Tuesday, July 06, 2004

How ass-holish is the New York Post???

In a front-page, supposedly exclusive, story, the Post gets it colossally wrong! I expect this story to disappear from The Post's website very soon, so here it is, in full.

July 6, 2004 -- EXCLUSIVE

John Kerry has chosen Rep. Richard Gephardt, the veteran congressman from Missouri, to be his running mate, The Post has learned.

Gephardt, 63, a 28-year veteran of the House of Representatives, could be named by the presumptive Democratic nominee as the party's vice-presidential candidate as soon as today.

The Massachusetts senator was set to announce the winner of the veep-stakes at a rally this morning in Pittsburgh, according to several reports last night.

With the July 26 Democratic convention in Boston looming, Kerry is looking for some advantage in the polls, and is hoping his choice of running mate will be the answer.

The polls have consistently shown him neck and neck with President Bush.

Gephardt, who was House majority leader from 1989 to 1995 and minority leader until 2002, could be an asset to Kerry in key battleground states in the Midwest.

He also has long been known as a supporter of organized labor, which leans heavily Democratic.

Gephardt had been one of those vying for the Democratic nomination along with Kerry, but folded up his operation after failing to win the caucuses in the neighboring state of Iowa.

He also lost an attempt at the nomination in 1988 to Michael Dukakis.

After holding local office in his native St. Louis, Gephardt was first elected to Congress in 1976.

He is a graduate of Northwestern University and the University of Michigan law school.

He's has an extensive political résumé, but he may be too experienced. Gephardt could be viewed by voters as too much of a Washington insider.

There was early speculation that Kerry was going to make a bold choice by crossing party lines and asking Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz.) to join the ticket. But McCain embarrassed Kerry by publicly declining.

Then many thought Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) would be the one, when it was learned he had cut short a family vacation at Florida's Walt Disney World last week so he could rush to see Kerry in Washington.

They met Thursday, according to sources close to the Kerry campaign.

But the sources also noted that Kerry held positive meetings with Gephardt and Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack.

Many Democrats had urged Kerry to turn to his former opponent Edwards, 51, whose youthful appearance and sunny campaign style during the primary made him a favorite among party activists.

Edwards also could have been competitive in the south, and the choice of Gephardt could be a sign that Kerry is "writing off" that region.

Edwards also lacked experience. He is a one-term senator whose lack of seasoning in foreign affairs could have made voters nervous about his ability to assume the presidency during a war or an international crisis.

It was thought that Kerry felt more comfortable with Gephardt than any of the other candidates. He even said he would have supported Gephardt if he were not running himself. Vilsack, 53, was the least known of the top contenders.

The Iowa governor was believed to be personally liked by Kerry and also hailed from the Midwest — but he was virtually unknown to voters.

Besides Pittsburgh, Kerry will also be in Indianapolis today and will head to Cleveland, Cincinnati and Milwaukee before coming to New York at the end of the week for several fund-raisers.

With Post Wire Services

This story is accurate enough to have come from Matt Drudge!

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