The Nation: Freedom in Picking the Veep

As he deliberated over the choice of a running mate, Jimmy Carter enjoyed two rare luxuries. Certain of his own nomination, he had plenty of time to probe and ponder each prospective nominee. Comfortably ahead in the polls over both Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, he could base his decision on who might best be capable of running the country if need be, rather than on who might help him carry a particular state. Said Carter: "I feel remarkable freedom about the choice."

Methodical as always, he consulted about 40 Democratic public figures and...

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