GEPHARDT FOR VEEP?….Rumors appear to be flying among knowledgable Democrats and Kerry insiders that Dick Gephardt currently has the inside track to be Kerry’s pick for vice president.

If it’s true this is inexplicable. Gephardt obviously doesn’t have much resonance with voters (he’s run for president twice and done poorly both times), he doesn’t really help Kerry much regionally, his record as House majority leader is pretty uninspiring, and he’s yet another longtime Washington insider. What exactly does he have going for him?

Well, I guess the soundbite version is that he’s an economic nationalist with a strong record on national defense. Maybe that sounds good to some of the people around Kerry, since it helps him with the working class and shores up his national security credentials.

Maybe, but color me unconvinced. Democrats are simply sticking their heads in the sand if they don’t believe that this entire campaign is going to be about national security first last and always, regardless of whether or not that’s what they wish it were about. What Kerry needs is a veep who gives him the maximum possible national security oomph.

John McCain? Wes Clark? William Perry? Beats me, but national security chops should be the only thing that matters. Eyes on the prize.

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