Diana West

I find myself in a curious emotional state over the announcement of a winner in the John Kerry veepstakes. The hackles on the back of my neck, raised up by the ghastly sound of a hundred news anchors cooing, have long settled since the
Democratic presidential nominee announced that John Edwards was his running mate.
My ensuing calm has ended in a surge of confidence that Bush-Cheney will defeat Kerry-Edwards come November. Why, then, am I so darn mad?

First, more on the hackles. They are simply natural reactions to the Voice of the Democratic National Committee -- a.k.a., each and every news network (sans Fox) -- as it cranks up the big build-up on the Kerry-Edwards ticket without mentioning the political bottom line: that John Kerry, the most liberal U.S. Senator last year, picked as his running mate John Edwards, the fourth most liberal U.S. Senator last year.

Such reportorial reticence wasn't evident four years ago when George W. Bush tapped Dick Cheney for the veep spot. As the Media Research Center reminds us, the media hammered home Cheney's conservative voting record from Day One -- with all consternation, and no cream puff. This week, all we get is journo-junk food. NBC's Carl Quintanilla promotes Edwards' "rock star status." ABC's Kate Snow laments that business groups plan to "beat up on" John Edwards' background as a trial lawyer. ABC's Peter Jennings asks Edwards, "What were you like as a kid?" And, "I gather you were a hell of a lawyer."

Such penetrating questions may (or may not) explain why Jennings gets the big bucks, but nothing explains why Edwards is the man to stand that one heartbeat we hear about away from the presidency. And this is the point that dispels all goose bumps: John Edwards may be Peter Jennings' idea of a good lawyer, but a career of arguing cases before North Carolina juries, even augmented by five years in the U.S. Senate, has in no way given John Edwards the foreign policy expertise essential to supporting or possibly assuming the presidency in the middle of this global war on jihadist terrorism. The bankruptcy of Kerry's first presidential judgment is staggering. This, for Bush supporters, should be a relief.


Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).