Punching the Reheat Button

Campaign Desk saw it coming: a slow week for campaign news, the kind of week in which aimless reporters with too much time on their hands decide to inflict their readers with endless news-free speculations about just who Sen. John Kerry is going to choose as his running mate.

Today, the Boston Globe’s Glen Johnson puts Sen. John Edwards on the couch and renders a diagnosis. “More than any other potential number two, Edwards is waging a passive-aggressive bid for the vice president,” Johnson writes, pointing to the contrast between Edwards’s flurry of Kerry-boosting activities in recent weeks and his aides’ smiling denials that he is angling for the number two job. We diligently searched high and low for anything new in the story. Apart from a “denial from [Ted] Kennedy [of] any favoritism to Edwards,” it was slim pickings.

But as lame as it was, the Globe still outdid FoxNews.com. Desperate, in all likelihood, for something to fill the space (we feel their pain) between Reagan-related reports, today Fox trots out someone else’s leftovers: a two-day-old Associated Press story about the Kerry camp poring over old newspaper columns penned by Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, another supposed VP contender — a story which, Campaign Desk noted two days ago, was itself first reported on May 31 by the Chicago Tribune (registration required).

Luckily, The Onion comes through this week with some breaking veepstakes news in a front-page story headlined:

“Kerry names 1969 Version of Himself as Running Mate.”

Liz Cox Barrett

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.