Kerry-Nunn? Bush Should Be So Lucky

According to a gossip column in the New York Post, the current frontrunner in John Kerry’s Veepstakes is former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn.

Dubya should be so lucky.

Nunn might be the only potential VP mentioned thus far who’s even duller than Kerry on the stump, and while his accent definitely isn’t Boston Brahmin, he’s no less the patrician. He led the Senate fight against approving the first Gulf War, and hasn’t been a significant player in national politics since losing that vote. Nunn’s party is on its way to being shut out of power in his home state, and the last time he stood for election was nearly eight years ago.

As for those who think Nunn could help Kerry win Georgia, I have but one question: Did Lloyd Bentsen help Dukakis win Texas?

I’ve said it ‘afore, and I’ll say it again: I live in Atlanta, and Bush couldn’t lose Georgia even if he were caught in bed on live television with the proverbial dead girl or live boy, plus a shaved goat tied to the bedpost.


27 Responses to “Kerry-Nunn? Bush Should Be So Lucky”

  1. Matt Says:


    But suppose the goat was dead?

  2. Dean Says:


    OTOH, the rumor itself is interesting. What is Nunn’s greatest asset, besides being from the South?

    His knowledge of defense. When he was Senator, he was both pro-defense, and knowledgeable about the subject, both the programs, and the arcana.

    So, why would the rumor mill be suggesting that Kerry would pick Nunn?

    I’d suggest that this indicates that, at least among the rumor mongers, there is a view that Kerry is weak on defense, and that he needs to shore it up. (Notice, too, that Nunn would cover the same weaknesses as McCain, i.e., that he’s not only knowledgeable but strong on defense.)

    Methinks this suggests some fears in the Kerry camp that their candidate’s past, ah, views and votes on defense are going to come back to haunt him.

  3. Robert Says:

    Why not choose Cleland then? From what I’ve heard, he’s not a good campaigner but the Dems would drool over him debating Cheney. All he’d have to do is sit there in his wheelchair.

  4. David Says:

    You mean I’ll lose Georgia if I ever run for pres?


  5. Mike M Says:

    If you buy the theory that a VP is there to fill in gaps in the candidate’s personality, selecting Nunn doesn’t make any sense. Capable as he may be, he’s an old, boring, Washington indsider. Not exactly categories that Kerry needs help in. What would he gain?

    This would seem to point towards Edwards but there have been no indications that ticket is in play. Kerry will play the anticipation for all it’s worth, and the longer this goes on the more I feel that his final choice is going to be bizaare. With names like Browkaw and McCain floating around, just about anything is possible if it does well in focus groups.

  6. rick Says:

    I also live in the Atlanta and I don’t remember hearing Nunn’s name in the news for years until now. They could also be floating Nunn’s name around since he would counteract Edward’s perceived lack of experience. OTOH, as has been pointed out earlier, he would also counteract Edward’s charisma. Nunn would put tnyone to sleep. He’s like Bob Dole on downers.

  7. Karol Says:

    A little off the topic but do you think Herman Cain has a shot? I really like him.

  8. oyster Says:

    Another Edwards, former Louisiana guv, Edwin, came up with the dead girl/live boy quote. Colorful guy– now doing time in the pen, but he helped my state avert the never-to-be-forgotten nightmare of a Gov. David Duke.

    Anyways, Nunn can’t be a serious consideration if James Carville is within earshot of the deliberations, I’ll tell you that much.

    John boy Edwards all the way.

  9. Will Collier Says:

    Karol, I don’t know if Cain can get past Isakson’s (sp?) name recognition or not, but he’s got my vote. By far the most impressive candidate in the Senate race.

  10. MarkD Says:

    Just heard on FoxNews that John Breux (soon to be retiring Louisiana Senator) was seen leaving Kerry Campaign offices. Breaux would have a better shot at doing what Edwards is thought to do but can’t (deliver a Southern state). I thought that when McCain decisively rejected the post after Kerry asked one time too many that the game was over for him. if Breaux’s serious about the post, Kerry’s not dead yet.

  11. ralph phelan Says:

    I don’t care what Kerry *wants* in a VP candidate. What he’s actually going to *get* is somebody whose political fortunes are so low they can’t get any lower and/or someone who has nothing better to do for the next few months than participate in an obviously doomed endeavor.

  12. Cybrludite Says:

    MarkD, Not a chance in hell he’d deliver Louisiana. even if he’s something of a DINO. Kerry will get New Orleans & Baton Rouge, Bush the ‘burbs & the boondocks.

  13. JPS Says:

    Oyster, your comment reminded me of possibly the greatest political slogan of all time, which I read came from Republicans endorsing Edwin Edwards over Duke:

    “Vote for the crook. It’s important.”

  14. Ric Locke Says:

    “…Nunn might be the only potential VP mentioned thus far who’s even duller than Kerry on the stump..”

    I just saw whats-is-name, the Governor of Iowa, floated. Hey, I’ve been stopped for speeding in Iowa, and I can’t even find the ticket stub with the Governor’s name on it. How’s that for charisma? This is a man who can make a room a half-stop brighter by leaving. Makes Nunn look like JFK.

    The brothers Judd titled a post about the Democratic VP race “Down to Seeds and Stems Again.” Sounds about right.

    I’ve come to conclude it’s all a practical joke. There really will be a Democratic candidate, and he’ll be picked the old-fashioned way in Boston, smoke-filled rooms and all that. Kerry? Kerry’s just a placeholder, a fill-in, what us programmers call a “stub” — a routine that does nothing but satisfies the necessities while something more important is being worked on, a detail to be taken care of later. Hell, look at the polls — if you did one with “Any Democrat” vs. John Kerry, Kerry would come in at around 30%. They can’t be serious.

    Ric Locke

  15. rod Says:

    Dean said something pretty interesting. The traditional thought is to get a VP candidate who fills in the gaps in the Presidential candidates resume.

    Cheney added Washingon insider-ness, intelligence and gravity to Bush.

    In short, by having Nunn’s name floated, some Dem insider is guessing that Kerry’s defense record is not all that it was thought to be.

    Veeery interesting. The perception behind this is more interesting than the news itself.

  16. Mike M Says:

    Would Bill Clinton be eligible to run as VP?

    No, seriously. Would he?

  17. Dean Says:

    Mike M:

    No. Since he is not eligible to be President (having served two terms or 8 of 10 years, don’t recall off the top of my head what the Constitutional limits are), he cannot serve as Vice President either.

  18. Mike M Says:

    It’s 8 years if elected normally, potentially 10 if a VP takes over with less than half the remaining term and wins re-election twice.

    Here’s the text of Amendment 20: No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.

    You can’t be *elected* to the office of President more than twice, but it doesn’t mention succession into it. I also can’t find anything in the text that disqualifies Presidents from holding lesser office. I could have missed something though.

    Just from my reading of the raw text, it looks possible. Any Constitutional scholars out there?

  19. Dean Says:

    Mike M:

    See the 12th Amendment (last line).

    But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

    So, that would rule out anyone who had already been President for two terms, I believe.

  20. physics geek Says:

    I’ve seen Dick Gephardt’s name floated as a possibility. Actually, I don’t mind Gephardt, but let’s face it: he is one of a select group of possible VP candidates that would make Kerry look effervescent by contrast. Think Duller and Dullest.

  21. rosignol Says:

    Dean’t right. In order to serve as Veep, the candidate must satisfy the requirements to serve as President (which is, y’know, kinda the point of the office), which rules out Bill Clinton.

  22. Steve Teeter Says:

    Sam Nunn has a major strike against him with a bloc of voters that has been running mostly Democratic for a long time: gay voters. Remember that Clinton came into office with a promise to end the policy banning gays from serving in the military. Sen. Nunn, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, led the drive to block the change, and the end result was a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that in some ways was worse than the old one. Oh yes, we remember Nunn, and not with affection.

    It’s true that with Bush supporting the anti gay marriage constitutional amendment, gay voters don’t really have anywhere else to turn. But a Kerry-Nunn ticket could well piss off gays enough so that this otherwise highly motivated and reliable bloc of voters might just sit this one out. Kerry can not afford that.

  23. M. Scott Eiland Says:

    “Dean’t right. In order to serve as Veep, the candidate must satisfy the requirements to serve as President (which is, y’know, kinda the point of the office), which rules out Bill Clinton.”

    I’ve seen it argued the other way, with the argument leaning on the lack of specificity in banning the specific scenario that would bring Bubba in. My proposed riposte would be to have GWB put Reagan or Ike on the ticket as his running mate; after all, there’s nothing specific in the Constitution keeping dead people from running for President, either. Or the Supreme Court could slap the Dems down, giving them something else to whine about.

  24. Mike M Says:

    I yeild to Dean’s Constitutional superiority, but must ask the question…

    Since when has election law stopped Democrats from running whoever they want in an election?

    And I still say something fishy is going to happen in this election. A switcheroo, crazy back door scheme, or something unprecedentd in Presidential elections that if unsuccessful, will allow the Dems to have the matter decided by the courts.

    Even if they know they can’t win, I put nothing past them in trying to create chaos or a scenario where they can play the victim for all it’s worth.

  25. Common Sense Says:

    I’ve done a Google comparison of Kerry-VP possibilities. Kerry-Edwards is the most popular. Kerry-Nunn interest is almost zero.

    See my post here

  26. Bloodthirsty Warmonger Says:

    It says a lot about President Bush that he can attract high-powered leaders such as Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, Condoleezza Rice, and Dick Cheney to his administration. No, I don’t always agree with the things they do, but respect them all for being people of high caliber. Mediocrity, on the other hand, seeks out mediocrity, and I doubt that Kerry will select a vice presidential candidate who threatens to outshine him. Many Democrats already have a bad case of buyer’s remorse, and the last thing they want is another reminder of how much of a loser their candidate is.

  27. Michael Lonie Says:

    That was one of the things that made me conclude that Bush was a first-rater. A first-rater can have the humility to surround himself with other first-rate people. A second-rater like Clinton picks out third-raters.

    On dull politicians. Here is Churchill’s comment on Eisenhower’s Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles.

    “Dull, duller, dulles.”

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