Maybe when Howard Dean hinted he would take the No. 2 spot if it's "best for the party," late last week, he had a different John in mind for the top of the ticket. Dean was on CBS News last night talking up Senator John from North Carolina not Massachusetts as the more electable Democrat this November. "I've actually said on the record that I thought Senator Edwards would be a stronger candidate against George W. Bush than John Kerry, because when Senator Kerry's record is examined by the public at a more leisurely time when we're not having primaries every week, he's going to turn out to be just like George W. Bush."
Not surprisingly, John Edwards agrees with the assessment. "I think that [Dean] is a very wise man. ... The truth is that this campaign to bring about change is working with independents and voters that we will have to get in order to win the general election."
Just how far will Edwards and Dean go to stop Kerry? Might an Edwards-Dean ticket be in the works? If the Boston Globe is right, neither Edwards nor Kerry plan on pairing off on a ticket many Dems dream about this election year, anyway. And if the Washington Post's David Broder's right, sunny John Edwards could sure use a guy like Dean around, who's not afraid to do the dirty work necessary to undermine a front-runner.
But maybe Dean's praise of John Edwards is just another way of slapping Kerry for those anti-Dean attack ads in Iowa, funded in part by Kerry fundraiser and disgraced former New Jersey Sen. Robert Torricelli. We shall see.