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John Kerry and John Edwards

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    Yertle The Turtle

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Its been confirmed! John Kerry picked a VP running mate! Here's the story.

Kerry picks Edwards to be running mate
By Susan Page and Jill Lawrence, USA TODAY
PITTSBURGH — Democrat John Kerry made it official today: He chose North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, a onetime rival for the presidential nomination, as running mate.

Kerry notified supporters of the decision by e-mail not long after calling Edwards to invite him to join the ticket. He then announced it at a rally in downtown Pittsburgh, his wife by his side and clearing skies above him. (Related story: Kerry's e-mail)

"John Edwards is ready for this job. He is ready for this job," Kerry told a cheering crowd, addressing one of the most debated aspects of the freshman senator's candidacy. He said Edwards had shown "guts and determination and political skill in his own race for the presidency." (Video: Kerry's announcement)

Kerry also said Edwards "understands the values of America" and can "speak of hope and optimism" across party lines.

Kerry and Edwards planned to meet for dinner with their families late Tuesday at Kerry's Pittsburgh estate before launching a multistate campaign tour starting in Ohio on Wednesday and ending in Edwards' home state Saturday.

They are the first senators to serve on the same ticket since 1972, when Democratic Sens. George McGovern of South Dakota and Thomas Eagleton of Missouri teamed up. Eagleton dropped out of the race because of his mental history.

The son of a textile mill worker, Edwards grew up in Robbins, N.C., in a family that had trouble making ends meet. He attended public schools and universities and went on to become a trial lawyer and multimillonaire representing families damaged by medical and corporate negligence. (Audio: USA TODAY's Susan Page on the announcement)

He was elected to the Senate, his first public office, in 1998 and almost immediately came to national attention as one of Al Gore's potential running mates. In his own primary campaign over the last year, he talked about uniting what he saw as "two Americas," one for the rich and well connected, and the other for everyone else. He made his case with his trial lawyer skills, connecting with audiences as if they were juries.

Edwards also has public support: Seventy-two percent of likely voters said they would be "enthusiastic" or "satisfied" about Edwards as Kerry's vice presidential pick, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll conducted June 21-23. Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri followed at 64%.

Bio Box of John Edwards

NAME: John Edwards.

AGE-BIRTH DATE: 51; June 10, 1953.

RELIGION: Methodist.

EDUCATION: Bachelor's degree, North Carolina State University, 1974; law degree, University of North Carolina, 1977.

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Elected U.S. senator in 1998.

OTHER EXPERIENCE: Trial lawyer in Nashville, and Raleigh, N.C., for two decades.

FAMILY: Wife, Elizabeth Anania Edwards. Children: Cate, Emma Claire, Jack. Son Wade died in a 1996 traffic accident.

POLITICAL HERO: Former North Carolina Sen. Terry Sanford "because he was ahead of his time on civil rights. He stood up for civil rights in the South when it wasn't an easy thing to do."

QUOTE: "George Bush has a health care plan pray you don't get sick," Edwards said. "They have led us from the edge of greatness when Bill Clinton left office to the edge of a cliff."

Republicans were shooting out critiques of Edwards' limited foreign policy experience moments after it became known Edwards was the one. With five years in the Senate, four of them on the Intelligence Committee, Edwards has far more foreign policy than President Bush had in 2000.

The Bush campaign immediately announced plans to launch a television ad featuring former Republican rival John McCain and titled "First Choice," an effort to paint Edwards as Kerry's second choice. McCain, the Arizona senator, rejected Kerry's overtures to be No. 2 on the Democratic ticket and recently has campaigned for Bush.

Republicans also are expected to go after Edwards' trial-lawyer background. As a group, trial lawyers tend to contribute to Democrats and to oppose limits on damages (although Edwards has supported some limits).

"I welcome Senator Edwards on the ticket," Bush told reporters Tuesday in a brief Oval Office appearance with Iceland's prime minister. Bush said Vice President Cheney called Edwards to congratulate him.

Polling shows the North Carolina senator on the ticket gives Kerry at least a small chance at winning that state, long out of reach for Democrats. Perhaps more importantly, Edwards showed wide appeal during the primary season in contested Midwestern states such as Iowa and Wisconsin. He was the vice presidential prospect favored by many Democratic activists, rank and file, and some unions.

Kerry's campaign manager, Mary Beth Cahill, said Tuesday that Kerry's vice presidential search team started with 25 people "from all walks of life," including some not in elected office. Some of them were never on the list of those mentioned by the press, she said.

Kerry called Edwards about 7:30 a.m. today to tell him of his choice, and word leaked out to the news media a short time later. A plane was being sent by the Kerry campaign to bring Edwards and his family to Pittsburgh this afternoon for a joint appearance with Kerry.

"The political calculation is definitely part of this but mostly it was being secure in the knowledge that this person could succeed him," Cahill said of Kerry's pick.

Edwards, Gephardt and Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack were identified by campaign aides as finalists for the vice presidential bid, and Kerry spent the Independence Day holiday in Vilsack's home state. But Edwards interrupted his Walt Disney World vacation last week to meet with Kerry, according to reports.

Edwards' positives are counterbalanced by several possible liabilities. There is some concern that Edwards, whose only political credential is a single term in the Senate, lacks the experience in international affairs, particularly in wartime, to be a credible candidate to assume the presidency in the case of death, resignation or removal.

Edwards, 51, seldom criticized Kerry or any of the other Democrats while running a generally positive campaign. The two had few major policy disagreements — both supported the decision to go to war in Iraq, for example, and both voted against the $87 billion package for Iraq and Afghanistan.

Kerry finished first and Edwards second in the Iowa caucuses in January, surprising front-runner Howard Dean and driving regional favorite Gephardt out of the race.

At Kerry's rally Tuesday, Judy Cline, 64, a retired real estate broker and former freelance journalist, said she was "absolutely delighted" with Kerry's choice: "He brings a positive point of view, he brings a lot of intelligence, he brings a big smile."

John Holmes, 53, a 7th grade special education teacher, called Edwards a good choice. "He certainly can speak well, he certainly can relate to people," Holmes said. It's good he's from the South. He's got a lot of talent to bring to the job. Whatever he lacks in experience, he can't be worse than Dick Cheney."

Contributing: The Associated Press

Enki Anunaki

Enki Anunaki

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is it just me?...or does it seem like every presidential candidate is from the south?... <_<

i might be underinformed on the subject...



    Yertle The Turtle

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    Horton Hatches The Egg

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I don't really like anyone that is running for president...But Kerry and Edwards seem to be the best..
In 100 years we will be dead, in 1000 years we will be dust, in 10000 years we will be extinct, use perspective.

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