Thursday, May 13, 2004

They Say This Cat is a Bad . . . Shut Yo' Mouth!
I'm late on this one, but Daily Kos handicapped the VP sweepstakes earlier this week--for some reason, Iowa governor Tom Vilsack is still on what is supposed to be the definitive short list, along with Edwards, Clark, Graham, and Gephardt. Kerry will reportedly make his decision sometime next month.

Because you probably don't have time to wade through all 327 reader comments on the original post, I'll do it. One Kos reader explains the case for Vilsack here: "Vilsack balances against elitism issues that crop us. His image as a plain-spoken midwesterner comes with little baggage, as opposed to all the others, who've been fully vetted by the 'totally unbiased' broadcast media mavens. There is no standard off-the-shelf manual on how to abuse Tom Vilsack. He's managed to 'fly under the radar,' is as well-respected by labor as Gephardt, and, though he's been a governed Iowa as a moderate, can claim on much of his positions that he was advocating for the state (as a good governor would)."

I said yesterday that I think Clark is the best guy at the moment, and other Kos readers think so too. One remarks: "Could we have a more bad-ass ticket than Kerry/Clark? Two 'Nam vets who killed commies and took shrapnel for their country, who both received high honors for bravery, and one of which was Supreme Allied Commander of NATO forces in Europe. You know Clark's got a wallet with 'Bad Motherfucker' stitched embroidered on it." (And he's just that, according to another reader, and not in a good way.)

Another reader hates all five candidates, so after presumably inhaling a little weed he came up with this: "What we do is go to McCain and Hagel and offer them the VP slot and the Sec of Defense slot IF THEY SWITCH PARTIES RIGHT NOW. Then we gain every committee seat in the Senate and can control the agenda and open investigations on the President and Cheney. We also approach Snowe, Chafee, and Collins and offer to give them juicy seats if they switch too. The only danger is if Kerry dies in office, but this guarantees victory and the destruction of the GOP."

And from left field, there's this interesting idea. "The unfolding torture fiasco in Iraq is just one more reason why Kerry might be very shrewd and wise to pick [Congressman] John Lewis for his VP. As America's moral credibility declines because of the contempt with which Bush treats the world (and because of his arrogance, immorality, thugishness, and hypocrisy), it is imperative that the US forcefully demonstrate to the world that Bush is an aberration and the US really IS a positive moral force. Having a VP with the moral authority of Lewis, one of the original Civil Rights heroes, could be a good first step in regaining the trust of the world community."

One Max Cleland supporter uncovered a campaign cliche that could not be applied to a Kerry/Cleland ticket. He says he had touted Cleland as a possible running mate for Howard Dean until he learned that Cleland had been campaigning for Kerry from the start. "Campaigning" wasn't his first choice of verb, though: "Damn," he said, "I almost wrote 'stumping' ... sorry."

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