Wednesday, July 07, 2004
Why did Kerry pick Edwards? Not for his experience and depth.
"As an articulate Southerner, Mr. Edwards also reminds many nostalgic Democrats/reporters of Bill Clinton without the character flaws.
"But to continue that comparison, Mr. Edwards is also Mr. Clinton without the experience and depth. By the time he ran for national office, Mr. Clinton could drill down several levels into education, welfare, trade and other policy debates. Mr. Edwards is known around the Senate as a smooth talker of no particular expertise. He is smart enough to quickly grasp talking points, but the doubt is whether he knows enough to be an asset in White House counsels if the ticket is elected.
"Among recent Vice Presidential candidates, Mr. Edwards compares in experience to Geraldine Ferraro (1984) and Spiro Agnew (1968) but knows much less about defense than Dan Quayle (1988). Compared to Joe Lieberman, Dick Gephardt or Dick Cheney, Mr. Edwards will require on-the-job training, especially in foreign policy. In a year when national security is once more at the top of voter concerns, this strikes us as a mistake in judgment by Mr. Kerry, and perhaps also a political error.
"If a ticket composed of a rich trial lawyer and a rich Senator who married the Heinz fortune can make this faux populism sound credible, they're bound to win. If they can't, Mr. Kerry may regret he chose sizzle in a year when the voters are looking for substance."
Kerry-Edwards 2004: Make America Nice.