For a good laugh, compare today's effort by William Safire, Body Politic Will Reject 'Charisma Transplant', in which he attacks Kerry's choice of Edwards as safe, instead of making the courageous choice of picking that nice, boring Mr. Gephardt (whom of course the Republicans had been salivating about attacking). Apparently Cheney was a “pick of confidence” because he balanced Bush's incapacities on foreign policy. Kerry not having policy incapacities, he foolishly selects someone exciting, who helps him win an election. What a boring loser.
Now look at E.J. Dionne's column on why Edwards is The Right Choice and the Gep would have been a mistake:
Republicans were in a foul mood because Kerry's choice of Edwards as his running mate muddied up all the story lines they were itching to trot out. To understand why Edwards was the best choice for Kerry, consider what the Republicans (and, yes, the media) would have said if the nod had gone instead to Rep. Richard Gephardt, the clear runner-up in the vice presidential stakes.
Kerry would have been described as “insecure” at the prospect of standing next to the “charismatic” and “populist” Edwards. Fearing being “upstaged” by the equally ambitious Edwards, Kerry would have been accused of making the “obvious,” “uninspired” and “comfortable” choice. Gephardt's experience would have been trotted out to turn him into the “tired” face of the “old” Democratic Party. It would also have been said that Kerry, the “elitist Massachusetts liberal,” had “written off” the South and rural America.
Could it be that Safire had the Gep column all written, and then just reused as much as he could?
The Dionne column is full of good stuff, including this jem:
When you hear Republicans disparage Sen. John Edwards's lack of experience, remember the words of Sen. Orrin Hatch, spoken to George W. Bush at a debate on Dec. 6, 1999.
“You've been a great governor,” Hatch declared of his rival for the Republican presidential nomination. “My only problem with you, governor, is that you've only had four and going into your fifth year of governorship… . Frankly, I really believe that you need more experience before you become president of the United States. That's why I'm thinking of you as a vice presidential candidate.”
Which is exactly what Edwards was chosen for yesterday.