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All networks lead with Kerry's choice for a running mate. ABC: Dan Harris/ NBC: Karl Quintanilla /CBS: Byron Pitts.
ABC's Dan Harris: ABC News has learned that last Thursday, Sen. Edwards interrupted a family vacation in Florida to fly back to Washington for a secret late-night meeting with Sen. Kerry, a meeting sources say went quite well. Today, Kerry held a large backyard BBQ for supporters at his wife's estate outside Pittsburgh, with no mention about what's expected to be an imminent announcement of a running mate. When asked by reporters whether his search is now focusing on Edwards, he said he has not made a decision yet. Kerry's Communications Chief said as of this morning, Kerry had not made up his mind about who he'll pick, but ABC News has learned that as the search focuses on Edwards, some Democrats were doing a last minute review of his records over the weekend. Edwards was on Boston today for a fundraiser on Kerry's behalf. As for the others thought to be on Kerry's short list, Gephardt fended off questions while walking his dog, and Sen. Hillary Clinton, considered a long shot at best, attended a pre-scheduled event in upstate New York. Kerry has insisted on maintaing an extremely high level of privacy during this process. Even aides who are with him around the clock, claim not to know what he is thinking. There are several Democratic sources with strong indications that Kerry is ready to make an announcement. Sources also tell us the Kerry campaign has put together a staff of 15 people, including a press secretary and chief of staff to serve whoever gets the nod.
NBC's Karl Quintanilla reports the Kerry campaign insists the Senator has not made up his mind. Speculation makes one think that he will make an announcement tomorrow. The presumed contender like Gephardt had little comment today: "I have to refer those questions to the Kerry campaign." There are clues that a nominee is in the works. Extra staffers have been flown in for a large scale morning rally. In the four months since Kerry launched his search, the leading prospects have been Gephardt, Edwards, and Vilsack. The guessing game has also been the campaign's most effective PR. Morris Reid: "also gives Kerry additional manpower." Kerry will make calls 30-60 minutes before the official announcement via email. In response, the Bush campaign is expected to launch ads emphasizing his ties to McCain, making it seem like whoever Kerry picks was not his first choice. We may have our answers in just a number of hours.
Brian Williams two-way with John Harwood of the Wall Street Journal:
JH: It does matter who the VP choice is. Kerry is looking to breakthrough in a way he has not been able to. He's go us right where he wants us now.