Gore considering naming VP immediately after GOP convention
Gephardt reportedly considered as running mate
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Democratic presidential hopeful Al Gore is seriously considering naming a running mate immediately after the Republican National Convention to counter a potential "bounce" in the polls by his opponent, Texas Gov. George W. Bush.
But campaign aides stressed Thursday that such a proposal is just one of several "rollout" ideas being considered by Democratic strategists -- which all depend on the political climate following the GOP gathering in Philadelphia.
In recent meetings, Gore and his advisors have discussed how best to use the time between the July 31-August 4 Republican convention through the August 14-17 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. Discussions are reportedly centered around possible campaign themes, advertising ideas, and when to announce Gore's vice presidential pick.
Presidential candidates traditionally enjoy higher ratings in public opinion polls following the highly-publicized party gatherings. Naming Gore's running mate immediately after the GOP convention is an option several top advisers believe could be effective if Bush benefits from a successful convention in Philadelphia.
The vice president has been tight-lipped about his search for a running mate. The process is being led by former Secretary of State Warren Christopher, who spearheaded Bill Clinton's 1992 search efforts that led to the selection of Gore.
The Washington Post is reporting that Gore is looking into the possibility of choosing House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri as his running mate.
Gore reportedly has been considering a long list of candidates, including Sen. Bob Graham of Florida; Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts; Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois; former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin; North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt; and former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell of Maine.
Aides say Gore is considering an early August announcement, but cautioned that the strategy meetings have also included proposals to make the announcement at later dates -- even during the Democratic convention in Los Angeles.
During those same strategy sessions, aides reviewed fresh polling data and considered plans for a series of attacks on Bush's record as governor of Texas.
Bush has consistently led Gore in polls by a margin that has fluctuated between five and 13 percentage points, but Gore aides said that their latest internal polling shows a narrow Bush lead of 44 percent to 41 percent -- within the survey's margin of error.
Reuters contributed to this report.