Contrasts That Complement


Mr. Kerry even took a risk or two in compensating for his own shortcomings, embracing a trial lawyer who has less governmental experience than any other major vice-presidential candidate in at least 20 years.

WASHINGTON, July 6 — In John Edwards, Senator John Kerry selected a running mate who embodies the very attributes that some Democrats worry that Mr. Kerry lacks: a vigorous campaign presence, an engaging personal manner and a crisp message that stirred Democrats from Iowa to New Hampshire.

Presidential candidates are always suspicious of anybody on the platform who outshines them. I remember how Lyndon used to chafe when Hubert was on the platform

As a result, many Democrats said Tuesday, this highest-profile decision of Mr. Kerry's public life was as instructive about the party's presumed presidential candidate as it was about Mr. Edwards. It was the move of a candidate who is proving to be methodical, discreet, coolly pragmatic and exceedingly self-assured; one who is so intensely focused on victory as to be presumably unruffled by the unflattering stylistic contrasts that will surely be drawn whenever he and Mr. Edwards share a stage.

"The fact that he's big enough to accept somebody on the ticket that has that kind of impressive and shiny personality — the public will see that," said Walter F. Mondale, the former vice president. "He was looking for someone who could add strength — not just geographically — to the ticket and help him get elected."


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