Speculation that was at a fever pitch over the 4th of July weekend ended today when John Kerry revealed that John Edwards will be his running mate against the Bush/Cheney ticket. Larry Sabato, professor of American Politics at the University of Virginia (and one of my former instructors), weighed in with snap analyis over at the Crystal Ball
, an invaluable resource for political junkies. In taking a look at the potential running mates for Kerry, in my opinion, Edwards was the only potential V.P. candidate whose negatives didn't outweigh his positives. The flirtation with John McCain was interesting, but nothing was really going to come of that. Few in the party could get excited about the possibilty of Bob Graham or Dick Gephardt, die hard Democrats both, but not the kind of candidates to sway voters not already wedded to their selections. Fmr. Sec. of Treasury Robert Rubin would have been an unconvential choice, but the name "Clinton" would surely be mentioned at any given opportunity by Republicans in an effort to negatively associate the two. John Edwards, while lacking the long service record of many of the other candidates, may in some ways benefit from the fact that his short time in the Senate hasn't left a long paper trail that can be tossed back at him. His voting record will reveal him to be more moderate than Kerry, which will hopefully comfort independents and moderates afraid of the ticket drifting too far left. Edwards brings a spirit of youth and excitement to the Kerry campaign that was sorely needed. He connects well with the "common man" when on the stump, his humble backstory having the power to offset his occupation as a trial lawyer. In all, this was really the only choice Kerry had, but it should provide him with a spark heading into Boston in a few weeks to accept the nomination.