VICE PRESIDENT EDWARDS
In recent weeks, we’ve seen what we always see in pre-Presidential election years, a rainbow coalition (in more ways than one) of policy pronouncements, innovative bills, and brand new ideas. This election cycle is proving no different. Dick Gephardt wants to pay for nationalized healthcare by scrapping the tax cuts. Joe Lieberman wants to increase fuel standards to move towards energy independence. Dennis Kucinich wants a Department of Peace. John Kerry follows everyone else’s plans with one of his own…about a week later. But we haven’t seen many innovative ideas, no liberal pandering, no free handouts from Senator John Edwards.
At first, that might seem odd. Being just a freshman Senator, how can he expect to win the nomination without pandering to the Democrats’ liberal base? Well, it’s easy actually. He’s not going to win the Presidential nomination. He’s going to be vice-president.
As George Will pointed out last week, John Edwards can’t afford to move left, else risk losing his home state if he’s shut out of the ticket. But that’s not the plan. He’s maneuvering to be veep.
First, look at who he is. He’s young, energetic, and from that South that the Democrats keep thinking they’re going to get a piece of. Second, he’s no policy wonk, just an articulate, attractive face for the Party, much better suited as an addition than the main attraction. Third, while Gov. Dean and Senator Kerry prod at one another, Edwards is and will continue to keep his head above the fray. Lastly, and most importantly, the one thing that make people think he’s a serious contender for the Oval Office, can carry over to a spot as veep. That being, his bankroll. As the darling of trial lawyers, ambulance chasers, and the Lionel Hutzes of the world, he’ll be able to bring more dollars to a ticket than any other candidate.
Say you’re Dick Gephardt, or you’re John Kerry, or Howard Dean. You need to pick someone to run with you. John Edwards brings everything you need: youth, energy, a Southern accent, good looks, and a Brinks truck full of small, non-sequential bills. That’s why he’s going to be them Dems’ Veep candidate next fall.