Over at the American Prospect, Howard Meyerson points to the Edwards pick as the closest to directly democratic process in recent memory of the selection of a VP. Meanwhile, Jeffrey Dubner argues that Republicans are looking at Kerry-Edwards but seeing Reagan-Bush: After a high-profile rejection by former President Gerald Ford during the Republican National Convention in July 1980, Ronald Reagan settled on the moderate George H.W. Bush, his main rival in the primaries...The question immediately posed to the duo: How would they overcome the differences that had marked the primary season?...Bush attacked Reagan's campaign planks as "false promises," even "Jimmy Carter–type promises." Reagan's economic plans amounted to a "no-growth proposal." Reagan, in return, decried Bush's "bland generalities" and said that he could not recall Bush "ever being specific about anything." As the bitterness deepened, Bush savaged Reagan on issues such as the disposal of nuclear waste and challenged "whether the governor is giving a lot of thought to some of the things he's saying and whether he's really prepared to handle some of these problems we're going to face in the '80s." The campaign constantly referenced the upcoming decade, seeking to portray Reagan as too old to adjust to new realities.... In comparison, the Kerry-Edwards primary looks more like a genial footrace than the Reagan-Bush wrestling match of 1980. The only genuine barb was on Edwards' relative experience; Kerry, at times, questioned whether one Senate term was enough to base a run for the presidency. After Kerry's most derisive offhand remark -- "When I came back from Vietnam in 1969, I don't know if John Edwards was out of diapers" -- he called Edwards to apologize, according to The New York Times. More often than not, the two highlighted their similarities on trade, economic, and foreign policy. Unlike in 1980, there will be no "voodoo economics" for the Bush-Cheney campaign to seize upon to mock the Kerry-Edwards ticket -- although they will doubtlessly try.


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