has a presidential candidate chosen a vice-presidential candidate who anyone had even considered a serious contender for the VP slot.
Think about: Joe Lieberman? Dick Cheney? Jack Kemp? Dan Quayle? Geraldine Ferraro? Each totally out of left-field. Or, as the case may be, right-field.
Bill Clinton's choice of Al Gore, admittedly, falls a bit outside my model. But not by much. (In retrospect, it seems a logical choice. But at the time it went against all the logic of regional or ideological balancing.)
Point being, that since 1980 the norm for vice-presidential picks seems to be that pundits bandy about half a dozen names of serious contenders. And then the pick ends up being someone who was either never even considered or someone who was thought the longest of long-shots.
Now, like everyone else did in 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2000, I certainly figure that it'll be one of the logical choices -- Edwards or Gephardt most likely. But if it is one of those two, it'll be a break from the trend of the last quarter century.