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Friday, June 18, 2004

VandeHei Watch 6.18.04: Veepstakes Drama

As eRobin writes, the Veepstakes coverage is pretty ridiculous as the reporters try to make things seem extra-suspenseful. VandeHei is on the front page today with Lois Romano, passing on all sorts of anonymously sourced info that may or may not be accurate about Kerry's search for a running mate, and the following sentence is all you really need to know: "history shows the eventual vice presidential pick is often someone the campaign and media have not mentioned." I wish they had followed that with, "So there's really no point to this article you're reading whatsoever."

But instead of ending abruptly, they go on and on with nonsense that will probably make useful liner for your pet's cage next week. We learn from some unnamed "Democrats" thing like, "Kerry has privately expressed confidence that voters see him as sufficiently strong on national security." He also "wonders whether he needs a moderate or conservative Democrat on the ticket to improve his centrist credentials." It's interesting that VandeHei/Romano are not equating strength on security issues with being more conservative here, which I think is admirable, but it also goes against what a lot of people think. The emphasis on finding a moderate, they say, "may bode well for Edwards," which is kind of puzzling since Edwards tried running as an economic populist to Kerry's left during the primaries.

Mickey Kaus will also rejoice at the multiple suggestions of Kerry's vanity.

Kerry, they say, sometimes appears conflicted when talking about his desire to find a strong leader, or a peer, who could without a doubt run the nation in wartime and his concern of being upstaged or unfavorably compared with his running mate, stylistically or professionally.

So is Kerry's ego more important than getting the best person for the job? This is the implication, and I'm sure Mickey Kaus will go to town on it.

In conclusion, let me reiterate, no one knows anything, as Kerry himself told Ron Fournier:

John Kerry (news - web sites) sought to curb rampant speculation Thursday about his vice presidential search, taking issue with leaks from campaign aides "who don't know what they're talking about."

Betsy Newmark has a good post on this one too.