Vetting Time

Marc has a National Journal cover story on veep vetting:

So what makes a VP search a good one? And at what point can that be determined? Is it once the nation reacts to the nominee's announcement? By that standard, Bill Clinton's choice of Al Gore in 1992 was masterful. Yet Gore's selection of Joe Lieberman in 2000 was initially greeted with enthusiasm, largely because the senator from Connecticut was the first Jew on a major party's ticket. Gore's aides, however, found that Lieberman was not as much of a team player as they had expected. Is it on Election Night? Think back to 1960, when John F. Kennedy decided he could stomach running with Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson, who had led a "Stop Kennedy" movement. The Texan helped the Democratic ticket win the Lone Star State--and with it the election. Is it once the choice has served as vice president? Although George W. Bush's selection of his vice presidential search team head, Dick Cheney, led to weeks of distracting questions during the 2000 campaign, once in office, Cheney--even his critics agree--made the vice presidency more powerful than ever before. Or is a selection that creates no unwanted drama good enough? In 1988, political considerations principally motivated Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis to select Sen. Lloyd Bentsen of Texas. And Bentsen certainly chewed up Quayle during their lone debate.