When will John Kerry choose his running mate -- and who will get the nod? One report says Kerry will make the announcement by the end of the month, although Kerry has said he'd name his V.P. choice just before the Democrats' July convention in Boston. Some prominent Democrats are urging Kerry to name his running mate soon, giving him someone to help deflect GOP attacks, raise money and boost Kerry's profile.
One factor Kerry's team is surely looking at in vetting V.P. choices is whether bringing the candidate on the ticket helps win a state or several, and thus, more electoral votes. A new poll in North Carolina shows that Bush beats Kerry there but if local boy John Edwards is on the ticket, the race is dead even. The Boston Globe calls Wesley Clark, who has clearly been auditioning for the V.P. slot, the "wild card" contender.
Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack is also trying out for running mate, taking the lead on attacking Bush's response to rising gas prices. Dick Gephardt, Evan Bayh and Bill Richardson are also contenders, as are both senators from Florida.
And, for the gazillionth time, John McCain has said he won't be Kerry's running mate. That probably won't stop the questions and speculation about a bipartisan War Hero ticket. But maybe trying to quiet the McCain veep talk is a good enough reason for John Kerry to make a decision on this sooner rather than later -- if McCain's not game, continuing to discuss the possibility at the expense of other candidates only makes the rest seem like disappointing options.
See the link at right for the latest odds on who will get the Democratic V.P. nod from Campaigns & Elections magazine.