Vice President Al Gore has narrowed his list of potential running mates and is nearing a decision on who will join him on the Democratic ticket, sources tell ABCNEWS.
With all eyes on Texas Gov. George W. Bush and the GOP convention in Philadelphia, Democratic sources tell ABCNEWS Gore is down to a short list of a handful of prospective candidates. The sources, who are familiar with Gore’s search process, say that list includes North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh and House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt of Missouri.
Gore will formally announce his choice next Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET in Nashville, Tenn. With the news conference — scheduled for five days after the Republican National Convention — the Democratic presidential candidate is hoping to blunt any potential “bounce” in support Bush may receives from the GOP gathering.
The day after the announcement, Gore and his newly named running mate will travel to the home state of the vice-presidential candidate as part of an effort to rally support for the full ticket in advance of the Democratic convention, which is set to get under way in Los Angeles on Aug. 14.
As Republicans meet to nominate Bush and his running mate, Dick Cheney, Gore is vacationing on Figure Eight Island, a private resort in North Carolina. In the last week, however, he has consulted by phone with former Secretary of State Warren Christopher, the man leading his vice-presidential search.
Gore also made what aides describe as a “personal” call to Kerry, early in the week, to express his condolences for the death of the senator’s father on Saturday. It is not known whether or not the two men discussed the vice presidency.
Others often mentioned as possible running mates include Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey, North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell of Maine and Florida Sen. Bob Graham.
ABCNEWS Political Director Mark Halperin and ABCNEWS.com’s Carter M. Yang contributed to this report.