So we got the VP nominee many progressives wanted. John Edwards’s greatest attraction is his vitality, especially compared to Kerry’s dour, some say sour, disposition.
For Edwards, it’s a no-brainer. If Kerry loses, Edwards becomes the front runner for ’08, if he can figure a way to keep his profile high without being in the Senate. If the Dems wins, , he gets four or perhaps eight years to cement his place as Kerry’s successor.
The worry is that against Cheney, Edwards will be perceived as a lightweight on foreign policy. But then, Cheney’s record isn’t all that impressive the last few years. His tenure recalls the old saying that it’s better to keep your mouth shut and be perceived a fool, than open it and remove all doubt. I hope Edwards, when confronted with such attacks, reminds us that Bush had even less foreign policy experience when he became president. So even being a heart beat away, he can’t be any worse.
In a debate, Edwards’s skills will take him a long way against Cheney, especially on domestic issues, where Edwards’s “two Americas” speech resonates with many voters.
But there’s likely to be only one VP debate. What will be interesting to see his how much media coverage Edwards’s campaign can attract.
And will Edwards assume the typical VP role of being an attack dog? That wasn’t his style during the nomination races. Will he abandon his sunny optimism or use it to provide contrast to the mean-spirited obscenity of Dick Cheney?
More than anything, the benefit of Edwards may be that he will energize the grassroots. Or at the very least, he won’t deflate them as a Gephardt nomination would have.
I think it’s a great choice.