Bob Shrum says Edwards “nearly got the nod” to be Al Gore’s running mate. Pages 343-344:
Warren Christopher, the congenitally cautious former secretary of state, was in charge of the search process; he thought Edwards was untested, unprepared, a reckless gamble. Edwards himself had first broached the long-shot possibility of being Gore’s running mate with me early in 1999…
Gore was troubled by the report – ironically compiled by someone who had worked for Edwards but was now our campaign’s research director – that as a lawyer, Edwards had taken the legal but potentially controversial step of incorporating himself to avoid paying Medicare taxes. It had come up in the 1998 Senate race, and we’d beaten it back; but it now gave Warren Christopher an opening to renew the case against Edwards as too callow, too uncertain, too far out of the box. He pressed Gore. How could he risk his reputation by making such a choice?
Let me get this straight – Edwards was elected in November 1998 and sworn in January 1999; he was angling to be vice president after serving in the Senate for… a couple of months?