In the run up to the American presidential elections we will be asking a panel of voters - selected from as wide a cross-section of people as possible across the US - to share their views on the key issues.
MEET THE PANEL
Name: Jim Hill
Lives: Sudbury, Massachusetts
Job: Equipment finance manager
Current voting intention: Republican
In 10 words or less: "Family man, business owner, community volunteer, gardener, fisherman, sports fan"
This is another Kerry flip-flop, like his abortion position.
Kerry time and again made unkind statements about Edwards during the primaries. He even mocked him publicly.
But he was forced by the people financing his campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to swallow his pride and choose Edwards.
Adding one of the most liberal-voting senators to the Kerry ticket will not provide the right balance to attract moderates.
Edwards' support for an Iraq invasion prior to 9/11, plus his dismissal of US action being bound by UN approval, would see him relentlessly attacked by the Democrats, if he wasn't on their ticket.
It shows Edwards has similar views to Cheney but where Edwards, like Kerry, has never run a large enterprise or managed public employees it's hard to see what he brings to the ticket that makes up for Kerry's weaknesses.
This contrasts sharply with Cheney's history of high level civic duty since 1969, which he immediately brought to his VP role.
This announcement will add needed zing to Kerry's campaign, but who does he hire to his administration to actually do anything if elected?
Jim is right about one thing: John Kerry has filp-flopped on his running mate, who he once criticized. This reminds me of another president who chose his rival to be his vice-president: Ronald Reagan.
Pavitra Pandey, Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA
I agree with Jim Hill. I encourage anyone, whether Democrat or Republican, to look into both of the John's voting records and stands on policies and they will clearly see a "flip-flop" history. These two candidates seem to stand for only what is popular at the moment or what may serve their election purposes. With Bush, his views may not always be popular, but he stands behind them and is not afraid to do what he thinks is best for his country, not what is popular at the moment. Fighting terrorism is going to take someone who will not waiver in his task.
Cheryl Calloway, Birmingham, US
Jim seems to be doing some flip-flopping of his own, John Edwards, according to Jim, is simultaneously one of the "most liberal-voting senators" while he also "has similar views to Cheney" which would seem mutually exclusive to me.
Cian, Nashville, TN USA
Another Kerry flip-flop? Stop believing everything that Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity tell you. Yes, Kerry has said unkind things about Edwards, but it was during the presidential primary! Do you honestly believe that Bush would have behaved differently? You say that Kerry and Edwards have never run a large enterprise or managed public employees. What about Bush's experience running large enterprises? Didn't he run most of them into the ground?
Thomas Barry, San Francisco, CA, USA
Edwards brings a youthful optimism and a lack of 'fear of the world' that the present administration shows in all of its foreign policies. He has a healthy respect for the American Constitution and the rule of law. The administration looks at both as an impediment to work around to do whatever it wants to do, the wrong approach for a professed democracy.
Pahl Scharping, South Beach, OR USA
Jim is definitely right. The Kerry-Edwards ticket is the most liberal in US history. Forget about gathering support in the south; Edwards is even unpopular in his own southern state. And like Kerry, he is a flip-flopper. To address what John Crombie said, flip-flopping is a bad thing because for a politician, it shows that they are indecisive and are ready to change their beliefs for political gain.
Tim, Bethesda, MD, USA
Jim, I'm pretty sure you don't want to remind people of Cheney's connection to Halliburton if you want to see him re-elected.
Gregory, Arlington, VA USA
I hope we're all tired of hearing this strange word 'flip-flop' by now. Brainwashed individuals like Jim Hill, eagerly spitting out sound bites from the Republican election strategists, have taken to applying the term in every argument on Kerry, from his choice of Vice President to his views on any political issue, and it's becoming so tiresome that the term will have ceased to have any effect on genuine undecided and independent voters by November. I'm no big Kerry fan, but this comes over as schoolyard name-calling and does nothing for anything.
Stephen, Boston, USA
I agree with you completely, Jim. Edwards adds nothing valuable to the Kerry ticket, Kerry doesn't know what he stands for, and the Democrats are still not worth voting for. That doesn't mean I support Bush. Things are changing, and a third choice is looking better and better every election.
Alec Brite, Champaign, IL
Despite the fact that Mr. Hill and I live in the same state (one town over) we couldn't be further apart. Dick Cheney has a high level of civic duty? Since when? From Dick taking seven draft deferments during the Viet Nam war, to his complexity with the largest beneficiary of the war on Terrorism (Halliburton of course), this VP has only looked out for himself and his friends. We need regime change right here at home. It's simply time for the USA to rejoin the world.
Dan Sarazen, Weston, MA USA
I certainly don't understand the made up flip-flop issue. Jim is a hypocrite if he is voting for Bush because of Kerry's "flip-flops." Let me remind Jim that we're in Iraq because of WMD/the al-Queda connection/Saddam was bad. That's three Bush flips on one issue. How about working against the creation of a 9/11 commission, then saying you support it. Over the course of a 20 year political life where the world is changing, I would hope that whoever is in a position of power could change their view to fit in the world as it is now.
Steven Kofsky, Brooklyn, USA
Who says Kerry needs to attract more moderates? Perhaps he needs to concern himself with the 5% to 7% that could easily vote for Nader because they don't feel Kerry represents their interests. Choosing Edwards goes a long way towards bringing some humanity into his campaign. Cheney may have a high level of "civic leadership", but he also has so many murky ties to Halliburton that he should be far more of a liability than Edwards!
Franzine, Appleton, USA
It is interesting that Jim criticizes Kerry for "making unkind statements" about Edwards during primary season. George W. Bush ran a ruthless campaign against John McCain in the 2000 Republican primaries, and now counts on him for support. Negative campaigning is just part of the game. There are plenty more legitimate criticisms of Kerry - there's no need to jump on trivial issues, or to repeat the Republican party line.
Nick, Hoboken, New Jersey, USA
Of course Kerry attacked Edwards during the primaries - they were running against each other! Pointing to Kerry choosing Edwards as a "flip-flop" simply ignores the realities of how political campaigns are run by both sides in the USA today.
Justin Kim, New York, NY USA
An uninspired choice by an uninspiring candidate.
Chris Albin-Lackey, New York, New York, USA
Jim, that's politics! If Kerry's selection of Edwards is a flip-flop, then what is it with Bush's commercials with McCain? After all Bush said a lot of unflattering things about McCain in the 2000 primary campaign.
James, Bellingham, USA
Flip-flop is not necessarily a bad thing. It suggests that he listens to the people. May be if current administration listened to the people before the war in Iraq we would not be in this mess.
John Crombie, Oakland, CA