Friday, April 09, 2004

Political Wire: Veep Watch: "Sen. John Kerry keeps Sen. John McCain's name in the headlines the search for his running mate intensifies. In a speech yesterday, Kerry made 'a gesture toward independent voters' by mentioning Sen. John McCain four times, USA Today reports. 'McCain may have been flattered, but he wasn't converted: He repeated Wednesday that he would not agree to be Kerry's running mate if asked.'"

There's no way McCain could agree to be Kerry's running mate, pure and simple. By being the vocal liberal in the Republican party, McCain has cultivated a little niche of power from within the party. If he jumps ship, he will lose that, without any hope of the same kind of sway with the Dems. (Just look at Jeffords if you don't believe me). In the meantime, he's earning chips by the feigned courting from Kerry, as the Republicans fight to keep him in line, and, more specifically, in their line.

Kerry, on the other hand, is playing a brilliant strategy. He knows that McCain is the media's darling, and they will cover just about any mention of him. That way he keeps himself in the headlines, and in the public eye. At the same time, McCain has become a favorite of moderates around the country, so Kerry wins a portion of them, at least in the short term, by pretending to have interest in McCain. It's a brilliant strategic play by both, even though it means precisely nothing to either of them.

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