2004 Democratic Party vice presidential candidate selection

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North Carolina Senator John Edwards (right) was chosen as the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2004.

This article discusses John Kerry's presidential campaign's vice-presidential candidate selection process that began after Kerry became the presumptive Democratic Party candidate for president of the United States of America in the 2004 election campaign.

Kerry announced on July 6, 2004 that his choice for running mate was Senator John Edwards of North Carolina.[1] The discussion of the possibilities is preserved below for historical interest:

Vice presidential candidate possibilities[edit]

Some of the candidates mentioned as potential picks included the following individuals who held high political offices:





Some recently retired figures who still had an important place on the national stage were also considered to be in the running:

Kerry selected a vice presidential candidate from among former challengers for the Democratic nomination:

  • Sen. John R. Edwards - North Carolina, the last major rival to Kerry during the primary season. Political pundits had openly speculated for months that Edwards's campaign was simply an "audition for vice-president." Edwards's campaign refused to actively criticize fellow Democratic challengers, including Kerry, and Edwards' concession speech upon withdrawing from the race spoke highly of Kerry.
  • Former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun - Illinois
  • Gen. Wesley Clark (ret.) - Arkansas[3]
  • Former Gov. Howard Dean - Vermont
  • Rep. Richard Gephardt - Missouri[3]
  • Sen. Bob Graham - Florida; Former Governor of Florida

Some moderate or maverick Republicans were also mentioned, especially U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona. McCain caused widespread speculation by suggesting in March 2004 that he might consider an offer from Kerry, although he later claimed that was not a serious comment, and that he supported Bush's reelection.[4] A May 2004 poll showing a Kerry-McCain pairing with a 14% lead over a Bush-Cheney ticket further fueled speculation,[5] reportedly leading to serious overtures from Kerry inviting McCain to join the ticket. However, McCain reportedly personally refused the overtures, laying most further speculation to rest.

Other Republicans that were occasionally mentioned as potential running mates include:


  1. ^ "Kerry names Edwards his running mate". CNN. July 6, 2004. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Meyer, Dick (February 11, 2009). "Kerry's VP List". CBSNews.com. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Halbfinger, David M. (June 6, 2004). "THE 2004 ELECTION: THE NO. 2 SPOT; Potential Kerry Running Mates Vie to Sing His Praises Loudest". The New York Times. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Kuhnhenn, James (March 11, 2004). "Kerry-McCain 2004? Not Likely". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c "Poll: Kerry-McCain Would Beat Bush-Cheney". USA Today. Associated Press. May 27, 2004. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  6. ^ Sobczyk, Joe (May 16, 2004). "McCain `Categorically' Rules Out Running With Kerry". Bloomberg. Retrieved July 16, 2013.