Dem 'Dreaming': Kerry-McCain Team

With the latest poll numbers showing Senator John Kerry in a virtual tie with President Bush, both sides are looking for an edge.

CBS News Correspondent Kelly Cobiella reports that some in the Kerry camp are dreaming of a split ticket with Republican senator John McCain as the vice presidential candidate.

"A lot of swing votes would be so impressed if either of the candidates find ways to reach some bipartisan common ground," columnist and political analyst Craig Crawford said.

McCain and Kerry, both former Vietnam veterans, are reportedly close friends and talk regularly. As recently as Wednesday, Kerry floated McCain's name as a possible secretary of defense, saying, "John McCain and I worked very closely together on a bunch of issues."

The Arizona senator insists he's totally ruled out the idea of teaming up with Kerry. However, those who follow McCain closely say the senator is upset over the Bush Administration's handling of Iraq, and he is still smarting from the way the Bush campaign handled him in the run for the Republican nomination in 2000.

If he did team up with Kerry, many believe it would be on condition they could agree to disagree, Cobiella reports.

"I guess McCain would do it with the caveat that he could disagree with his commander and chief in a time of war," said Mike Franc, of the American Heritage Foundation.

But would core Democrats accept a candidate for vice president they see as opposing abortion rights and affirmative action?

"The Democratic base would be apoplectic if a man with his social views were to be just a heartbeat away from the Democratic administration," Republican pollster Whit Ayres said.

Most pundits don't think Kerry would risk losing core voters for a chance at undecided voters. The McCain question could be settled by June 9th - the deadline for the senator to file reelection paperwork for his senate seat.
  • William Vitka

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