Thursday, July 1

Veep Announcement Tuesday?

Don't know how much faith to put in this report, but it does give me the chance to post that terrific photo there.

Kerry said to near decision on running mate

John F. Kerry spent yesterday in isolation at his wife's 90-acre suburban farm, working on his convention acceptance speech amid signs that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee may announce his choice of a running mate here as early as next Tuesday.

Kerry's public campaign schedule has been disclosed only through Monday, the day after he wraps up a Fourth of July bus tour through the Midwest and then flies back to Pittsburgh. His staff has assembled the telephone numbers and schedules next week for potential running mates, said a top adviser to one of the candidates. Kerry has asked a select few of his closest supporters to reserve Tuesday and Wednesday to travel with the campaign, which would allow for a barnstorming tour by the Democratic duo in advance of a gala fund-raiser next Thursday in New York City.

''We're hearing it's going to be Tuesday," said the adviser, who spoke on the condition that neither he nor his boss be identified.

Speculation has focused on three candidates -- Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, US Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, and Senator John Edwards of North Carolina -- but Kerry has limited all concrete information about his search to a tight circle that includes his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, and James A. Johnson, the Washington banker heading his search committee. In recent days, Vilsack has been the focus of a media boomlet, but Kerry aides say other candidates including US Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware and former senator Sam Nunn of Georgia remain possible choices.