I agree with Robert Novak, Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack is likely to be Kerry’s running mate. We already know that Vilsack has been vetted by Kerry’s staff and is the apparent frontrunner in the veepstakes. John Edwards and Richard Gephardt were both considered top candidates as well, but it seems as though neither particularly wants the job. Former Florida Senator Bob Graham has also been noted as a possibility. Graham brings national security experience, but is a terrible campaigner and a worse fundraiser. Vilsack seems to be safe choice, and will help bring crucial Midwestern votes to Kerry.
At least in theory.
However, Vilsack’s popularity even in his own state of Iowa isn’t anything to write home about. He could paradoxically hurt Kerry in Iowa. He is the type of Democrat, like Kerry, that never met a tax he couldn’t hike. However, given the field, Kerry may go with the relative unknown rather than a candidate that will overshadow him.
Of course, it may be too late for that as Kerry has been playing obsessed nerd to John McCain’s prom queen for the past several months. It simply looks bad for Kerry to be politically stalking McCain all this time, especially when McCain is strongly backing Bush and the Republican Party. Kerry didn’t want to diminish whatever candidate would end up getting his veep pick — it’s already too late for that by far. The ghost of John McCain may end up haunting the Kerry campaign, especially when the man that Kerry was desperately courting as his VP shows up on stage stumping for Bush.