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Over the last few weeks, Sen. Kerry has had many more face-to-face meetings with potential picks than the press has reported.
One such meeting, several well-informed sources say, took place last Thursday night.
Kerry was in his home in Georgetown, and at around 10:30 pm, the last reporter staking him out -- someone from ABC News -- appeared to leave for the night.
Our sources say that Kerry and his Secret Service agents then went the very short distance to the nearby home of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Albright is a supporter of Kerry and has her office now in the same office building in Washington as the Kerry campaign.
At Albright's house late Thursday night, Kerry had a meeting with just a small group of people -- one of whom, our sources say, seemed to be the person Kerry at that moment planned to pick as his running mate.
Although Kerry said as recently as yesterday that he has not made a decision, our sources believe that this meeting might have served as the final face-to-face session the future running mates will have before announcement day, which could be as soon as this Tuesday.
Of the three potential picks whose advisers have confirmed have handed over reams of background information and believe themselves to be still in the running , there's only one we think was in DC that night -- Dick Gephardt. Tom Vilsack's staff says he was in Iowa and John Edwards, like many great Americans, was at Disney World with his family.
Other options -- Senator Joseph Biden, former Defense Secretary Bill Cohen, well, we are still checking to pin down where they were on Thursday night.
Of course, Senator Kerry could have changed whatever decision he might have made since last Thursday, and it is possible he has sent mixed signals (purposefully or not) to his advisers.
The Kerry campaign had no comment on this.
In other veepstakes news, sources tell us that the Bush campaign is considering running very soon a TV ad showing John McCain speaking in support of President Bush's re-election and there is talk it might run timed to Senator Kerry's announcement of a running mate.
It is not clear if McCain's words come from a camera shoot done specifically for the ad or are lifted from a recent joint Bush-McCain appearance, such as in Reno, Nevada, when the Arizona Senator gave an emotional introduction for Bush in which the former Vietnam war prisoner spoke of the "miserable business" of war and "the sublime love of those who sacrifice everything on our behalf."
McCain went on to say "The man I introduce to you today understands all this and understands it very, very well. He heard the call to action on that terrible morning in September and summoned the rest of us to this long and difficult task. He has led this country with moral clarity about the stakes involved and with firm resolve to achieve unconditional victory."
Since the flurry several weeks ago when it was confirmed that Kerry and McCain had had several talks about joining up as a bipartisan ticket, multiple sources in both parties have made it clear that Kerry took these entreaties very, very seriously and was fascinated by the idea of the pairing.