Time Essay: There Must Be a Better Way to Choose

IT is all done in a 3 a.m. atmosphere by men in shirtsleeves drinking room-service coffee—elated, frantic politicians running on sleeplessness, juggling lists, putting out phone calls, arguing in the bathrooms, trying to make their reluctant minds work wisely as they consider an afterthought: the party's nominee for Vice President of the U.S. It is the worst kind of deadline politics. For a year or two, or even more, the vast American political machine has been rumbling and ramshackling along, sifting presidential possibilities. Now a running mate must be chosen, checked out, signed on and presented to the convention with a...