Monday, March 15, 2004


For a long time I've dismissed the idea of a Kerry-Dean ticket for many reasons (geography, personal animus, differing campaign styles, etc.). But this thread over at the DailyKOS brings back the idea and, for the first time, makes me think it isn't as outrageous as previously thought.

First of all, the geography issue is still of concern, especially considering that that geography is New England. But the Clinton-Gore model showed that, in certain circumstances, a "non-balanced" ticket might actually provide a more focused appeal than one that was blatantly designed to be more geographically balanced. There is also something appealing about the idea of blowing out the New England curse with a two-fer ticket like this.

Second, the personal animus may not be as bad as previously thought, especially considering the kind words both Dean and Kerry have had for each other of late. Much worse political enemies have partnered up (Kennedy-Johnson anyone?)

Third, Kerry's campaign style has switched much more towards the combative Dean style, thus they might mesh much better than previously thought.

Also, Dean could bring a couple of big advantages to the ticket: he would almost certainly sew up the base in a big way for Kerry. I've said before that I think this campaign will come down to who screws up the least and who can best get their base out to vote. A Kerry-Dean ticket would definitely do that.

Furthermore, many Democrats expressed the thought during the primary season that their hearts were with Dean but their minds were with Kerry. A Kerry-Dean ticket would be a unification of heart and mind that could be greater than the sum of its parts.

And then there is the fundraising and organizational prowess that Dean could bring to the team. Dean's campaign may not have been experienced enough to know what to do with the raw manpower it had at its disposal. But more experienced hands in the Democratic party might be able to make better use of it.

I still consider this to be an unlikely scenario. But it is no longer the impossibility I once thought it was.


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