Gephardt met with Kerry for 90 minutes Wednesday afternoon at Kerry's Capitol office, but neither would divulge the substance of the talks.
In an interview earlier in the day, before the meeting became known, Gephardt said: "If John Kerry wants me to do something, including vice president, I will do it. But I'm very happy to do something else."
Gephardt, a former House minority leader whose hometown, St. Louis, lies in a pivotal county in a battleground state, also brings broad experience in domestic and foreign policy that Kerry's advisers say he is looking for in a running mate.
Others who Democrats say are being considered for the running mate's job and whose travel schedules make it possible for them to meet with Kerry this week include Gov. Tom Vilsack of Iowa, Gen. Wesley Clark, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina and Florida Sens. Bob Graham and Bill Nelson.