With more than three-quarters of the delegates for the nomination yet to be awarded, Democratic presidential front-runner John Kerry must already be
turning a strategic eye to some important choices in his battle for the White House; namely, where to battle President Bush and who to battle him with
in the Democratic nominee for Vice President.
National candidate or not as far as the Democratic primary goes, Kerry faces a daunting task if he looks south for success against President Bush next
fall, according to strategists in his own party. "I think it still has to be considered part of the Bush base," said Jim Duffy, a Democratic
consultant with long experience in southern campaigns. While there may be one or two states where Kerry may be able to compete, he added, "It is
overwhelmingly Republican and I think probably will stay that way." Several strategists pointed to Arkansas, Louisiana and possibly Tennessee as
places where Kerry may look for opportunity in the South outside once hotly contested Florida.
If he wins the nomination, one of Kerry's biggest decisions will be the choice of a running mate. Advisers say there have been no official talks, but
conversations always seem to come back to Edwards of North Carolina and Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt, who dropped out of the race after a poor showing
in Iowa last month. One veteran of Democratic campaigns, Dane Strother, said Kerry should pick a running mate from the all important South. "He ought
to get a Southerner, get someone who understands the language. ... John Edwards has really shined," he said.
Edwards would give the ticket regional diversity, but some say the Midwest is more important to Kerry than the GOP-dominated South. Calculating that
the race will be won or lost in the industrial Midwest, some counter that Kerry needs a running mate from that part of the country, possibly former
presidential rival Dick Gephardt or Iowa's Governor Tom Vilsack.
Other considerations for Vice President most likely include Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico to appeal to important southwestern and Hispanic
voters, Sen. Hillary Clinton who's broad appeal covers New York to Arkansas and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of the important state of California. Also,
Sen. Bob Graham of decisive Florida and decorated veteran and former Georgia Senator Max Cleland both offer important southern appeal.
While armchair strategists may hope and pray for their own dream tickets to include Kerry rivals Dean, Edwards, Kucinich, Sharpton or former combatant
Clark, such may in fact be among the least likely of hopefuls in the strategic mission to unseat an incumbent Republican as the very race for the
Democratic nominee heats up.
The President himself may also be making changes to his reelection ticket as speculated by ATSNN, with the rumor of increasingly controversial Vice
President Dick Cheney to succumb to "health problems" prior to the 2004 election.
Related ATSNN links:
Rumor Central: Cheney Dropping Out
Kerry Wins Big in South
Related ATS Discussions:
Secret Society the Ties Bush and Kerry
[Edited on 12-2-2004 by RANT]