Local Democrats React To Kerry's Choice For VP

By Dina Kaplan

(LOUISVILLE, July 6th, 2004, 10 p.m.) -- Top Democrats in Louisville say Edwards adds energy and charisma to John Kerry's ticket. In fact, some wonder if Senator Edwards could outshine his running mate. WAVE 3's Dina Kaplan reports.

In a few months, we'll see a vice presidential debate: John Edwards versus Dick Cheney. County Attorney Irv Maze says he is looking forward to it. "I might actually watch it." Maze says the debate will showcase Edwards' strengths, especially his "youth and newness."

Louisville Mayor Jerry Arbamson expressed similar feelings. "He reached out for someone who is new, who is younger, who is very articulate."

But Commonwealth Attorney Dave Stengel says it's also possible the charisma that made Edwards a favorite presedential candidate on the campaign trail this past winter could cause Kerry some concern, and that there are "probably a lot of Democrats out there wishing it were an Edwards-Kerry ticket."

Republican Metro Council President Kelly Downard faults Kerry for not learning lessons from friends in film. "You never have your stand-in be more energetic and more photogenic than yourself."

Abramson, however, applauds Kerry's choice. "I think the two Johns will make a great ticket." Mayor Abramson had supported his old friend, Dick Gephardt, first for president, then for vice president. But Abramson now says Edwards represents the future of the party.

Stengel agrees, and is even offering to help the campaign to do "whatever I can."

Downard says Edwards is "an unusual pick." He voiced concerns about Edwards' former career as an attorney. "At a time when I think medical costs are going up dramatically, we have the pick of a trial attorney who made all his money on trials on medical cases."

But Maze, a former trial attorney himself, says making fun of lawyers is easy and insincere. "If you go back into times of trouble, our country has turned to people of that profession."

Indiana Senator Evan Bayh had been mentioned as a possibile choice for Kerry's running mate. Abramson says he may have still have his chance with Hillary Clinton in four or eight years.

Online Reporter: Dina Kaplan

Online Producer: Roger Seay