Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Bob Kerrey Goes for Clinton


Former Sen. Bob Kerrey and Hillary Clinton on Sunday. (Reuters).

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton celebrated one high-profile endorsement, from the Des Moines Register's editorial board, by announcing a second: former Sen. Bob Kerrey, the renegade Nebraskan-turned-New Yorker.

Kerrey told an energetic crowd gathered at a high school here that he was backing Clinton "enthusiastically and unequivocally." The former First Lady stood next to Kerrey onstage, beaming widely. "I am absolutely overwhelmed personally to have my friend of 25 years, Bob Kerrey, endorse me with such a vote of confidence," she said.

Now president of the New School in New York City, Kerry previously served as senator and governor of Nebraska. A Navy SEAL in Vietnam, he was wounded in combat, losing the lower portion of one leg. During his years in public office, Kerrey earned a reputation as an independent operator who followed his own script.

At the podium this morning, Kerrey touted Clinton's long years of experience in public life and asserted she would become "a strong, reliable and compassionate commander-in-chief."

After the event, he mused about her chief competitor, Sen. Barack Obama.

"The fact that he's African American is a big deal. I do expect and hope that Hillary is the nominee of the party. But I hope he's used in some way. If he happens to be the nominee of the party and ends up being president, I think his capacity to influence in a positive way without spending a penny the behavior of a lot of underperforming black youth today is very important, and he's the only one who can reach them."

Kerrey continued, "It's probably not something that appeals to him, but I like the fact that his name is Barack Hussein Obama, and that his father was a Muslim and that his paternal grandmother is a Muslim. There's a billion people on the planet that are Muslims and I think that experience is a big deal." He added, "He's got a whale of a lot more intellectual talent than I've got as well."

He veered back to Clinton: "She does inspire my confidence. She can do the job. In my view she's the complete package." Kerrey was reminded that his 1992 bid for the Democratic nomination -- the year Bill Clinton won -- came two years into his Senate tenure, just like Obama. In retrospect, he said his lack of experience "turned out to be very important...I didn't win, you may have noticed." But he added, "Obama's got the sort of experiences that are much different from mine."

Affirmation this weekend from two institutions of American politics - Iowa's biggest newspaper and one of the Democratic Party's most storied war heroes - gives Clinton an important lift as the race in Iowa enters its final stretch, with Clinton locked in a dead heat with Obama and former Sen. John Edwards, charismatic candidates running on the promise of change. Noting the Register endorsement, Clinton said, "It was an important event in this process and I am very grateful that they have zeroed in on the work that needs to be done by the next president."
The Kerrey endorsement marked the start of a 5-day blitz through Iowa by Clinton and a cast of surrogates, including childhood friends and professional colleagues, as well as her husband, former President Bill Clinton. The senator herself will travel by a helicopter dubbed the "Hill-A-Copter."

"Our campaign is energized, it is picking up momentum," she told the crowd here. "I can feel the excitement growing."

--Shailagh Murray

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 16, 2007; 3:52 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Today in the Post
Next: Romney Claims NRA Endorsement He Didn't Receive

Comments

I find it incredible that the person with truly the most experience, the proven statesmanship, the respect of ALL of congress, both sides, get's the little attention he does..The nation needs Joe Biden..We are in need of a national repair job and Joe Biden has the tools to do the job.

Posted by: john | December 20, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

This scenario highlights the only endorsement that matters:

A nuclear power plant has an operating license with technical specifications that define the operating limits for the plant. Go outside those limits and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) shuts the plant down.

In similar fashion, The Constitution defines the legal limits for the operation of the federal government.

This reporter has obtained an advanced copy of government shutdown order to be distributed upon completion of review by the full staff of Government Regulatory Commissioners during the coming primary and national elections.

Office of the Chairman

Government Regulatory Commission

of the United States

It has come to the attention of We the People, the Government Regulatory Commission (GRC) who initially defined the legal limits set forth in the U.S. Constitution, that the U.S. federal government is operating recklessly outside it's authorized limits.

GRC inspectors have observed damage to the financial health and safety of the American public, which has been seriously contaminated with radioactive debt many generations into the future, and is now exposed to the immediate threat of airborne incendiary inflation caused by a Loss Of Currency Acceptance by foreign traders.

The inspectors have also observed reckless endangerment to the security and infrastructure of the global community, which has already suffered one national meltdown exacerbated by out of control civilian mercenary contractors, that now threatens the security of another country adjoining the first.

The GRC hereby orders an immediate shutdown of the executive and legislative branches. Employees of these two branches have shown complete disregard for their operators' oaths of office.

The first remedial action ordered by the GRC is to install a new president in the executive branch who has a demonstrable record of personal integrity and regard for the legal limits of the Constitution. With a new operator at the executive controls to ensure future operation is within prescribed limits, government operation may resume. However, the GRC will monitor closely the performance of members of the legislative branch to identify individuals for removal from office at the next election outage.

The GRC at this time considers Ron Paul to be the most rigorous defender of the legal limits of the Constitution and recommends his installation in the Oval Office forthwith.

Copies of this order shall be displayed at entrances to all executive and legislative branch facilities and shall be available in the public document area of the GRC located on the internet at Dig.com and Politico.com

Signed by

Scrooge

Acting GRC Chairman, NRC licensed Senior Reactor Operator, retired

Posted by: Scrooge | December 18, 2007 4:11 AM | Report abuse

Would someone please ask Hillary Clinton how she can claim to be for health care reform and at the same time enthusiastically accept the endorsement of J. Robert Kerrey?
Since March of 2001, Kerrey has been on the Board of Directors of Tenet Healthcare Corp, a for profit hospital company. From that time to the present, this company has had 10 separate settlements with the federal government on charges of Medicare fraud and other abuses of federally financed health programs. In just one settlement last year, the company had to pay $920 million to settle Medicare fraud charges, about half of what the federal government alleged Tenet had received by abusing the Medicare program. The company also paid $450 million to settle patient lawsuits on charges of performing unnecessary open heart surgeries resulting in some patient deaths; was forced by the government to sell two of its hospitals or face exclusion from the Medicare program; and is currently operating all of its hospitals under scrutiny from the Office of Inspector General in the Department of Health and Human Services. And weeks before these scandals broke, Mr. Kerrey cashed in Tenet stock options, making $850,000.

Posted by: Bob37970 | December 17, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

I worked for Bob Kerrey and he has been my favorite politician since 1988. I have prayed that he would be elected President ever since then. I am shocked to find that today, with his underhanded smear of Obama, that I will never trust anything he says again. I imagine the Clintons purchased his subtle smear for a high price. Karl Rove could have written the same comments. I feel like a naive child who just found out his hero is the opposite of a hero. Maybe I should seek counseling at a cult awareness group.

Posted by: jbfitnesstrainer | December 17, 2007 7:41 PM | Report abuse

May God have mercy on your soul Mr Kerry. You surely need it. Your the pawn to biggots and power hungry politicians who have controlled our country since Jimmy Carter left office. You have no decency and i can only pray that your ignorance and the ability of Iowans to see above your words will finally bring this country together.

Division politics is her game and now we see again and again its yours too.

Americans hopefully don't want to keep playing pawns to the powerful elite who want to beat us down by hook or crook.

Iowa the ball is in your court and may you see the truth and deliver this country to a new direction where our children are not used to keep the military industrial complex and the corporations in power.
God has sent us a deliverer but as Jesus said may those with ears hear and those with eyes see.

OBAMA08

Posted by: DANIELLECLARKE | December 17, 2007 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Finally, the so called democratic leaders are showing us their true color. I knew all along that they cannot be trusted but African Americans keeps voting for them. Kerry's statement is what I called classic subtle racism. It seems Hillary Clinton has made race an issue in her campaign.

First, Bill Clinton indirectly said Americans will be rolling the dice if a black man is elected; now, Bob Kerry said the same thing.

I hope the African Americans wake up from their slumber. The Clintons cannot be trusted; their racial overtone is disgusting. Personally, i have made a commitment not to vote for Democratic Party again. I have had enough of their hypocrisy

Posted by: gbuze007 | December 17, 2007 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Recently free ride for Obama from political press corps, and it feels besieged as it has to bat away incessant questions with Obama's significant shifts, flip flopping on issues such as Patriot Act, Defense of Marriage Act, Fast Track trade authority and benefits for same-sex couples. Given how little experience Obama has, its understandable that his campaign doesnt want any kind of focus on his record, These stories clearly raise questions about Obamas electability and serve as a stark reminder about how little the public knows about his positions. The Illinois chapter of the National Organization for Women, Obama said he would vote to repeal the Patriot Act. In 2006 Obama voted for the redrafted version of the Patriot Act that some critics contended made only minor changes to the original law. On Defense of Marriage Act Obama answered No,to the question: "Do you support repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. On Fast Track authority, which requires Congress to vote yes or no and without amendments on pending trade deals, Obama opposes Fast Track authority because it is a usurpation of Congress' role to ensure that negotiated trade agreements serve the best interests of our country, including protection of the environment, worker rights and human rights.In remarks to the Detroit Economic Club in May, Obama said, I plan to be president, so I actually want Fast Track. But I'm willing to constrain myself in Fast Track to make sure that we've got strong labor and environmental protections.On benefits for same-sex couples, Obama said, he would need to evaluate the fiscal impact of extending Social Security benefits to same-sex couples that married couples currently receive. Also Barack Obama (D-IL)involved in a suspicious real estate deal with an indicted political fundraiser, Antoin Tony Rezko. Obama also linked to an alleged influence peddling scandal and was nabbed conducting campaign business in his Senate office, a violation of federal law.

Posted by: dyck21005 | December 17, 2007 7:33 AM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, Bob Kerrey's take on Obama was exactly the same back in May:

http://www.nyobserver.com/2007/kerrey-unbound-rates-dems-and-blasts-giuliani
Mr. Obama, he says, is "inexperienced," but "on the foreign policy side, his big strength is that his name is Barack Hussein Obama." He argued that Mr. Obama's foreign-language skills, connection to Muslim countries and personal background uniquely qualify him to send the message that "we are not your worst enemy, unless you make us so. And then we're your worst enemy."

Posted by: alyce_b | December 17, 2007 4:39 AM | Report abuse

Bob Kerry is a racist. Why is he talking about Barack Obama being black? Is he somehow highlighting the blackness of Obama to other racists like him. If Bob kerry thinks that only a black person can reach out to black youth, he is not fit to be endorsing anybody. Just watch the idiotic expression on his face as well as Hillary's face. With friends like Bob Kerry, Hillary is not fit to be the president of this nation. Now all these white dudes come up on stage and make a fool of themselves when they utter words that are borderline racist comments. I hope more people turn away from Hillary when people like Bob Kerry start endorsing her.

Posted by: ChunkyMonkey1 | December 17, 2007 3:26 AM | Report abuse

Kerrey's comments about Senator Obama's middle name, father and grandfather's religion seem to echo the emails that were being forwarded by the Clinton campaign workers.
This is a concerted and coordinated effort to throw mud at Obama.
So Hillary was appologizing in public while her surrogates including the shameless Kerrey are lying about Obama.
Too bad, none of their efforts would stop Obama now.

Posted by: FIgwealor | December 17, 2007 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Hillary clinton fights back! Get ready to rumble, the Iron Lady cometh.

Posted by: champs7778 | December 16, 2007 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Kerrey's comments are kind of disturbing. First of all, there's the Hussein thing injected into this as others mentioned.

But more than that, I am bothered by the first he can say about him is that he's African-American and him saying he wants Hillary to be the nominee but hopes the campaign uses Obama somehow to reach "underperforming black youth." Sorry, Kerrey, Obama is not an Al Sharpton or a Jesse Jackson you can just stick in a box or white off as the token black candidate and that statement just shows how out of touch you and the rest of the Clintonites stuck in the '90s are.

Obama is the candidate who can unite all of the people in America and unite all of the Democratic party, unlike the Clintons. And for people like Bob Kerrey to make these statements essentially as if Obama is some uppity negro they have to push back because he's not ready, it's just offensive to me.

If that is the impression that I, as a white woman, get from his comments I'm curious how this plays out for other people. I do not support Obama because he is black, I support him because he is the best person for our country.

Posted by: tallon | December 16, 2007 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Wow, what is happening to people? Anti-Hillary emotions are out of control! If the anit-Hillary forces win the nomination and they run against the Republicans like hysterical children, they will not only lose but divide the country even further. Folks, if this way of viewing your opponents represents the new, hopeful, way of politics, I'll be glad to stick with old-time backslapping.

Posted by: kwbaylis | December 16, 2007 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Okay... I actually had to read Bob Kerrey's comments about Barack Obama out loud, and they STILL didn't make a damn bit of sense. I'd like to think that Kerrey was just trying to compliment Obama in that old-fashioned way -- you know, "you're a credit to your race" kind of thing (which reveals the speakers strange prejudices) which is ultimately harmless. But like some previous posters, I'm just cynical enough to believe that there was some ulterior motive behing Kerrey's comments.

That said, I think Kerrey is anachronistic. In his heyday, he was popular, thought to be a real "catch" and dated the actress Debra Winger. But I don't think he -- in spite of his service on the 9/11 committee -- has really been a force in the Democratic party since he retired in 2000.

The problem with the Kerrey endorsement is he is old news, a throw-back to the 1990s. And we don't need 1990s politics. We don't need last century thinking. We don't need to be fighting the republicans when we have real problems to solve. Frankly, we don't need Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: jade_7243 | December 16, 2007 9:53 PM | Report abuse

If you grasp what I'm about to say, YOU'LL NEVER BE DISAPPOINTED AGAIN: Republicans have always had the upperhand and Democrats have lost MOST of the times because when it comes to choosing a nominee, they try to make too much SENSE of it.

An inspirational JFK beat an experienced NIXON; an inspirational CLINTON beat a very experienced BUSH.

And what do Kerry and Gore have in common? They were both experienced but got beaten by a candidate who comes across as 'stupid".

So if you think all these experience crap wins elections, good luck! Worst still, we're talking about a rocket-high negatives candidate whom half the country will not vote for and who's disliked by SOOO MANY even in her own Party. Good Luck screwing another election with Ms. Hillary Clinton! FOOLS!

Posted by: zrarieh | December 16, 2007 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the people who attack Clinton, both from the left and the right, play from the same playbook. It's all about this created narrative of her as the arrogant power hungry woman- a stereotype reserved for strong or powerful women always. Obama, whom I am proud to have in the Democratic party, is not getting the big endorsements because he is unseasoned- not because he is an "agent of change". He is a great orator and a smart man. However, he has almost no legislation with his name on it from his almost 3 years in the Senate currently. He has no great progressive issues- which, for example John Edwards does. So backing him just to get caught up in the excitement is probably not the best idea. Whomever the republican is (small r delibrately- they don't deserve a capital) has the potential to squash an unseasoned candidate. Everything with Hillary is already out on the table. For those who made comments deriding her, I would look more closely at her stands and who she is and what their own prejudices are and reconsider their words.

Posted by: nycLeon | December 16, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

I am surprised at some of the comments regarding Kerrey's comments about Obama. I think they were kind and respectful and intended to compliment Obama's ability to inspire. I am so concerned by the anger from the Obama supporters. I am a Hillary supporter because I genuinely believe she has to most experience and will return competence to the government. However, I look forward to supporting Obama in about 12 years. GO Hillary!

Posted by: planetdlpc | December 16, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Can someone pray tell me why Bob Kerry had to address the fact that Obama's paternal grandfather was a muslim.

What was the relevance? It makes you to wonder if the nasty e-mails coming from the campaign were sanctioned.

What is this campaign coming to? I am completely dumbfounded.

Why was he musing about this particular subject?

Posted by: askpeabody | December 16, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

The most intelligent and experienced candidates are not even being discussed in the columns. Joe Biden is without question the candidate of accomplishment, expertise, and life experience. Unfortunately blogs like newscasts are interested only in money and polls --- they are telling us who we are voting for. Is this what democracy is about? I am ashamed that the electorate "appears" to be so starstruck with celebrity and is letting "stars" and big bucks rule presidential elections. Do you want a repeat of the last seven years? I urge independent-minded voters who want the best president to look at Biden, who is outperforming everyone with his knowledge, candor, and personal warmth.

Posted by: tigesgirl | December 16, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Kerrey who? Barack Obama runs a honest, decent campaign because that's who he is. The grassroots organization supporting him surpasses any I've ever seen and his supporters will be there for him at the Iowa caucus and beyond! We will endorse him with our votes. Obama 08!

Posted by: Katy7540 | December 16, 2007 6:28 PM | Report abuse

This Hillary is more expreince crap is starting to piss me off! She's about as expreince as Laura Bush is. Why don't we just make Laura Bush president then. Obama is going all the way with God's help!

Posted by: lumi21us | December 16, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

The best quote I remember from Bob Kerry's 1992 campaign, which I supported, was his description of Bill Clinton as "an unusually good liar." Sadly, Bill's ability to twist the truth in persuasive style seems to be fading, as shown by his recent statement that he was against the Iraq War "from the start".Or even when he denied having sex "with that woman".
Its disappointing to see Kerry join the campaign of the Democratic establishment as it pursues the Clinton restoration. Win or lose, Hillary's nomination would assure more of the partisan status quo and middle east bloodshed for at least 4 more years.

Posted by: dmooney | December 16, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Obama being president will influence the underperforming black youth? This guy is an ass! What does HE know about the black American experience, or the reasons why young black men are struggling in this country?
He is a condescending ass.

I won't even bother to talk about the whole 'Obama is a muslim" that this buffoon threw into the mix...I'm sure he was briefed on what to say by HRC.

Posted by: naijaman | December 16, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Note to Hillary: The World does not need or want your tough-girl act. Yes it worked for Lady Thatcher, but when you try it we just look away. If you're really feeling angry why not get some exercise? You'll feel (& think) alot better. [In that respect, I wouldn't mind a 3rd Bush term, or a President Mitt.] Like pro-sports, politics today is part entertainment. Maybe that's why the nation in it's wisdom passed on Gore-the-Bore. And a Schrill-Hill isn't a winner either, so (w/all due respect) wise-up! We could be off-a-cliff economically [multi-trillions of unfunded liabilities]and ecologically [melting ice-caps]. So, if/when the crash's and/or collapses come, the best you and Nurse Nancy might offer is some effective triage

Posted by: 4to125characters | December 16, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Kerrey is a straight out racist for making such comments. It seems to me Hillary surrounds herself with corruption, racist, idiots and liars. But what I don't understand is why the media have given her a free pass on all the shady deals she have done while being a NY Sen. Hillary Clinton is nothing but the devil and I am starting to wonder is she worse than George bush.

Posted by: ronald2 | December 16, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

The PEOPLE will deliver Barack Obama to the White House!

OBAMA '08

Posted by: bymyside | December 16, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: internationalaurora | December 16, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

This is just a testament to the Clinton operation - this is probably the beginning of a full recovery from what has been a disastrous last few weeks. Although I think Clinton is going to have to toughen up even more and go back to basics to beat the Republican candidate, democrats really need to be pragmatic and understand that if Obama has problems matching Clinton's experience, he has no chance against the republicans - all of whom have had years of executive resumes under their belts. Going back to this endorsement, I think its only importance is that it'll give Clinton a boost of confidence and enable her to regroup and take control of her campaign better. Its really been her team that is causing the trouble, and she really needs to make sure Bill doesn't say anything else controversial. As long as she can tout her experience, the glory of the Clinton years and the one thing that most everyone acknowledges - even most Obama supporters - that she is more equipped to beat the republicans, Hillary should come out of the early primaries realtively unscathed.

I'm voting for Huckabee (or whoever the Republican is, outside of Giuliani) anyway, but I'd love to see Clinton make it that far.

Posted by: samuelmcdonald | December 16, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

This is just a testament to the Clinton operation - this is probably the beginning of a full recovery from what has been a disastrous last few weeks. Although I think Clinton is going to have to toughen up even more and go back to basics to beat the Republican candidate, democrats really need to be pragmatic and understand that if Obama has problems matching Clinton's experience, he has no chance against the republicans - all of whom have had years of executive resumes under their belts. Going back to this endorsement, I think its only importance is that it'll give Clinton a boost of confidence and enable her to regroup and take control of her campaign better. Its really been her team that is causing the trouble, and she really needs to make sure Bill doesn't say anything else controversial. As long as she can tout her experience, the glory of the Clinton years and the one thing that most everyone acknowledges - even most Obama supporters - that she is more equipped to beat the republicans, Hillary should come out of the early primaries realtively unscathed.

I'm voting for Huckabee (or whoever the Republican is, outside of Giuliani) anyway, but I'd love to see Clinton make it that far.

Posted by: samuelmcdonald | December 16, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone besides me find it strangely coincidental that Kerrey's comments about Senator Obama's middle name, father and grandfather's religion seem to echo the emails that were being forwarded by the Clinton campaign workers?

Posted by: efadams_53 | December 16, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Here's an article and results of a CNN poll, taken December 6-9

http://www.alternet.org/story/70781/

I'm an Obama gal, myself, but it's notable that Edwards AND Obama do better than Hillary against the repubs...and i'll take Edwards over Hillary any day.

Posted by: julieds | December 16, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who calls Bob Kerrey "establishment" is either not paying attention or just plain dumb. He was a renegade if you read the article- a bonified war hero and the President of the New School of New York City (very, very far left and progressive.)
Hillary has gotten most of the "gravitas" endorsements - Everyone lobbied-big time- for the Register- it was taken very seriously and without regard to paper sales (unlike others that have come out and will) Even though a woman has never been elected in Iowa to a position of power-Governor, Congress or Senate- I trust the good folks of Iowa to do what's right and important for taking our country back. Go HILLARY!

Posted by: BB60 | December 16, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

what an idiot...why being an african american is a big deal?
this guy is a fool...his endorsement doesn't matter anywwa...

OBAMA 08...all the way

Posted by: msnz911 | December 16, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

So Clinton continues to garner support from the establishment.
That's news?

Thank God, Iowans have their own brains and see through Hillary's facade. It's the voters that matter in the election, not Hillary's support from the status quo.

She can get all the big-wig crony support she wants, she still does worse in republican, head to head, matchups than any other dem candidate and will LOSE THE GENERAL ELECTION if she's nominated.


Posted by: julieds | December 16, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company