Thursday, May 31, 2007

Kerry's Doubts About Edwards

This was previewed some days ago:

Kerry talked with several potential picks, including Gephardt and Edwards. He was comfortable after his conversations with Gephardt, but even queasier about Edwards after they met. Edwards had told Kerry he was going to share a story with him that he'd never told anyone else—that after his son Wade had been killed, he climbed onto the slab at the funeral home, laid there and hugged his body, and promised that he'd do all he could to make life better for people, to live up to Wade's ideals of service. Kerry was stunned, not moved, because, as he told me later, Edwards had recounted the same exact story to him, almost in the exact same words, a year or two before—and with the same preface, that he'd never shared the memory with anyone else. Kerry said he found it chilling, and he decided he couldn't pick Edwards unless he met with him again.

Certainly Edwards would dispute this, and even according to this excerpt from Shrum's book, Kerry and Edwards no longer speak. In case of 'he said/she said' such as this, who knows the truth?

The piece also leaves us with a weird 'he said/she said' on the question of whether John McCain wanted to serve as Kerry's running mate:

One option, the one that would have sealed the election, was off the table. John McCain's political strategist John Weaver had talked earlier with Cahill and said he needed to see Kerry about McCain. According to Kerry, when he met with Weaver and Cahill, Weaver said McCain was serious about the possibility of teaming up with him. Kerry had then sounded out McCain, who rejected the idea.

This is consistent with the account that Kerry offered two months ago: that he was approached by Weaver. Was Weaver acting on McCain's behalf? Was he acting as a free agent, and McCain reined him in? All we know is that this version is very different from the account around the time that Edwards was selected -- which had Kerry repeatedly asking McCain to take the spot.

If nothing else, McCain seems to have moved past the controversy.

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