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Kerry-McCain Ticket "Makes So Much Sense," Prof. Ken Bode Writes in Op-Ed

March 19, 2004

March 19, 2004, Greencastle, Ind. - "The idea that John Kerry should take Republican John McCain as his running mate actually originated with an Indianapolis Star reader named Charlie Bunes," Ken Bode, Eugene S. Pulliam Distinguished Professor of Journalism at DePauw, writes in that newspaper today. "He first hatched the idea in response to a column I wrote suggesting that McCain head an investigation of corruption among war contractors. Charlie only half-liked that suggestion. He told me by e-mail that I was thinking too small. McCain, he said, could really shake things up if he were Kerry's vice president. Charlie's idea quickly moved into the cyber-sphere. Two days later, McCain was asked on ABC News: If Kerry made the offer, would you take it? McCain seemed perplexed, as if the thought had never occurred to him. Perhaps it had not. But he took the question seriously."

On that program and on the spot, Sen. McCain answered that he would indeed consider the notion of running with Kerry, who like McCain is a Navy man and Vietnam veteran. Professor Bode notes, "Imagine the incoming fire McCain took from fellow Republicans... Soon McCain's office put out a statement. The senator misspoke. He is not interested. Besides, Kerry would never take a pro-life Republican. But Charlie's idea is still ratcheting around the cable talk shows and flooding the political blogs. That is because it is so interesting and it makes so much sense."

In his latest op-ed, Bode, nationally recognized as a political analyst for CNN, NBC and PBS, asserts, "Kerry-McCain is Karl Rove's worst nightmare. In 2000, for as long as he was in the race, McCain demonstrated a powerful appeal for independents... Outside Iowa, New Hampshire and a few other states, most Americans have no firm footing about who Kerry is. Rove's purpose is to define Kerry before he can define himself. So they are attacking his strengths, his military and foreign policy record, his national security credentials. Make his strength a weakness. In campaigns like this, each party secures its own base and Independents become the swing voters. McCain reshuffles Rove's deck. Others that might like a Kerry-McCain pairing are the millions of young voters entering the system for the first time, along with those newcomers to politics that Howard Dean found on the Internet."

You can read the complete column at College News.org.

Ken Bode's other recent op-eds on Campaign 2004 can be accessed by clicking here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Joe Trippi, who managed Howard Dean's unsuccessful run for the White House, commented on a possible Kerry-McCain ticket during his Crain Lecture at DePauw earlier this week. Read more, and access audio clips, by clicking here.

Source: Indianapolis Star

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