"It's true that it's hard for me to think of a recent case in which the vice presidential candidate actually affected the result of the election, and in that sense the VP pick is probably less important than people make it out to be.
But — 41% of modern veeps have eventually become president and another 25% have been their party's candidate for president. That's a mighty big "but."
All the political horse race stuff to the contrary, Kerry's choice probably won't really affect his chance of winning the election one way or the other. But if he does win in November, there's an excellent chance that his vice president will eventually become either president or a losing candidate for president — and that's a far more important consideration than whether someone will help him win a few extra votes in Missouri. If you get my drift.
I don't want Gep, because I think he's death on the ticket. But this is pretty compelling that he's a long-range strategy mistake as well.