I just ran across this May 2007 article by Bob Shrum about the Vice Presidential selection process that John Kerry went through in choosing John Edwards as his running mate.
I had never read this before — but it really deserves another look because it gives some insight into how most candidates probably run through their VP choices — well except for George W. Bush perhaps. In the case of Bush, Dick Cheney headed his VP selection team and didn’t produce anyone who seemed quite as good as himself for the job. In the end, Bush’s father and Brent Scowcroft suggested Cheney, and I think both feel very guility for it today.
Shrum’s tell-all is remarkably personal, and gives a sense of how insider-ish many major political decisions are. It’s interesting to note that Chuck Hagel was on Kerry’s possibility list in 2004 — and that Kerry was very uncomfortable with Edwards.
But given what I wrote about my disdain for gut thinking in making key decisions, particularly foreign policy which John Kerry referenced yesterday in his endorsement of Obama:
Kerry told me that the Edwardses simply stopped returning calls or talking to him and Teresa. Within months, Edwards started preparing for a bid in 2008. Kerry said that he wished he’d never picked Edwards, that he should have gone with his gut.
Maybe the mistake John Kerry thinks he made with John Edwards is why he cares so much about gut thinking, but Americans deserve something more serious.
— Steve Clemons