POLITICS
06/28/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Ambinder: Time To Vet The VP Candidates

Just after twilight on July 1, 2004, John Kerry slipped through the garden in the back of his Georgetown town house. Accompanied by a single aide and two Secret Service agents, he walked about 60 feet uphill, crossed a side street, and entered the home of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. There he found a fellow senator, John Edwards, waiting for him.

Edwards had just flown in from a private Florida airfield near Disney World. As Kerry and Edwards began the conversation that persuaded the Massachusetts Democrat to choose the North Carolinian as his running mate, reporters from the major news networks, a wire service, and The New York Times milled about in front of Kerry's house. A source deep within the Democratic advance world had tipped them off that the party's presidential nominee would secretly meet that night with the person he would most likely ask to join his ticket. Kerry returned home by 9 p.m. Shortly afterward, floor by floor, the lights went out. The reporters left. Kerry announced his decision on July 6 on his own terms.

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