Hourserace blog has an interesting summary of the Kerry Campaign.
His assessment of the Edwards selection caught my eye as being particularly on target:
Similarly, the choice of John Edwards was imprudently conservative. Edwards really brought nothing to the table -- and every challenger must have a veep candidate who brings something to the table. Sure, the Democrats wanted Edwards, but that was no reason for Kerry to have selected him, given that the Democrats were united. Kerry's choice was not like Reagan selecting Bush in 1980 in an effort to unify the Republican Party. That was a politically savvy move. Ditto for Clinton's selection of Gore in 1992. Clinton had already solidified his party; the selection of Gore was right in line with the message of (generational) change. Savvy, too, were Gore's selection of Leiberman and Bush's selection of Cheney. Both veeps solved problems for their top guys. Edwards solved absolutely nothing for Kerry -- a veep cannot provide a candidate with charisma. (Perhaps a candidate who could turn anti-Bush sentiment into pro-Kerry sentiment would have been helpful, but such a man or woman would already have thrown their hat into the ring for the presidency.) Kerry only selected Edwards, I believe, because the polls of the party faithful showed him to be the favored choice. The prudent move, I think, would have been to select Gephardt, who has a good reputation on the Iraq war and the general war on terror. The selection of Gephardt would have worked well as an overall summer-autumn shift to Bush's right on these issues.