Rounding another turn in the race to November 4, "Election Guide - Potential Running Mates," compiled by Adam Nagourney and Jeff Zeleny and posted to nytimes.com on Monday, handicapped various potential vice presidents for Barack Obama and John McCain and analyzing whether they would help or hurt the candidate.
The initial filing contained twenty-one names, 11 potential Democrats and 10 potential Republicans (Democratic Sen. Jim Webb's name has since been removed after he took himself out of consideration). The rundown included seven uses of the word "conservative" as a description of either one of the candidates or a group of party supporters, including one "conservative Democrat," former senator Sam Nunn.
We learned South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham "has occasionally rankled some conservatives by not being conservative enough," that former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge might not help with "McCain's already uneasy relations with conservatives," and that South Dakota Sen. John Thune "has strong credentials with social conservatives."
By contrast, not a single "liberal" was found in a lineup that included John Edwards and Hillary Clinton.
The Times didn't even talk about possible opposition from "liberal" voters to some Democratic picks, although the paper had plenty of opportunity to when discussing controversial Sen. Jim Webb, a blood-and-soil Democrat:
But any vetting process would have to take into account the vast writings of Mr. Webb, a former author, who has penned tales about the Confederacy that are controversial in the eyes of some, as well as his on-the-record comments about women serving in the military.
As for "conservative Democrat" Sam Nunn:
Mr. Obama would certainly encounter some heat from his supporters if he turned to Mr. Nunn.
Instead of vague words like "some" or "supporters," why can't the Times simply state the obvious - that those who would oppose Nunn and Webb are liberals -in the same manner the paperso freely tosses aroundthe term "conservatives"?