The Corner

Bad News For Bush — Probably

I never agreed with John Miller on the wisdom of a Gephardt pick. This morning when I saw that the NY Post was saying it’s Gephardt I was basically pleased. I thought Gephardt would be bad because the strongest argument for Kerry (or against Bush) is “change.” Now I think change for change’s sake is one of the most pernicious and intellectually vacuous sentiments in American politics. But that does not mean it’s not a powerful impulse. Gephardt was not the candidate for change.

Edwards is. He’s high energy. He hasn’t been too infected with Potomac fever and Senatoritis. His stump schtick plays well with the populist forces in the Democratic Party and he’s pretty (no serious person I know thinks Edward would have ever gotten into politics if he’d been burnt by acid as a teenager).

The downside: Edwards is among the worst choices possible if the issue this fall is national security and terrorism. He’s not very sharp on foreign affairs. He has very little experience (Please, stop citing junkets to Afghanistan as a qualification!). If the Bush campaign can really make this election about national security, Edwards may not become a full-blown liability, but he might not make much of an asset either. One can be sure that the Bush team will be reminding everyone that Kerry’s first pick was John McCain. And no logic which sees McCain as your first choice would then identify Edwards as the second choice — unless, of course, the logic of winning was the only criteria.

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