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Discussion Starter #1
For Kerry aides, McCain would fit bill as running mate
Naming Republican seen as potent lure to undecided voters
By Glen Johnson, Globe Staff, 4/6/2004

WASHINGTON -- The great parlor game inside the Beltway right now focuses on whom John F. Kerry will pick to be his running mate, and the game rages no more fiercely than inside Kerry's own campaign headquarters.

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If there is a consensus among Kerry aides about who would be the boldest and most potent pick, it is Senator John S. McCain of Arizona -- a Republican.

While Kerry has talked about his search with few people other than his wife, campaign manager, and the head of his search committee, Washington power broker James A. Johnson, many high-level staff members believe -- based on Kerry's past and recent comments -- that McCain will get serious consideration.

The other name heard most frequently is that of Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, who offered a staunch defense of Kerry last week during a CNN interview. During the primaries, however, Kerry publicly questioned Edwards's ability to deliver Southern votes in a general election.

Not only could McCain help Kerry pick up crucial Electoral College votes in a pivotal Southwestern battleground state, but the former Vietnam prisoner of war would also be a staunch ally for what is expected to be a fierce battle with President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. In addition, his selection would provide powerful thematic lines both for the fall campaign and the potential Kerry presidency.

The union of a Democrat and a Republican "would make good on the president's promise to be a uniter, not a divider," said one Kerry aide, who like the others spoke on the condition of anonymity. Such a ticket could offer Americans the prospect of a reduction in the partisanship that has increasingly gripped Capitol Hill during the past decade, as well as a return to the national unity experienced in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack.

Above all, the aides hypothesize that by choosing McCain as a running mate, Kerry would energize the election, create a weeks-long buzz in the media, and, perhaps most importantly, attract the support of swing and independent voters from both parties. Surveys earlier this year showed that many of the people who supported Howard Dean's insurgent candidacy for the Democratic nomination were the same "McCainiacs" who helped McCain win the 2000 Republican primary in New Hampshire against Bush.

"The narrative fits the country right now," a Kerry aide said of a potential Kerry-McCain partnership, while not ruling out other potential tandems and asserting that the decision is Kerry's alone.

McCain has said he would not run with Kerry and has vowed to campaign for Bush, but last month he renewed speculation about a potential matchup when he was asked on ABC's "Good Morning America" whether he would consider running with Kerry. He replied, "Obviously, I would entertain it." Democratic Party rules do not outlaw -- nor specifically address -- nominating a candidate from another party, a Democratic National Committee spokeswoman said.

Those within the Kerry camp acknowledge that picking McCain as a running mate would be fraught with political peril, both from within the Democratic Party as well as from the Republicans. McCain, for example, opposes abortion, in contrast to the official Democratic position in favor of abortion rights. He said in the ABC interview, "It's impossible to imagine the Democratic Party seeking a pro-life, free-trading, nonprotectionist, deficit hawk." McCain chastised Kerry last year for voting against $87 billion in supplemental funding for the Iraq war, which McCain supported.

Meanwhile, a defection by McCain would probably trigger an even harsher critique of his record from Bush and the GOP than the senator faced in February 2000, after he surprised Bush with an 18-point victory in New Hampshire. The then-Texas governor and his supporters responded with a withering assault that, among other things, portrayed McCain as a brainwashed Manchurian candidate after his wartime confinement. Inconsistencies with Kerry, such as their split on the congressional resolution authorizing war with Iraq, would also be fair game for criticism.

To date, the only definitive word from Kerry about his search was his announcement early last month that Johnson, the former head of the Fannie Mae mortgage company, would conduct it. Since then, Kerry has talked little about the process with anyone other than his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, his campaign manager, Mary Beth Cahill, his Senate chief of staff, David McKean, and his brother, Boston attorney Cameron Kerry.

Yesterday was typical in that regard. Reporters at a Kerry economic round table asked him about McCain.

"I'm not commenting," Kerry responded.

Did that mean he was not ruling McCain out?

"I'm not commenting," he repeated.

The New York Times reported Sunday that Johnson had already spoken with four potential picks, Edwards, Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, and Governors Bill Richardson of New Mexico and Tom Vilsack of Iowa. One other potential choice, Senator Bob Graham of Florida, told the newspaper that he had not been called. Representative Nancy Pelosi of California was quoted as urging Kerry to choose a running mate by May 1 to more effectively combat the Bush campaign, and Representative Bob Menendez of New Jersey said that Johnson had asked for his opinion of Edwards, Gephardt, Richardson, and Vilsack.

Johnson and Cahill spoke with Kerry about the process on Sunday in Boston and then all three flew together on the campaign's charter jet to Washington. During the flight, Kerry and Johnson jointly held open the Times and pointed to the pictures in the story about their search, speaking for an extended time about the one showing Kerry clasping hands with Richardson.

While there is speculation Kerry will name his running mate within the next eight weeks, aides believe the search is still at a relatively early stage. From what they can glean from snippets of conversation with Kerry, Democrats on Capitol Hill, and others, Kerry and Johnson are now engaged in a period of outreach, following protocol by speaking with people such as Pelosi and Menendez so party leaders feel they had an opportunity to weigh in on the process.

The focus on McCain is fueled by the belief that he and Kerry, 60, have a strong personal, political, and military connection, best exemplified for the staff by a Roll Call picture that Kerry has copied and placed in his various offices in Washington and Boston. It shows him and the 67-year-old McCain walking along a Capitol hallway, Kerry with his arm draped around his colleague's shoulder.

The aides note that despite their political differences, Kerry and McCain both voted against the tax cuts proposed by the Bush administration, opposed administration plans to drill for oil in Alaska, jointly presented a proposal to raise automobile fuel-efficiency standards, and worked together on tobacco-control legislation.

Most significantly, the two Vietnam warriors share a kinship expressed throughout the years, such as when McCain refused to campaign against Kerry in his 1996 reelection campaign with Republican William F. Weld, and when Kerry organized a letter in 2000 rebutting Bush's campaign criticism of McCain.

I think this is a very interesting and appealing idea. What this country needs most right now is UNITY and INTEGRITY. I disagree with several of McCain's political views, but I find his integrity unimpeachable.

A Kerry/McCain Ticket gets MY vote! :thumbup:
 

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Despite the fact that McCain said he wouldn't be Kerry's running mate, I think its a great idea. That might go along way to actually uniting the country, not mearly paying lip service to it.
 

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McCain or no, Kerry still gets my vote, but I really don't expect to see a Kerry/McCain ticket. More likely Kerry/Richardson or Kerry/Edwards.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Andrew said:
Despite the fact that McCain said he wouldn't be Kerry's running mate, I think its a great idea. That might go along way to actually uniting the country, not mearly paying lip service to it.
true, but he has since backed off on that statement. I see it as a long shot, but not impossible. McCain is a Uniter as well and is a longtime friend of Kerry's.

I could see McCain rising above "politics" and embracing this gesture at face value.

Hope so!

(I'd love to see Edwards on the ticket, but I'd rather see the country UNITE!)
 

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You know it is a nice idea, but this simply will not happen. Which is a shame, because if the last election was Gore v McCain, I would have been voting Republican for the first time in my life.

One reason I don't see this happening is that one of the responsibilities of the Vice President is to serve as the President of the Senate. As President of the Senate, you are responsible to vote in the event of a tie. Do you think that the Democratic establishment would allow a Republican to be the tie-breaker in the Senate when they have a choice in the matter?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
BooRadley said:
One reason I don't see this happening is that one of the responsibilities of the Vice President is to serve as the President of the Senate. As President of the Senate, you are responsible to vote in the event of a tie. Do you think that the Democratic establishment would allow a Republican to be the tie-breaker in the Senate when they have a choice in the matter?
I'm a died in the wool liberal and i'm willing to take that risk for the betterment of our country. I think Kerry is willing to do this too. The only question is...will the Democratic party leadership support this effort? Unfortunately I don't have faith that they will and I'll be the first to say it's shortsighted if they don't!

Keep HOPE alive! :wink:
 

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Edwards also said he would not be vice president (2 days before dropping out of the presidential race ;))

Sure would be a tweak to the noses of the current administration. :thumbup:
 

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Classic vice-presidential selection strategy dictates that given the electoral factors of the Kerry candidacy, you should have a Governor on the ticket from the south or west, preferably from a neither red nor blue state.

McCain being from Arizona does give him a good geographical advantage as a VP candidate, but he does have the taint of being one of the Keating Five.

If you were to follow traditional selection methods your short list would likely be either Gov Richardson of New Mexico, Senator Bob Graham of Florida, or Senator John Edwards of North Carolina.

But I do agree with you, I think McCain would be an excellent Vice President, I just wouldn't want to run with him on the ticket.
 

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The fact that they are considering a "maverick" like McCain just shows how little a VP is allowed to do IMHO.
 

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I think that would be a wise move on Kerry's part to invite McCain. That may work out nicely--especially since McCain is fresh in the minds of people who don't even follow politics, and with a positive image at that.
Also, geographically speaking, including McCain would be good for votes since he's from the West. It would give the campaign a good feeling of well-roundedness.

However, heavily liberal people (like many of you here), may not be so thrilled if, God forbid, something would happen to Kerry in office. It would be a mid-1800's Lincoln-Johnson situation all over again, where after Lincoln was killed, Johnson more-or-less shined the party who helped him into the VP spot (The Reps), and went toward his own party (Dems). Though it wouldn't be so extreme I suppose since we've come a long way--but it's something for you self-proclaimed "died in the wool" liberals to think about. :wink:

Kerry would also be the second Catholic president if he's to win. I hope he is nothing like our last Catholic president (JFK), in terms of getting things done. JFK had a lot of great ideas, but was terrible at getting his ideas put into motion. Also, he had far too many reformation ideas, (like Howard Dean would have if elected),
which only makes Congress's heads spin and nothing gets done. We need a slow, steady reformist if anything. :shock:

Kennedy was also a brilliant Head of State, but wasn't a heavy hitter. We need both at all costs as well. :thumbup:

I still have no idea who I will vote for. :???: I agree w/ Bush on a lot, yet Kerry and I share the same views as well.

-Harry
 

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SDPassatT said:
Kerry would also be the second Catholic president if he's to win. I hope he is nothing like our last Catholic president (JFK), in terms of getting things done. JFK had a lot of great ideas, but was terrible at getting his ideas put into motion. Also, he had far too many reformation ideas, (like Howard Dean would have if elected),
which only makes Congress's heads spin and nothing gets done. We need a slow, steady reformist if anything. :shock:
Wow...that's sacriledge. You didn't even mention that there was a very good chance JFK would not have one re-election. :nervous:
 

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Urlik said:
SDPassatT said:
Kerry would also be the second Catholic president if he's to win. I hope he is nothing like our last Catholic president (JFK), in terms of getting things done. JFK had a lot of great ideas, but was terrible at getting his ideas put into motion. Also, he had far too many reformation ideas, (like Howard Dean would have if elected),
which only makes Congress's heads spin and nothing gets done. We need a slow, steady reformist if anything. :shock:
Wow...that's sacriledge. You didn't even mention that there was a very good chance JFK would not have one re-election. :nervous:
Well, that should go without saying. 8) After learning about JFK and his political career, it's fairliy easy for one to see that he probably would not have been re-elected. He was a good man though with great ideas, just a little too ummm......advanced and fast for those times. And a little lazy too, might I add. :p
Not to mention Congress hated him and made sure that what ever he wanted done didn't get done. :roll:

Anyway...on with the original subject! :thumbup: JFK is history...

-Harry
 

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Discussion Starter #14
SDPassatT said:
However, heavily liberal people (like many of you here), may not be so thrilled if, God forbid, something would happen to Kerry in office. It would be a mid-1800's Lincoln-Johnson situation all over again, where after Lincoln was killed, Johnson more-or-less shined the party who helped him into the VP spot (The Reps), and went toward his own party (Dems). Though it wouldn't be so extreme I suppose since we've come a long way--but it's something for you self-proclaimed "died in the wool" liberals to think about. :wink:
Speaking as one of the true diehard liberals, I can say that if, god forbid, something happened to Kerry, I'd be proud to have John McCain as acting President of the United States despite my disagreements with him on some serious issues. He's a good man. Intelligent, principled and respects the responsibility of the office he currently holds. His integrity is not for sale and that's more important than the fact that he opposes abortion, etc. (I don't dislike Bush as President because he's a Republican...I hate him for how he conducts himself and the affairs of our country...in other words...he sucks!)

I also think if Kerry is "anything" like JFK then we should all feel priviledged to have him serve as President. It doesn't matter what Kennedy accomplished or didn't accomplish during his active term. His ideals, although brushed aside by congress, made a lasting, positive impression on this country. It's this kind of thinking that built this country and made it great. IDEAS change the world. Not war, not politics, not money.....IDEAS! :wink:
 

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I like McCain because of this.... "free-trading, nonprotectionist, deficit hawk"

Wow, sounds like good a republican...too bad republicans hate him for being republican.
 

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Tyrannosaurus said:
SDPassatT said:
However, heavily liberal people (like many of you here), may not be so thrilled if, God forbid, something would happen to Kerry in office. It would be a mid-1800's Lincoln-Johnson situation all over again, where after Lincoln was killed, Johnson more-or-less shined the party who helped him into the VP spot (The Reps), and went toward his own party (Dems). Though it wouldn't be so extreme I suppose since we've come a long way--but it's something for you self-proclaimed "died in the wool" liberals to think about. :wink:
Speaking as one of the true diehard liberals, I can say that if, god forbid, something happened to Kerry, I'd be proud to have John McCain as acting President of the United States despite my disagreements with him on some serious issues. He's a good man. Intelligent, principled and respects the responsibility of the office he currently holds. His integrity is not for sale and that's more important than the fact that he opposes abortion, etc. (I don't dislike Bush as President because he's a Republican...I hate him for how he conducts himself and the affairs of our country...in other words...he sucks!)

I also think if Kerry is "anything" like JFK then we should all feel priviledged to have him serve as President. It doesn't matter what Kennedy accomplished or didn't accomplish during his active term. His ideals, although brushed aside by congress, made a lasting, positive impression on this country. It's this kind of thinking that built this country and made it great. IDEAS change the world. Not war, not politics, not money.....IDEAS! :wink:
Yeh, I see your point. However, I think there is a chance of things changing due to party pressure if something were to, again, God forbid, happen to Kerry. (Party pressure = peer pressure * 1000000)

Also, having a good man serve as President isn't nearly as important as having a good man that gets things done. We don't need a figurehead, we need someone who will take charge and kick ass while still listening to the common man's voice.
Sure, Kennedy left a good impression, but that's because he was a Playboy, he knew how to "woo the crowd" like none other. (A young, good-looking, rich, out-spoken, well-educated, smart, well-spoken, sweeping reformist with fresh ideas...how could that go wrong? ;))

Kennedy's negative side is less well-known to the commoner...here's a short list...
-Ineffective congressman for 14 years prior to presidency
-Not a heavy hitter (which we need always!!!)
-Didn't sweat the details
-Half-assed Bay of Pigs Invasion was disastrous, many strategic blunders on that one (read about it) :crazy:
-Poor bargainer w/ Congress; poor congressional relationship (this is bad if you want to get things done. You can wish all you want, but you have to have Congress on your side, too. :wink: )
-Lacked persistence
-Too open-minded. So much so that he could barely make up his own mind on things! Good, but terrible. :weirdo:

Kennedy was good with...
-The Cuban Missile Crisis (though it would have never happened if Krushov didn't think Kennedy was such a coward.)
-Good with Civil Rights
-Had great ideas!

Unfortunately, integrity and great ideas alone are not what make a good President. One has to be able to put those ideas in motion by wooing Congress. There's a hell of a lot more to it than just being a good guy with good ideas.
And I'll also have to disagree with you when you said "it doesn't matter what Kennedy accomplished or didn't accomplish".....IT MOST CERTAINLY DOES!!! A President is in there to get shit done! Not just think about how great it would be to get shit done.
You're correct about his ideas though. But they weren't HIS ideas alone, but most of the American people's. He was just speaking for them, which is what a President should do. Do you think he thought of all those all by himself? :???: No, he kept an ear out to the people. He stayed "in-the-know". Presidents don't think of stuff themselves; they lead.
...And making a lasting positive impression is a job for an actor, it doesn't necessarily mean you've gotten the job done as President while in office.

Hopefully Kerry is a B5'er and takes note of this. :lol: :wink:

-Harry
 

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When I think paragon of ethics, I think "Kennedy." I could write a book on all the immoral acts of the Kennedy family, but I don't think there are enough trees.
 

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Kennedy good with civil rights? I thought it was the Johnson Administration that saw all the advances there?
 

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BooRadley said:
You know it is a nice idea, but this simply will not happen. Which is a shame, because if the last election was Gore v McCain, I would have been voting Republican for the first time in my life.
Ditto. But I'm hopefll that somehow, this actually happens... would be a heck of change in the way things are usually done, and this country needs some REAL change in Washington.

I'm voting for Kerry anyway, but I'm not in love iwht his record over th edecades. McCain would really go a long way to patching up some of that.

I voted for Edwards in the primary, so I'd certainly be happy with that choice as well. However, it would be nice if soemon on the ticket had a bit of executive branch experience.
 
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