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Monday, July 05, 2004

Apolitical, asexual, apathetic

I woke up and realized that unless something was happening within my .67 acres of land, I didn't give one diddly damn about it. I looked out the window and my grass was still green. Some weekly newspaper carrier had thrown the celebrity rag in my driveway. I made a mental note to discard it after the rain had turned it to mush. A plastic shopping bag blew across my grass. I worried briefly whether I would have to take care of that as well, then the wind picked up again and blew it into my neighbor's yard. Voila, crisis averted.

Despite being a hard core newsman, I've been having a hard time maintaining interest in the news. I think many of the news folk--like me--are in the middle of some sort of doldrums that keeps them from putting too much effort into their product.

Perhaps the story that holds the most suspense, at least for newsies, is who John Kerry will pick as his VP (Sorry, Mr. Peterson, your story holds little appeal outside of California, death voyeurs, and husbands who are waiting to see if, in fact, adultery carries a life or death sentence). The media are currently playing the Speculation Game ad naseum. The three names that keep popping up are NC Senator John Edwards, MO Congressman Dick Gephardt, and Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack. Some people are talking a bit about Florida Senator Bob Graham, but I don't think anyone is really serious about that. Then there are those folks that love to talk about the possibility of Hillary getting in the race (Drudge quoted an unnamed Dem source saying the former first lady was a lock for the Veep nod).

While I will again not vote in the November general election, I think I know who Kerry would be best served to pick. First, the non-picks:

*Hillary--No one except excited news people and Republicans really consider this to be a possibility. Hillary wants to run in 2008. She can't do that if she is VP. Simple as that. The only reason it would serve Kerry well to pick her is that it would be the biggest political news story in years. The problem for JFK is that if Hillary joined the ticket, she would overshadow him as a candidate. Bad idea jeans.

*Graham--I've met the guy. I've talked to him. He will bore the hell out of you if you let him. He has two things going for him that would serve Kerry well. First, he's been elected statewide in Florida. That helps any presidential candidate. Second, he's so boring, he wouldn't overshadow Candidate Kerry. He would be the Al Gore of the race. Maybe that's what Kerry needs, but I don't think so.

*Gephardt--He's got the organized labor vote. He's not unpopular in my homestate. But he's a loser. What's more, he's almost as boring as Graham. He's a wanna-be who peaked years ago. He'd be better served by staying home and running for Missouri governor someday, then retiring.

*Vilsack--One word. Vilsack? Please. I guess he gives Kerry a stronger arm in the Midwest (not an un-key vote), but for the love of all that's holy...part of his last name is SACK. Maybe Kerry needs someone with a sack. Maybe this guy is more popular than I know. I figure Kerry's recent appearance with the guy has to mean something. Vice President VilSACK? Help me, Rhonda.

So, that leaves us with...

*Edwards--Al Gore reportedly considered Edwards as his running mate in the 2000 election, but eventually opted for a Senator with a little more in the way of experience. Edwards had none. Opponents of Edwards getting on the ticket say he offers no more than a pretty face. I disagree. He offers charisma. I've met and talked to the man. He'll make you believe in what he's saying. What's more, he'll help Kerry with his "Massachusetts Liberal" label. Edwards is a southern boy, with southern charm. The Veep doesn't really do anything anyway except take over when the president kicks it. Unless Kerry's hair eats his face, I don't think we have to worry. Edwards could potentially outshine Kerry on personality, but Kerry's experience will keep him above Edwards for a few years.

You may wonder why I care. Answer: I don't. I'm not voting and I won't apologize for that. I don't like either side (or any of the underparty candidates). I'll vote in November, but only in local races in which my vote will make a difference and for a candidate I believe in.

Still, I think the process of picking a VP is a little fascinating. I'm intrigued by the concept of finding someone who won't overshadow the candidate, while finding someone who has enough experience, while finding someone who has enough charisma to campaign effectively.

Democratic sources are telling CNN that Kerry has made his decision and he plans to announce it via e-mail to his one million website subscribers. That's cute.

Since I don't watch much news anymore, I'll probably see the breaking news of Kerry's decision on the internet.

And as for the title of this post, I've covered two of the topics. As for the other one...my wife is eight months pregnant.

You figure it out.

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