Kerry-Edwards or Kerry-Richardson?

by on January 28th, 2004

John Edwards says he is not looking for the second spot on a Kerry-Edwards ticket. The first-term senator insists that he “intend[s] to be the nominee.”

While no one would expect him to come out and say “I’m running for VP,” this is an important comment nonetheless. Unless Edwards wins in South Carolina and Dean then proceeds to win big on Feb. 3, it seems likely that Kerry will be the nominee.

Who will he choose as VP? As I said before, he’ll be looking for someone from the South, and Edwards seemed the most likely candidate. Now, however, the plot seems to have thickened. No president has been elected from the Senate since Kennedy. Voters want to see executive experience. A two-senator ticket would be very weak in that regard. A possibility we should be hearing much more about is Bill Richardson, the democratic governor of New Mexico. He’s a bilingual Hispanic, can bring executive experience to the table, isn’t from the Northeast, and most importantly, as a former Clinton cabinet secretary it would throw the DLC a bone. The Clinton wing must be fuming now that the Kennedy wing seems to be taking things over. A concession by putting Richardson on the ticket might set them at ease.

It’s often been said that the Clintons don’t want a Democrat to win this time around so Hillary will be well positioned for ’08. If that is the case, then a failed Kerry-Richardson ticket would be beneficial to the Clintons in that Richardson’s national name recognition would be raised and he would be better poised to support Hillary in ’08. Look for more discussion of Richardson as a potential VP candidate.

Hunter Williams