John Edwards not ruling out veep slot

In an interview, the former senator and one-time vice-presidential nominee doesn't categorically deny interest in trying for the job again.

Published June 16, 2008 1:31PM (EDT)

John Edwards, the former senator from North Carolina who was John Kerry's running mate in 2004, has previously expressed little interest in being the Democratic vice-presidential nominee for a second time. But in his latest word on the subject, Edwards declined to rule anything out.

In interviews he gave to Spanish newspapers earlier this month, Edwards basically said he didn't want the slot. "I already had the privilege of running for vice president in 2004, and I won't do it again," Edwards told El Mundo. But in an interview he gave Sunday to George Stephanopoulos of ABC's "This Week," Edwards' denials of interest were hardly "Shermanesque." In fact, asked by Stephanopoulos, Edwards specifically said he hadn't intended his comments to El Mundo to be the "Shermanesque" definitive denial of interest in the job.

"I intended it to say that this is not a thing that I'm seeking," Edwards said, prompting Stephanopoulos to ask, "And you haven't ruled it out, though, completely, even though it's his decision?" Edwards responded, "Well, I'd take anything he asked me to think about seriously, but obviously this is something I've done and it's not a job that I'm seeking."

Realistically, though, there's little chance that Edwards would be asked to be Obama's running mate, as -- despite his popularity in Democratic circles -- he wouldn't bring much, politically, to the ticket. First, he doesn't help Obama deflect the argument John McCain will make about experience, and more than that, he wouldn't deliver a needed demographic or state to Obama.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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