Skip to comments.John Kerry's time is coming — again (Projectile hurl alert)
Posted on 10/16/2007 5:54:31 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Heres a burning question no one is asking: Whither John F. Kerry?
He is his partys most recent presidential nominee. He came tantalizingly close to winning. And yet no one is looking for him to put his stamp on the 2008 Democratic primary or wondering aloud who hell endorse even though Al Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile says that in the early-state contests, most of the voters would be thrilled to know who Kerry would back and why.
But the lack of an audible clamor for an endorsement by Kerry is more than a bit deceiving, as is the perception that hes still wandering around in that wilderness to which all losing Democratic nominees are cast. The two top candidates who arent married to Elizabeth Edwards are quietly seeking his advice and support. An associate suggests that Kerry may hold off on endorsing until closer to the primaries, but when he does make his choice, that candidate will get access to a 3-million-name e-mail list, possibly the largest in the party.
When a Defense Department official accused Hillary Rodham Clinton of reinforcing enemy propaganda after she asked the Pentagon to start preparing for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, the Kerry associate says it was the Clinton teams idea to have Kerry out front denouncing that accusation.
Kerrys road back from the ashes of 2004 has been studded with self-inflicted setbacks. Ultimately, it wont be as triumphant as Gores.
But nor will it take as long and there are growing signs that the events of the post-2004 period have granted Kerry at least the right to say, I told you so.
For four years after winning the race but losing the presidency, Gore could do nothing right. He ignored his loyalists, got bloated and sweaty, embraced the unruly anti-war left and threw his support behind their 2004 presidential candidate, who then imploded spectacularly.
Kerrys vindication is coming quicker, if more quietly. His party already has embraced his position on Iraq. His argument that no military solution exists for the situation there is now the de facto Democratic stance. In June 2006, when Kerry helped force a vote on a phased U.S. troop withdrawal, his colleagues gave him a serious razzing and only 13 votes. Just over one year later, this past July, the same measure got 52.
Delaware Sen. Joe Biden recently sang Kerrys praises during the Senate floor debate over Bidens proposed soft partition of Iraq: I wish to tell him how grateful I am for his joining in this amendment ... because an awful lot of people around the world look to my colleague for his insights into what we do about the most critical issue facing American foreign policy today.
The Bush administration recently achieved a new nuclear pact with North Korea by using the approach Kerry advocated in 2004. The Washington Post noted on Oct. 4, The agreement was reached after bilateral negotiations between the United States and North Korea, held in parallel with the six-nation talks, just as Kerry had suggested.
And then theres Kerrys long record on the enviro OK, never mind.
The trick for Kerry is to keep his head down. He is still too-easy fodder for late-night one-liners, the swift-boated flip-flopper with a knack for disconnecting from people.
He may never lose his uncanny ability to make things worse for himself. Not only did he commit the sin in Democrats eyes of leaving George W. Bush standing on the field, but he also left $12 million in the bank unspent, subjecting himself to allegations that he didnt give it his all. (Bush had money left over, too, but as Kerry aide David Wade says, The bad moments only get remembered if you lose.)
Then, after a laudable effort to help elect Democratic candidates in 2006 the kind of effort Gore didnt undertake after his loss in 2000 came one botched joke about U.S. troops serving in Iraq. Donations of $14 million and visits to 35 states were instantly obscured a week before Election Day. The blowback was so severe that a few months later, Kerry had to exit the 2008 field before he really entered it.
His recovery has since been gaffe-free. Not coincidentally, his Senate colleagues who hope to trace his steps to the Democratic nomination seem to be recognizing the assets he brings to the table.
Which is the flip side of the swift-boat coin: The tactic may have damaged Kerrys own chances in 2004, but his support could help inoculate other Democratic candidates against similar efforts to impugn their patriotism in 2008.
He also brings brass to the table not only his own Vietnam service but also a small army of veteran supporters built during his presidential campaign and his efforts to support veterans who ran for office in 2006.
And Kerry projects something else the Democratic nominee may need, whoever he or she may be: masculinity. Of course, it is an effete, wet-suited masculinity compared to Bushs frat-boy, towel-snapping version. But its a trait that is absent from the top of the Democratic field where, despite Barack Obamas fondness for pickup basketball, none of the candidates is really known for being a guy.
Kerrys assets are not inconsiderable given that the current president plans to hand off the Iraq war to his successor and the top Republican candidates seem to be lifting the weak-on-terror charge from the Bush campaign playbook. It seems unlikely that between 2004 and 2008, the need for Democrats to show some trappings of strength will just disappear.
Maybe not worth a Nobel Prize, but certainly worth a little respect.
If Niki Tsongas loses tonight, Kerry’s time may REALLY be coming.
If Kerry had a dollar for every time he said he was in Viet Nam...wait. He does.
Not to get off topic, but have any results come in yet?
“. . . His party already has embraced his (Kerry’s) position on Iraq.”
Which one of his positions on Iraq?
The Clod Squad
“Then, after a laudable effort to help elect Democratic candidates in 2006 the kind of effort Gore didnt undertake after his loss in 2000 came one botched joke about U.S. troops serving in Iraq.”
And the “botched joke” provided fodder for this FR parody thread:
I think not.
Lurch lost cause Lurch is creepy.
Oh, for Pete’s sake - absurd.
The pompous gaze into the mirror and see something wonderful; the wise break the mirror.
I hope he endorses Hillery , and whoever else might be ahead in the Demop polls.
Kiss of death.
The left recognizes him as the wuss the rest of us recognized in 2004. And, a wuss is sure not going to endorse anyone but the Antichrist. If Hillary didn’t castrate him for that, Theresa would.