The Note

The image of a presidential candidate standing next to Jay Leno on a retro psychadelic game show set was surreal enough, but the contestants' fame and racy answers made it downright Fellini-esque. The participants included Oscar-nominated actress Jennifer Tilly, the lithe blonde Republican/radio megastar consultant Kim Serafin, and actress Cybil Shepherd.

Some highlights (or, one could argue, lowlights):

* Jennifer Tilly asking in her best Betty Boop voice "How's your hanging chad?" * Cybil Shepherd screaming "I'm ready for a wardrobe malfunction!" after which she lifted up her dress to reveal satin pink underwear. * Shepherd towering over Kucinich and trying to make out with him after not being picked, then reprising the skrit-lifting to make sure Kucinich had the chance to see it. * Serafin, in what's safe to call a politically incorrect answer, claiming that if she were First Lady and the Chinese president came to the White House, she assumes he'd be bringing take-out so would order the number 4.

Kucinich ended up choosing Bachelorette number 1, Jennifer Tilly, and seemed genuinely shocked and delighted a the contestants' true identities. One can only assume he would have preferred to stay and have a real interview with Jay before heading out, but instead the vegan and his date were sent to dinner on the show at the raw food eatery Raw.

Read more from the trail with Kucinich on LINK

ABC Vote 2004: The Veepstakes obsession begins!:

Ms. Calmes of the Wall Street Journal writes of the Kerry camp's Veepstakes chatter in this week's Washington Wire. Says the piece, "Edwards' campaign skills make him an early favorite, but the odds against his carrying home-state North Carolina hurt his prospects. Missouri's 11 electoral votes give native son Gephardt appeal; he also might help in Ohio. Other candidates: Florida Sen. Graham, Govs. Vilsack of Iowa and Richardson of New Mexico."

So when will Kerry, if he becomes the nominee, make a pick? Some "strategists outside the Kerry campaign expect he will pick soon," with Bill Carrick finding the arguments in favor of this tack "compelling." But the paper wonders: whither the post-convention bounce if this happens?

The AP's McDonough takes a historical tour of vice presidents who at some point said they had no interest in being vice president. LINK

And Knight Ridder's Morrill writes that some people really would like Edwards to be able to take the job if it's offered eventually -- at the very least so that some enthusiastic (though possibly premature) Kerry-Edwards 2004 bumper stickers don't go to waste. LINK

In National Journal's Insiders Poll, the mag went for Kerry's veep rather than the experts' choices for no. 1. And guess who won? Yup. John Edwards, followed by Gephardt, Richardson, and two other gents who ran for president . . .

Christina Bellatoni of the Washington Times reports on speculation that Virginia Gov. Mark Warner is on Kerry's "short list." LINK

The results are in . . .

As Noted yesterday, Fred Hochberg's 3rd Annual Valentine's Day luncheon at the Gramercy Park restaurant Craft surveyed a who's who of Democratic women on who they would want as a vice presidential candidate and who they thought would be selected.

Just as in the 2004 primaries and caucuses thus far, these ladies came out in record numbers. Seventy-three women were surveyed and as promised, these are the results.

1. Who do you want for vice president?

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