Cameron Kerry, a Boston lawyer and close advisor to his brother John, was in North Carolina yesterday to size up efforts to make the state competitive for the Democratic presidential ticket. He also got an earful of advice and/or pleas to pick outgoing Sen. John Edwards as the vice-presidential nominee. The Kerry brother said he was “certainly encouraged” by what he heard, and added that, “A lot of people feel it [North Carolina] could be in play whether or not John Edwards is on the ticket, and will certainly be in play if he is on the ticket.” If that truly reflects what his brother is thinking, it’s significant.
Another argument for the Edwards pick is making the rounds in Washington, I’m told: his pick would be the only one among the possibilities usually discussed that is likely to help Democrats in their quest to take back the U.S. Senate. Former Clinton aide Erskine Bowles is again going to be the Democratic nominee here and will run against Winston-Salem Congressman Richard Burr, who’s undeniably a talent but not the political force of nature that Elizabeth Dole was. Bowles currently has a lead of between seven and nine points, though most expect the race to tighten in the next few weeks as Burr’s advertising buys start to hit the airwaves. The thinking is that Edwards on the ticket will help to boost Democratic turnout in the Tar Heel State, thus helping Bowles as well as the incumbent Democratic governor, Mike Easley. North Carolina is also the biggest prize in the gubernatorial races being targeted for pick-ups by the GOP this year.
The latest rumor is that Kerry will announce his VP selection early next week. Who knows?