The Note

Mr. Hochberg, who served as deputy administrator and acting administrator of the Small Business Administration and served on President Clinton's management council, is now dean of the Milano Graduate School at New School University and a supporter of the John Kerry for President campaign.

Expected guests Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, Karenna Gore Schiff, Ann Richards, Lillian Vernon and others will dine on a simple, do-it-yourself, "family style in an era of family values," three-course-meal.

Instead of numbers, the tables will be named, cleverly, after possible VP choices. And just remember where you heard this list first!

The tables will be named after Sen. John Edwards (who has apparently been written off as a presidential candidate by the survey committee), Rep. Dick Gephardt, Gov. Bill Richardson, former Sen. Bob Kerrey, Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, Gov. Tom Vilsack, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Sen. Hillary Clinton, and Sen. Evan Bayh.

The survey will be done by colorful, graphically-enhanced paper ballots. Some of the highlights? Next to Sen. Clinton's name is a picture of the Empire State Building, next the Sen. McCain's is the RNC emblem, Gen. Clark is represented by the army logo, and Sen. Bayh by a picture of the Capitol.

The menu will be three courses, and "with [the furor over] mad cow disease" (and to maintain those girlish figures) lots of veggies. The first course will consist of arugula salad, beet salad, celery root remoulade, roasted red peppers, and chickpea salads. The second course will feature roasted organic chicken, roasted arctic char, potato puree, assorted mushrooms, braised carrots, and broccoli rabe (or Sicilian broccoli if available). Dessert will be, as mentioned, plates of petit fours and cookies.

This is a classy luncheon. There are even gift bags containing the goods of Estee Lauder, Lillian Vernon, and "some surprises."

Last year's theme? The tables were named after Mr. Hochberg's exes and his dog (he ran out of exes).

The Note will report (exclusively of course) the results of this scientific survey tomorrow.

ABC Vote 2004: The Veepstakes obsession begins!:

With Sen. Kerry seemingly on a glide path to the Democratic presidential nomination, the already incessant discussion of Kerry's running mate will gather momentum -- as will talk of who Kerry will ask to join his cabinet.

As regular readers of The Note might suspect, we find such discussion as distasteful as it is distracting. But we have an idea so good about who should be Kerry's running mate that we want to be the first ones to float it seriously.

Let's dispense with Sen. Edwards for just a moment. Despite the Tarheel's frequent and surprisingly definitive disavowals of interest, we understand how the son-of-a-millworker might be a nice complement to the Boston Brahmin.

On "This Week," this past Sunday, Edwards said "that is true" when asked by George Stephanopoulos to confirm he'd rule out accepting a nod. But then he said, "You don't know what's going to happen a month, three months, six months from now."

True that.

But in this first post-9/11 presidential election, credibility on national security is paramount.

That's why we think that an "all-Nam" ticket may prove even more appealing than some Southern comfort.

If Kerry wants a running mate who will reinforce his strengths, he may want to pick Bob Kerrey, his fellow combat veteran and virtual-namesake.

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