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Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Edwards: I'm No Second Banana

Senator John Edwards, who finished in a virtual dead heat for third place in New Hampshire with General Wesley Clark, categorically rejects the idea of running in the #2 slot in November:

Presidential candidate John Edwards (news - web sites) on Wednesday rejected any notion of sharing the Democratic ticket with front-running rival John Kerry (news - web sites) — unless he is at the top.

Asked on NBC's "Today" show if he would accept second place on the Democratic slate to face President Bush (news - web sites) in the fall election, Edwards said: "I think you've got the order reversed. I intend to be the nominee." Edwards said he would not be willing to be No. 2. "No, no. Final. I don't want to be vice president. I'm running for president," he said.

While candidates often pooh-pooh the idea of being a VP, this is the second time that Edwards has said he would never consider it. If he wound up in the #2 slot -- a move that would definitely benefit Democrats if typical Northeastern liberals John Kerry or Howard Dean won the nomination -- these tidbits could be a minor-league equivalent of "Read my lips!"

I find it rather odd that a one-term Senator from the South wouldn't leave more of an open door on this question, answering more along the lines of this: "I'm running for President, and that's what we're going to focus on now. The time for selecting a Vice President will come when the nominee is selected, and at that time we'll all have a say in that process." Being a VP would hardly be a step down for Edwards; he's not running for a second term in the Senate, but he does have long-term political aspirations with the Democrats. Assuming he doesn't win the nomination, which seems a safe bet at this point after failing to capture any delegates in New Hampshire, a refusal to assist the Democrats in the South by joining the ticket does not augur well for any future electoral plans he will have. It comes across as arrogant and selfish. If Edwards wanted to build momentum for his current campaign, creating that kind of image with the DNC won't help here, either.

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12:50 PM in Presidential Election | Permalink


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Maybe Edwards feels that sitting Veeps rarely do well as Presidntial candidates, so it would be a kiss of death for his career. And that might be the best case scanario. He may not want to be a loser Veep candidate on a loser ticket this year.

Posted by: James Ph. at Jan 28, 2004 12:58:34 PM