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The blockbuster choice for John Kerry's VP is…

By Paul M. Weyrich
web posted May 31, 2004

John Kerry, who came close to passing up the Democratic convention in Boston as the city in which to accept his party's nomination, is said to be struggling with a choice for VP.

He says he wants to think outside of the box. He is said to want someone who will electrify the nation, while not turning off his base. This is why John McCain's name keeps coming up.

Always seeking to be helpful, even with politicians with whom I disagree, I have a few suggestions for Kerry to consider.

Michael JacksonFirst, Michael Jackson. Kerry says that George Bush has ruined our image abroad. Well, Michael Jackson is regarded as a hero abroad. Vice Presidents are frequently used by Presidents to represent them to other nations. Imagine Jackson at the Court of St. James. Of course, Jackson would overshadow Kerry. We don't know how the likely Democratic nominee would feel about that but with all of the advantages of Jackson, I'm sure Kerry wouldn't mind. While Kerry's profile has been compared with that of an undertaker…compared with Michael Jackson, Kerry would look remarkably normal. Besides, such a move would wrap up the pedophile vote. And with the number of the times Jackson has changed his stories, especially about his plastic surgery, it would absolutely diminish the issue of Kerry having been on both sides of all of the issues.

Second, Donald Trump. It is true that Trump has been a nominal Republican, but the chance for more publicity would be irresistible for "The Donald." Kerry has been critical of George Bush claiming that the President has been unwilling to part with those who are responsible for 9/11, the Iraqi prison scandal and other problems. Kerry could assure Americans that anytime he felt a member of his cabinet needed to take responsibility for a problem he would send Trump to say, "You're fired." The problem for Kerry is that after about 15 minutes as Vice President, Trump would be bored. And when Trump is bored he usually gets into trouble. Further, since he has said previously that he is smarter than most Presidents, one day he might just tell Kerry "you're fired."

Third, Martha Stewart. Martha is a Democrat so Kerry wouldn't have to worry about offending his base. Kerry has not been doing well with stay-at-home moms. These stay-at-home moms may well watch Martha as she whips up things in the kitchen. It is true she may have to go off to prison before Kerry's first term would be up. But there is nothing in the Constitution that prevents the Vice President from being in the slammer. Besides, as President, Kerry could pardon Martha. He could hold that over her head to be sure she didn't exercise her widely known independent streak. However, the gender gap would be even greater with Martha on the ticket. Unfortunately for Kerry, it would be a male gender gap and the beneficiary would be George Bush.

Teresa Heinz Kerry and John KerryFourth, Teresa Heinz Kerry. The Constitution says that the President and Vice President cannot come from the same state. No problem here. The Supreme Court says that residency is a matter of intent. Mrs. Kerry could claim that Pittsburgh is her residence, while Senator Kerry would claim Boston. Teresa seems to think of herself more as Mrs. Heinz than as Mrs. Kerry, so she could tell voters that she really is her own person. After all, it is she who owns the SUV. Bill Clinton pioneered the idea of getting two for the price of one. Thanks to Bill, Hillary was a kind of co-President. That caused all sorts of problems and questions of authority. Well, with Teresa that would not be a problem. John would clearly have the upper hand. If Teresa misbehaved, she could always be sent to preside over the Senate. Federal regulations say that Teresa can't use her fortune to promote her husband's candidacy. But if she were the VP nominee she could use unlimited funds to promote herself. And if she was elected Vice President, she could pull her husband along as well.

Fifth, any one of the "Friends." As far as I know, only one of them has secure employment. A record number of voters watched the final shows. Their lifestyles would definitely fit in with the Kerry vote. None of them ever seemed to have a job. They didn't seem to know much of what was going on. They traded partners and had babies without benefit of marriage. With one of them on the ticket Kerry surely could appeal to the twenty-something vote. And maybe he could just trade off among the Friends and have different Vice Presidents. Whichever one would actually run with him could resign after a few months and Kerry could appoint one of others, who also could resign after a time so that during his four years he would make it through everyone of the Friends.

Finally, and this would be the real Blockbuster, how about Fantasia Barrino? The new "American Idol." Granted, at 19 she would not be eligible to take office for the entire Kerry term, but if she helps Kerry win, who cares? She could sing at the inauguration and forever carry the title Vice President-elect. Talk about someone who embodies the American dream! And she is a single mother to boot. With her recording contract and the endorsements she is likely to garner, she can certainly pay her own way. She received almost as many votes as Kerry expects to get. Of course people did vote multiple times and she would have to explain to registered voters that only once is permitted. (Well, legal anyway.) Think of it…a Vice President who could truly grow in office.

Well, those are my suggestions. If he chose any one of these, I guarantee that he would shake up the political world. If he declines to choose any of these, he can't blame me if he doesn't win.

Paul M. Weyrich is CEO and Chairman of the Free Congress Foundation.

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