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Foolish Questions

Edwards Rules Out Vice-President Role

Senator John Edwards, who trails in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, categorically rejected today the possibility of becoming the vice-presidential running-mate to front-runner John Kerry.

Asked how he would respond if party leaders implored him to take the second spot on the Democratic ticket to his Senate colleague from Massachusetts, Edwards told CBS television: "I will say no."

"To bring the change that I believe needs to be brought to this country ... I need to be president of the United States. That's what this is about for me," said Edwards, 50, who has won praise for his warm campaign demeanor.

Why would you bother asking a candidate whether they'd accept the #2 spot? Of course they're going to say no, because saying yes requires them to address the possibility that they may lose -- something that no candidate will do until their concession speech. Further, if Edwards had said yes, that would have weakened his support, because people would feel like they had the "safety net" of getting him to be vice-president even if he didn't win. The most this reporter did was to make it harder for Edwards to take the vice president nomination because he was forced to go on record declining it.


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