The Jewish Veepstakes


Editor's note: On August 3, after this story was published, Vice President Gore announced that he had narrowed his list of possible running mates to six people plus one "wild card." By August 6, insiders suggested that Gore had narrowed his choices to three -- and that Joseph Lieberman was one of those three. For the first time in American history, it appears there is a genuine possibility of a Jewish vice-presidential candidate.

It's veepstakes season again, and that means all the most predictable traditions of American politics are on display: the leaked lists of "sure things" who actually stand little chance, the denials of interest from prospects who are maneuvering feverishly to be picked, the media predictions that are certain to be wrong. Study those leaked lists and one very non-traditional development jumps out, though: A striking number of the possible veeps are Jewish. There has never been a Jewish major-party presidential or vice-presidential candidate, nor a Jewish occupant of the other White House "job": first lady. Now it appears that the chance of a major-party Jewish vice-presidential candidate is the highest it has been in the nation's history.

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