Saving John Kerry
: "Was there a better Democrat in the field? Maybe. Dick Gephardt would have been a formidable opponent for President Bush--and perhaps a better candidate than Kerry. But he's about it. Joe Lieberman had a better chance of winning the Republican nomination. Howard Dean would have been an unmitigated disaster. Ditto the not-ready-for-prime-time Wesley Clark, and the oddball Sharpton/Kucinich show.
And how about that John Edwards? If his performance as a vice presidential candidate is any indication, he might have been as bad for the Democrats as Dean. Edwards's only electoral victory came in his 1998 Senate race against a 70-year-old first-term senator. Then he lost every presidential primary save South Carolina, delivered a disappointing convention speech, was beaten in the vice presidential debate, and was an ineffective campaigner for Kerry down the stretch. His supposed strength was that he could connect with Southerners, but forget carrying his home state: Edwards couldn't even carry his home precinct. Never has so large a reputation been created by so little actual success. "