Obviously a premature and completely hpothetical discussion. Let's also assume that no skeletons fall out of closets and these guys don't beat each other up so badly that they negate themselves...
For simplicity's sake, lets say Kerry is the nominee. He's currently leading, and happens to be the strongest guy (at least on paper, IMO) to run against Bush. Potential weaknesses: New Englander / Northerner, the liberal tag that will go with that; accused of being aloof, etc; too dry and serious, not the best speaker, but IMO better than Dean, though drones on too much. (So does Clark, who finds himself on some way-out tangents at times, but Kerry actually does drone.)
EDWARDS -- I like him a lot. And no one has a better delivery and no one is working their message better than Edwards right now. He is in the zone. That said, he is not ready to be President. Four years a Senator does not a President make. Not this election anyway. Experience is gonna count this time around, it has to be the club we use to beat Bush with, and Edwards can't wield it.
I had him all lined up to be someone's Attorney General, and as much ass as I think he'd kick as AG, it would be a waste not to have him on the ticket.
Put Edwards at VP with Kerry, and you have the ultimate tag team, North / South, insider / outsider, experience / youth (implied youth anyway), serious / smooth combo working.
It would be nice to team Kerry with a non-Senator, but if Edwards remains this hot, there is no reason not to pick him. Plus, he is not defending his seat.
At VP, his lack of experience is a non-issue, and his significant strengths can be exploited throughout the race. What would be better than nice-guy Edwards taking on the always creepy Cheney in the VP debate...
If he's not the Veep, he needs to be AG.
CLARK -- Offers many of the same Southern charm, smooth speaking advantages as Edwards, also with the outsider appeal. Obviously brings tons of military creds to the table, but Kerry doesn't really need that. If Dean is the nominee, he needs Clark for VP as a military guy and a Southerner. Kerry just needs the Southerner. Would be a solid Sec of State or Defense.
DEAN --When I started leaning away from Dean and towards Clark, I thought Dean would still be a good VP. Keep his organization motivated, active and involved. His fundraising is impressive and in the #2 slot his aggressiveness will be less a liability perhaps. Plus he won't look like such a hothead next to Cheney. But he cannot be VP for Kerry. Two guys from New England will never fly. He really only matches up well as Clark's VP, and to a lesser extent Edwards. Sec of HHS is a shitty door prize for Dean, but I don't know what else to do with him if Kerry is the nominee.
BILL RICHARDSON -- Says he won't accept, but you kind of have to say that when you already have a job as a Governor. Brings a lot to the table on foriegn policy, former cabinet guy, former member of Congress, etc. A minority. From a Southern-ish state. would make anybody a good VP. I cannot stress what an opportunity was missed by the Democratic Party by not using the SOTU rebuttal to showcase a guy like Richardson. An unbeleivable mistake.
BOB GRAHAM -- Lots of credentials, great resume. I like Graham. I know he was a good Senator, and a good Governor. He seems wildly popular in Florida. The Dems need a state like Florida. but, I'm not sure he guarantees us Florida, and his appeal everywhere else is not strong enough to take the chance. Plus, he's a little wacky, and not a great speaker. We don't need another Stockdale.
OTHERS -- There are other guys out there, but I like the idea of building an All-Star team to take down Bush. These guys are getting the exposure and offer the best chance for maximizing a coalition of voters. Dean is the only guy bringing serious negative potential (deserved or not), but I think it is minimized at VP. My ranking at this point for Kerry's VP: Edwards, Richardson, Clark, somebody else, Dean.