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Kerry Rises from Political Ashes to Face Bush
Reuters on Yahoo ^ | 7/25/04 | Patricia Wilson - Reuters

Posted on 07/25/2004 9:55:35 AM PDT by NormsRevenge

BOSTON (Reuters) - A tall, rugged, blue-blood millionaire war hero from Massachusetts with the initials JFK, Sen. John Forbes Kerry rose from the political dead to claim the right to challenge President Bush (news - web sites).

An early bet as the Democrats' best hope to win the White House on Nov. 2, he was running way behind in last year's pre-primary polls in Iowa and New Hampshire but recovered ground as voters took a second look at the field and rewarded him with a stunning comeback in the first two contests of the political campaign.

Since wrapping up the Democratic presidential nomination in March, Kerry has broken party fund-raising records, raking in almost $150 million by tapping into the Internet and a fervent desire among supporters to oust Bush.

He also has held the Republican incumbent to a virtual draw in national polls despite the better-financed Bush campaign's advertising effort to portray him as an irresolute Northeastern liberal who flip-flops on important issues like the Iraq (news - web sites) War.

The sometimes stiff four-term senator from Massachusetts chose as his vice presidential running mate a former rival and a freshman senator from North Carolina short on political experience but long on personal vigor, good looks and enthusiasm.

"Obviously I chose John Edwards (news - web sites) for the reasons that you're seeing," Kerry told Reuters in a recent interview. "There's a lot of energy, I've got a partner to share the burden. We have great optimism and great hope."

Optimism and hope were in short supply last year when Kerry trailed his opponents in the race for the Democratic nomination. But the decorated Vietnam War veteran, who boasted a Yale education, two decades in the Senate and a cadre of experienced advisers, never stopped fighting.

WAR VOTES POSE PROBLEMS

The 60-year-old senator's problems then -- and now in the general election campaign -- have sprung from his seemingly contradictory stance on the Iraq War. He voted to authorize the U.S.-led invasion, but then criticized Bush for "rushing" into conflict without an international coalition or a postwar plan.

Kerry explained his position by blaming the president for misleading Congress on the evidence used to justify the war.

"The vote was based on the information we had at the time that we had it," he said in the interview. "It was the right vote."

But it was another vote -- and another explanation -- that gave Republicans valuable ammunition for their bid to portray him as an unpatriotic waffler.

Kerry voted against the president's $87 billion request to support U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (news - web sites) and pay for reconstruction in both countries after efforts to offset the cost by repealing some of Bush's tax cuts failed.

"I actually voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it," Kerry told an audience in West Virginia, to the Bush team's delight.

During the primary season, the liberal Democrats that Kerry hoped to attract flocked instead to Howard Dean (news - web sites)'s antiwar rhetoric as the former Vermont governor relentlessly attacked him for supporting the Iraq invasion.

Kerry shook up his staff and fired his campaign manager. A rich man married to a wealthy woman, he opted out of the public campaign financing system and its accompanying $45 million spending limits to compete with Dean's Internet fund-raising success.

Aided by Dean gaffes and missteps and with a sharpened core message of economic fairness and the need to mend fences abroad, Kerry scored a surprise win in the Iowa caucuses, rolled to victory in the New Hampshire primary and rode the momentum to the nomination.

IN THE KENNEDY SHADOW

The 6-foot-4 junior senator from Massachusetts, who says he was inspired by another New England blue blood -- John F. Kennedy -- has labored in the long shadow of the former president's brother and his senior counterpart, Sen. Edward Kennedy (news, bio, voting record).

Kerry's background, too, is solidly patrician -- he can trace his roots back to the first Massachusetts governor, John Winthrop.

To help dispel the notion that he is a cerebral elitist who has trouble connecting with people, Kerry has appeared on a late-night television show riding a motorcycle, shot pheasant on an Iowa farm, graced the cover of American Windsurfer magazine in a wetsuit and used a four-letter profanity in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine.

Kerry is a strong abortion-rights advocate even though, as a Catholic, he is personally opposed to it and believes life begins at conception. He supports minimum wage hikes, protecting the environment and expanding health care. In 1995, he and Republican Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record) of Arizona successfully pushed for normalization of U.S. relations with Vietnam.

Kerry is one of the Senate's richest members, thanks to his second wife's sizable fortune. Ketchup heiress and philanthropist Teresa Heinz Kerry is the widow of the late Pennsylvania Republican Sen. John Heinz.

The son of foreign service officer Richard John Kerry (news - web sites) and Rosemary Forbes Kerry, he spent time at a Swiss boarding school and attended a New Hampshire prep school before entering Yale and graduating with a degree in political science. Like Bush, he was invited to join Yale's exclusive secret society Skull and Bones.

Instead of going straight to law school, Kerry enlisted in the Navy as an officer and headed to Vietnam. Manning a gunboat in the Mekong Delta, he was decorated with a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts.

The national spotlight first fell on Kerry in the early 1970s when, after his military service, he became an outspoken critic of the war, organized fellow Vietnam veterans for a protest march in Washington and memorably testified before Congress.

In 1972, he ran for the House of Representatives and lost. He went to Boston College Law School, became a county prosecutor and worked his way up the political ladder before winning his Senate seat in 1984.


TOPICS: Government; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: ashes; kerry; political; rises; thecomebackkid

1 posted on 07/25/2004 9:55:36 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

2 posted on 07/25/2004 9:56:31 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi Mac ... Godspeed x40 ... Support Our Troops!!! ......Become a FR Monthly Donor ...)
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To: NormsRevenge

3 posted on 07/25/2004 9:57:28 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi Mac ... Godspeed x40 ... Support Our Troops!!! ......Become a FR Monthly Donor ...)
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To: NormsRevenge
"A tall, rugged, blue-blood millionaire war hero from Massachusetts with the initials JFK, Sen. John Forbes Kerry rose from the political dead to claim the right to challenge President Bush (news - web sites). "

ROTFLOL!!

4 posted on 07/25/2004 9:57:46 AM PDT by VaBthang4 ("He Who Watches Over Israel Will Neither Slumber Nor Sleep")
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To: NormsRevenge

Man, this gal must have kneepads on her elbows too.
Swill the koolaid Patricia!


5 posted on 07/25/2004 9:58:33 AM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: NormsRevenge

6 posted on 07/25/2004 9:59:22 AM PDT by hobson
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To: NormsRevenge
What a puff piece.


7 posted on 07/25/2004 9:59:45 AM PDT by COEXERJ145
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To: VaBthang4

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Defeating Kerry is a must!


8 posted on 07/25/2004 10:00:02 AM PDT by AngieGOP (I never met a woman who became a stripper because she played with Barbie dolls as a kid.)
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To: NormsRevenge

The sometimes stiff four-term senator from Massachusetts chose as his vice presidential running mate a former rival and a freshman senator from North Carolina short on political experience but long on personal vigor, good looks and enthusiasm.

"Obviously I chose John Edwards (news - web sites) for the reasons that you're seeing," Kerry told Reuters in a recent interview. "There's a lot of energy, I've got a partner to share the burden. We have great optimism and great hope."


And he's purdy too.. ;-)


9 posted on 07/25/2004 10:00:02 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi Mac ... Godspeed x40 ... Support Our Troops!!! ......Become a FR Monthly Donor ...)
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To: tet68

lol.. Patrica is bucking for the gold monogrammed kneepads, I agree.


10 posted on 07/25/2004 10:00:48 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi Mac ... Godspeed x40 ... Support Our Troops!!! ......Become a FR Monthly Donor ...)
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To: NormsRevenge

11 posted on 07/25/2004 10:01:18 AM PDT by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos)
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To: NormsRevenge

12 posted on 07/25/2004 10:02:38 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi Mac ... Godspeed x40 ... Support Our Troops!!! ......Become a FR Monthly Donor ...)
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To: NormsRevenge

Reuters gives me the dry heaves.


13 posted on 07/25/2004 10:03:46 AM PDT by My2Cents ("Fair, balanced...and unafraid.")
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To: hobson
DORK ALERT!


14 posted on 07/25/2004 10:05:27 AM PDT by My2Cents ("Fair, balanced...and unafraid.")
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To: finnman69

Perfect!


15 posted on 07/25/2004 10:05:39 AM PDT by martin_fierro (Zydecodependent.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Reckon ol Patricia fiddled with herself while writing this? Crikey, you can almost hear her panting!


16 posted on 07/25/2004 10:08:47 AM PDT by Normal4me
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To: AngieGOP

Angie" You're a poet and don't know it....let's all get
out the vote and Kerry will be in the ashheap of history-where he will forever be a mystery....Jake


17 posted on 07/25/2004 10:10:26 AM PDT by sanjacjake
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To: NormsRevenge

War hero: ran out after four months.


18 posted on 07/25/2004 10:25:55 AM PDT by Ed_in_NJ
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To: NormsRevenge

Taking the Rolls-Royce to the National Urban League convention was a nice touch, don't you think? /sarcasm


19 posted on 07/25/2004 10:29:28 AM PDT by ride the whirlwind ("I will never relent in bringing justice to our enemies..." - President Bush)
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To: hobson

Jeeze, what a dork the Metrosexual-Millionaire is. How anyone could conceive of voting for Flipper is beyond me.


20 posted on 07/25/2004 10:30:29 AM PDT by Cobra64 (Babes should wear Bullet Bras - www.BulletBras.net)
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To: finnman69

LOL!! That is great.


21 posted on 07/25/2004 10:44:49 AM PDT by VaBthang4 ("He Who Watches Over Israel Will Neither Slumber Nor Sleep")
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To: NormsRevenge
"The son of foreign service officer Richard John Kerry (news - web sites) and Rosemary Forbes Kerry"

He's got his mother's middle name?

22 posted on 07/25/2004 10:51:23 AM PDT by perfect stranger
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To: VaBthang4

"A tall, rugged, blue-blood millionaire war hero from Massachusetts with the initials JFK, Sen. John Forbes Kerry rose from the political dead to claim the right to challenge President Bush (news - web sites). "

"ROTFLOL!!"

LOL you beat me to it. This is ridiculous. Does the media really think the public is this stupid? Or are they that desperate?


23 posted on 07/25/2004 11:11:49 AM PDT by Fenris6
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To: NormsRevenge

"I swear I can hear the ocean..."

24 posted on 07/25/2004 11:20:04 AM PDT by Caipirabob (Democrats.. Socialists..Commies..Traitors...Who can tell the difference?)
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To: hobson
Separated at birth --


25 posted on 07/25/2004 12:50:20 PM PDT by My2Cents ("Fair, balanced...and unafraid.")
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To: Ed_in_NJ
War hero: ran out after four months.

War criminal is more like it -- an admitted one -- along with everyone else over there at the time, according to his statements, which he has never renounced.

26 posted on 07/25/2004 12:52:30 PM PDT by My2Cents ("Fair, balanced...and unafraid.")
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To: NormsRevenge

w 4 u.s. supreme court vacancies likely in the next 4 years, u'd betta get everyone u know out 2 vote!


27 posted on 07/25/2004 12:54:36 PM PDT by ken21
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To: NormsRevenge
Boy oh boy. There's sooooooo much wrong with this story I don't know where to begin.
28 posted on 07/25/2004 1:14:23 PM PDT by Condor51 (May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't. -- Gen G. Patton Jr)
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To: NormsRevenge

Bump


29 posted on 07/25/2004 3:21:43 PM PDT by BulletBobCo
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To: NormsRevenge

30 posted on 07/25/2004 3:31:03 PM PDT by Boazo (LOSE THE TAG LINE)
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To: NormsRevenge

31 posted on 07/25/2004 3:33:01 PM PDT by Boazo (LOSE THE TAG LINE)
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To: My2Cents
The Dope on a Rope,Catches fish with his bare teeth!
32 posted on 07/25/2004 4:11:49 PM PDT by Boazo (LOSE THE TAG LINE)
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To: NormsRevenge

TROLL ALERT!!
Just to reiterate a few of Kerry's accomplisments.
1. Most liberal senator in Washington
2. Refused to vote for troop funding
3. Opposed virtually every current weapon system
4. Personally believes life begins at conception but is willing to support infanticide for political purposes
5. Married rich, divorced rich, and married even richer(what a connection to the working man!)
6. Has never missed a chance to belittle and attack Bush while he is fighting the most difficult war in US history.
7. Favors raising taxes on productive elements of society
8. Laughs at Whoopis pornographic insults at George Bush
9. Will appoint only pro-abort activist judges.


33 posted on 07/25/2004 4:21:51 PM PDT by 2nd Amendment
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