The right candidate could help Kerry win the election

Joshua Horton

Joshua Horton

Getting picked for a team as a child can be one of the best, or worst experiences anybody can have. Early on, we learn that we are picked for teams for a plethora of reasons.

The same thinking can be applied to the current presidential race. Who should John Kerry pick to run with him and help him win in November?

A national race is not exactly kickball, but allies for victory are important in both cases.

Jim Johnson, former top aide to Vice-President Walter Mondale and head of Kerry’s selection committee knows that their selection has to help Kerry overcome specific shortfalls that he has with swing voters.

Vice-President Al Gore had the problem of distancing himself from President Clinton, so he chose the top democratic critic of Clinton, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, as his running mate.

Even President Bush felt pressure from voters on the matter of his national and international experience. To quell attacks, he selected former Senator and Defense Secretary Dick Cheney. In Kerry’s case, his biggest shortfall is his regional exclusiveness to the Northeast.

Knowing this, logically, his running mate must give Kerry regional diversity as well as specific intentions to work with the republicans. I see three people as strong choices for Kerry’s running mate for the 2004 presidential race.

Option number one: Sen. John Edwards. Edwards is from North Carolina and is a self-made millionaire who is young and energetic. He comes from a Southern working class family, which allows Kerry to connect to working class America. John Edwards is a top choice of many democratic insiders as he made the second strongest showing among the candidates for the nomination earlier this year.

Option number two: Former Sen. Bob Kerrey. Kerrey comes from Nebraska, which is a republican state. He is a decorated Vietnam War veteran, governor and successful business man. Kerrey is one of the most respected politicians in Nebraska history. He brings a moderate view coming from a republican state and reaffirms John Kerry’s support of agriculture and the working class.

Option number three, my “wild card,” is Sen. John McCain. McCain is not the only republican to be mentioned as a possible candidate.

Former Defense Secretary William Cohen’s name has been mentioned as well. John McCain is the most progressive-leaning republican in the Senate. He comes from a state in the Southwest, which has a large Hispanic population. He is a decorated Vietnam War veteran. Selecting a republican like McCain to join the ticket is a strong move toward proving real intentions to work as a bipartisan leader.

There has been growing pressure for Kerry to select a running mate in May, others expect a choice no later than June 30th. No matter when, the timing has to be right, and the man, or woman, must be right for the job.

I have full confidence in John Kerry to pick a running mate on more than their ability, but also for their dedication to make America better for everyone, not just the elites.

Reach Joshua Horton at [email protected].