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Kerry Raises Quick Cash for 3 Vets

The prospect of a second presidential bid for John Kerry may be mocked by many Democratic party insiders, but Kerry's fundraising ability -- especially over the Internet -- continues to keep him viable on the national scene.

John Kerry
John Kerry's fundraising ability shows why another run for the White House for the Massachusetts senator shouldn't be dismissed. (Getty Images)

The most recent example is an e-mail Kerry sent from his Keeping America's Promise PAC asking donors to contribute to three Iraq war veterans running for Congress as Democrats: Tammy Duckworth in Illinois's 6th District, Patrick Murphy in Pennsylvania's 8th District and Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania's 7th District. (Click here to read Post reporter Peter Slevin's terrific profile of Duckworth.)

The Kerry appeal raised roughly $250,000 for the three candidates in the first 24 hours, according to Kerry insiders. That total includes approximately $100,000 for Duckworth, and $65,000 each for Murphy and Sestak. (The remaining $20,000 or so was contributed to other candidates.) The Massachusetts senator has now raised better than $1 million online in the last six months, according to calculations made by his aides.

"You and I both know how Rove-style Republicans treat veterans who speak the truth," wrote Kerry. "I know something firsthand about the Swift Boat-style Republican attack ads of the last election -- but you don't have to take my word for it. Just ask John McCain. Ask Max Cleland. Ask Jack Murtha."

Kerry will follow up the appeal for Duckworth, Murphy and Sestak with another e-mail to his donor list tomorrow. That message will solicit funds for Tim Walz, who is running in Minnesota's 1st District seat, and Jay Fawcett, the only Democrat seeking retiring Rep. Joel Hefley's (R) open seat in Colorado's 5th District.

During his 2004 bid for president, Kerry raised more than $80 million via the Internet, and, in the process, compiled an e-mail list of roughly 3 million names. That list has served to keep Kerry's 2008 prospects alive; it shows that even though he is considered irrelevant by many inside the Beltway, he is still a major presence among party regulars outside of Washington.

Through Keeping America's Promise, Kerry has raised better than $2 million in the 2006 election cycle and has doled out much of that total to a slew of state and federal candidates. At the end of last year, Kerry had given $638,000 to federal candidates and party committees from the PAC, not to mention the nearly $2 million he gave to the three national Democratic party committees in early 2005. Those donations came from money left in Kerry's 2004 presidential primary account.

Kerry is convening an April 28 meeting of the major donors to Keeping America's Promise, including Bob Farmer and Bob Crowe -- two members of Kerry's innermost fundraising circle in 2004. The gathering, whose stated purpose is "Winning Back Congress," will take place in the senator's home in Washington. Kerry advisers downplay the speculation that the meeting will also turn to a discussion of a potential 2008 candidacy, pointing out that Kerry held several similar gatherings for the PAC last year.

Should Kerry decide to run again, his Internet fundraising capacity will form the backbone of his financial effort. If he takes a pass, he becomes a major powerbroker by deciding which candidate can use (or buy) the list.

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 2, 2006; 2:48 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008 , House  
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Next: The Friday Line: Hillary, McCain in a Class of Their Own


Muleman offers 3 cheers for the Voice of Reason. His/her points are right on.
As for John Kerry - while Muleman was a major supporter and profoundly disappointed in the result,one should not damn him for his efforts to help vets win primaries. He's stepping up to the plate: who else is?
So thanks, Senator Kerry for doing the hard work to get out a positive and honest message.

Posted by: muleman | March 7, 2006 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Yeh Brent Parrish the truth does hurt if you're a republican i suppose. You spout nonsense about being able to connect with people, but Buch (who wingnut morons like yourself describe as likable and able to connect well with people) didn't even beat Gore, who has the personality of a doorknob. Bush won b/c of the gay marriage amendments and b/c he played the fear card you ignorant buffoon, not b/c people perceived him as more competent or likable. But, I guess you forgot about that fact when making your little rant. But republicans like you forget facts all the time b/c they are not convenient. If your beloved president bush is so "in touch" with people, why is his approval at 34%? Yeh, that's what i thought.

Posted by: Ohio guy | March 7, 2006 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Went to a Sestak for Congress gathering last night in DC. Joe Sestak is a very dynamic speaker, and is obviously an excellent candidate with lots of energy. He can draw a crowd and raise money. People at the event were talking about how Sestak's opponent is "weird". I don't know much about it but this Curt Weldon has done some strange things over the last few years.

Posted by: William B. | March 5, 2006 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Ohio Guy I know it must hurt for you to be wrong so often, but I'm sure by now you are used to it. If you were right Kerry would have won, but clearly he didn't and all I'm saying is that we need to learn from that. But as long as party wacktivists like you are involved in politics the dems will continue to lose. What can I say other than the truth hurts.

Posted by: Brent Parrish | March 3, 2006 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Let me let folks in on a little secret that might be hard to comprehend in these days of Bush approval ratings being below 40%: Bush rarely if ever had a job approval rating below 50% in his first term-even before 9/11.
Among people who actually voted in 2004, in only 16 states (including DC) did Bush have a lower approval rating than job disapproval rating. At least 5 states gave a majority of their votes to Kerry-even though a majority approved of the job Bush was doing and approved of Bush's decision to go to war. Those states were/are New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Oregon.
In at least 4 other battleground states (Ohio, New Mexico, Iowa, and Nevada) Kerry got a higher percentage than Bush's dispparoval ratings while Bush got a smaller percent of the vote than his approval ratings were. Remember these were from exit polls taken among voters who actually voted.
Had people voted their straight approval (or disapproval) of Bush, Bush would've won 36 states!
So If anything Kerry overachieved. Too bad he didn't overachieve enough. If you need to independent confirmation, just look at google "Exit Polls CNN 2004 election."

Posted by: Nick | March 3, 2006 4:23 PM | Report abuse

The Red State - Blue State divide is pathetic and the people who adore attacking each other over it are angry, hostile and woefully misinformed about each other.

It is a shame it has gone on this far. But this culture dotes on argument and downing each other. The people on this site -- not all but many -- are so sad and trifling they refer to each other as moron. When someone calls you a moron, do you always snap back that they are an idiot?

Or do you do the intelligent thing and push your argument forward with focus?

Maybe you're into catharsis -- like the rage-mongers driving the freeways who feel above civility.

And I'm sure you'll retreat to your kneejerk pose and say, "Hey, they started it -- you know the other guy."

But, really, get a thicker skin. Tell each other what you believe about these candidates -- without the grade school level Jerry Springer-induced lashing out at one another.

Liberalism and conservatism as political traditions in this country both have their merits. But you rejoice in clouding that. What is really irksome is that the folks who so often claim to be above this internecine warfare are rejoicing it.

I've lived all over the country, from New York, to Greensboro, NC, and Roanoke, Virginia, and, now -- Los Angeles -- so, trust me, you folks who depsise one another, you make to much of each other. When 911 hit, those Roanokers took to the streets for that blue state; if it happened tomorrow, the same thing would happen, and, I'd like to think that if tragedy struck the heartland you would give a care for those heartleand people certain blue staters imagine themselves to loftily above.

Anger is wasted emotion.

How about public policy? What, substantively, would you like to see change?

Quit buying into barbecue versus latte arguments.

I know I sound idealistic to you. But really this is realism. We all hurt. We all have pride. We all look down on each other -- but, please, make the classy choice once in a blue moon and turn the cheek.

Posted by: The Voice of Reason :) | March 3, 2006 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I voted for Kerry and now that he lost I just wish he'd go away. That's nice and all that he's raising money for candidates, but he was horrible in 2004. John Kerry will lose by an even greater margin if he's nominated in 2008. You don't get a second chance to run for president, especially if you did horribly the first time. Kerry is determined to make a joke of himself, and he will certainly suceed in that if he run in 2008.

Posted by: Q | March 3, 2006 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I think that what is most important is not if we live in a blue state or red state but the direction the country is going in. While some argue about John Kerry's ability to connect with people no one argues that he is smart, kind and understands the complex world we live in. I think that we face serious times and it is time to look at the qualifications of a person who wants to hold the office. We need someone who can lead us to a better tomorrow for the sake of our children.

Posted by: Jennie | March 3, 2006 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Blue staters do not live in a bubble. That is the dumbest thing I have ever read in my life. Red staters are far more ignorant and unaware of what is going on in the world. How do people identify with George Bush? "Hey, there's a son-of-a-billionaire draft-dodger! Sounds like my kind of guy!"
Get a clue you putz. A majority of red-staters still believe there were Iraqis on the planes on 9/11 and that sadddam hussein had something to do with 9/11. Yet blue staters live in a bubble? I would worry about educaing yourself before you shoot your mouth off that other people are cut off from reality like yourself. No one identifies with this idiotic, pathetic excuse of a president, he won b/c of the smear campaign they used against Kerry concerning his war record, a war Bush his daddy to get out of.

Posted by: Ohio guy | March 3, 2006 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Having a great resume almost never means you will win an election. People in blue states always miss this point because they live in a bubble. Kerry is a perfect example of this. Most people won't even give a candidate the time of until they can first identify with them. Once they identify with them then they will listen to what they have to say and give them a chance. Repugs have known this as Bill Clinton knew it. Kerry and most elitest dems lose statewide and nat'l elections becuase they are out of touch with the average person. As a part Dems would be well served to get out of the cities once and a while.

Posted by: Brent Parrish | March 3, 2006 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Shirley, I think you mean Howard Dean

Posted by: Jason | March 3, 2006 1:40 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that the perfect job for John Kerry at this time would be the one John Dean currently holds. While a second presidental big for John Kerry would most likely end in defeat, he should certainly be able to raise the money needed to defeat the Republican candidate in 2008. And a lot of people did vote for him in 2004 in spite of the negative campaigning the Republicans did. He has a lot of respect (a lot more than John Dean) among the people, even though he could probably not win in 2008 himself. He could, however, be the proverbial "kingmaker," and I don't think Hillary Clinton is that person either. She has a lot of negative baggage already that would be difficult to overcome. The Republicans are already campaigning against her even though no one is running at this time. I don't think they really consider her a viable threat; they just hope she will be the Democratic nominee, and that is why they pretend to fear her candidacy. These are diabolical people: the real wolves in sheep's clothing who actually con the church-goers in the process. We see them attach hot-button issues that are of little consequence to the ballots to get the church-goers to support them, such as the petition to amend the Florida constitution to prohibit gay marriage and all kinds of legal rights from day couples. That petition was actully inserted into our church bulletin one Sunday morning recently. It is a totally unnecessary amendment; Florida already prohibits gay marriage and many businesses provide benefits to gay partners. As I said before: it is just a ploy to get the church-goers (and I am one) to the poles. Democrats need to convince the public that we are not all atheists by letting them know what our true values are. As more of the corruption of the current administration comes to light, Democrats should be creating proposals that would prevent it rather than just bashing it.

Posted by: Shirley Gravlin | March 3, 2006 12:57 PM | Report abuse

It's good to see the Democratic establishment getting behind challangers that aren't in "top-tier" races.

Posted by: charlie | March 3, 2006 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Amid all the blather about H. Clinton, Gore, and Kerry, one outstanding dark horse candidate is being overlooked---former General Wes Clark, a brilliant man who finished first in his West Point Class and was Supreme Commander of forces in Europe.

Posted by: Jane in Texas | March 3, 2006 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, it's a wonder Kerry didn't lose by a larger margin. After all, his problem was that he speaks French. Whereas Bush lied us into war, sets up secret prisons, sends Americans to dictatorships to be tortured, flouts the Geneva Conventions, violates FISA to spy without warrants on Americans, and has put polluters in charge of environmental regulations, insurance companies in charge of health care, Enron in charge of energy regulations, and on and on.

Oh yeah, and Kerry didn't spend Vietnam drinking poolside with cute secretaries, and cleaned Bush's clock in the debates.

But other than that it is a wonder that Kerry didn't do worse.

Posted by: Brad Johnson | March 3, 2006 12:08 PM | Report abuse

My favorite Kerry faux pas was ordering Swiss cheese on his steak at Pat's King of Steaks in Philadelphia. You just don't do that.

He still won Philadelphia by 400,000 votes, so I guess it didn't matter, but it did spark a funny website.

I will agree with the point of this article, which is not Internuts attacking Cindy, but that Kerry did give a meaningful boost to the noted three candidates.

Posted by: Silent Cal | March 3, 2006 10:42 AM | Report abuse

That's not out of touch, but I'll tell you a story that is. When Kerry and Edwards did there train ride across America they did a stop in Kansas City MO. At the time MO was thought to be in play and they had at that time the largest rally they had had at 25,000 at union station. The only problem was that before the rally Kerry had dinner at one of the best steakhouses in Kansas City. For those who don't know Kansas City is famour for its steaks, BBQ and ribs. So at dinner Kerry is setting with the people, no private room, he's letting people come up to talk to him ect. That's when his out of touchness struck the pompus SOB orders the escargo. So the next day the local news story isn't his huge rally it's another french comparison to the snail loving elitiest. It's a wonder Kerry didn't lose by a much wider margin.

Posted by: Brent Parrish | March 3, 2006 9:29 AM | Report abuse

How is that out of touch?

Posted by: Ohio guy | March 3, 2006 3:44 AM | Report abuse

On the Daily Show during the election, Jon Stewart asked Kerry if his wife got five cents every time someone put ketchup on their fries.

Kerry chuckled and replied, "Would that it were!"


Posted by: Venicemenace | March 3, 2006 2:31 AM | Report abuse

I agree that Kerry is excellent. He is such an inspiring speaker. I begin weeping whenever I hear him speak. It makes me proud to be a Democrat. Long Live Kerry!

Posted by: OJ Simpson | March 3, 2006 1:13 AM | Report abuse

I guess this means you're done sucking up to South Carolina Republicans.

Posted by: Ha | March 3, 2006 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Ok Cindy if we are one such big waste of time go find some loser republicans to rant at you moron. And stop foaming at the mouth about Evan Bayh, are you in love with him or something? Get a damn life and an education for that matter. If you are stupid enough to think Bush makes a better president then Kerry would, well, we don't respect the opinions of incompetent fools so get lost. Why don't you go think of all the innocent people who have died b/c of this beloved president you voted for?

Posted by: Ohio guy | March 2, 2006 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Get a clue - a lot of people like me who don't like Bush still voted for him because Kerry was a joke. If the Democratic Party were serious about defeating Bush, they would have given us a choice much better than Kerry. Instead they nominated this clown who talks down to people. Why don't you try nominating someone electable next time, like Gore, Vilsack, Warner, Bayh, or Richardson? Why on earth would you nominate H. Clinton or Kerry? What made the difference in the last election was you offended a lot of people who don't like Bush but still voted for him because you offered someone who was a complete disaster and there was just no way that people could vote for him. Or I suppose you could sit around with your sily conspiracy theories that Bush stole the election from Kerry - your entire political party is one colossal waste of time.

Posted by: YoudontspeakformeCindy | March 2, 2006 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Once again the moron Cindy has absolutely nothing to back up her idiotic rants. Arrogant and condescending are two words that perfectly describe George W. Bush, who thinks he is above the constitution, Congress, and believes that he was appointed by God to be president(b/c the american people sure didn't make him president).

Posted by: Ohio guy | March 2, 2006 10:47 PM | Report abuse

YoudontspeakformeCindy -

Respectfully it is President Bush who is an arrogant buffoon. I'm no fan of Kerry but how can you call him arrogant with a President like this? Bush believes he is above facts, morality, and the law. Can one be any more arrogant. Anyone who continues supporting Bush at this point is at best a moron and at worst an immoral douche bag.

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal | March 2, 2006 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Kerry is a buffoon - why does anyone pay attention to him anymore? One of the most arrogant and condescending candidates ever nominated by a major political party in all of American history

Posted by: YoudontspeakformeCindy | March 2, 2006 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Kerry didn't want to raise money for another veteran: Paul Hackett. The Democratic Party machine, Senator Schumer in particular denied Ohio Democrats a choice by cutting off Hackett's access to campaign cash - in effect denying him a spot on the ballot. Too bad Kerry didn't seize an opportunity to appear different than the party machine and stand up for a veteran such as Hackett. He would've earned respect and attention had he done so.

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal | March 2, 2006 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Talk about picking nat crap out of pepper. Frankly, Duckworth being a wounded Iraqi veteran, a former Blackhawk helicopter pilot, makes any other argument pale in comparison to her courage, imho. She's a Fighting Dem and for that alone she deserves our support, political infighting be whacked, though I'm not discounting your argument. However, it's just not as important as supporting this vet. Republicans tout being the strong troop party, but in 2006, because of Dems like Duckworth, we're beating them by a mile.

Posted by: Taylor Marsh | March 2, 2006 8:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm rather annoyed (to put it mildly) at Kerry, Durbin, Rahm Emmanuel, and the dirty Chicago machine for pulling Duckworth in against Christine Cegelis, whose only crime seems to be that she doesn't follow the machine's every whim. And unlike Duckworth, is actually qualified for the House. Nothing against Duckworth, but she doesn't even live in the district.

Posted by: Brad Johnson | March 2, 2006 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Its sad to think, or at least as Drudge reported last week, that according to George W Bush if it wasn't for Osama bin Laden's videotape on Al-Jazeera, John Kerry would be president right now. I have he gets another chance.

Posted by: Aaron Witte | March 2, 2006 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I agree wholeheartedly with all of the comments being made! My only wish was that we could ask for a recount of both 2000 and 2004 votes. I think that we should have Gore and Kerry as the appointed heads of our new white house which has been taken so aback of our America's freedoms and the mainstream of the Republicans are still trying to out- scream our voices like my senators from Alabama!

Posted by: nestacal | March 2, 2006 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I, a rehabilitated Republican, sent money to Mr. Kerry's campaign and worked for him as a Presidential candidate. He is a gentleman and would have made a great President. In this era of Hollywood style stuff shirts, liars, self deluded fanatics and spoiled fraternity brothers passing as leaders. With morons evidently composing the majority of American voters, though, I think he is just too good for this country. Nonetheless, I think that he and only he is the one leader we have that can drag us back from the brink. Its up to the voters to determine whether this country even deserve to continue.

Posted by: Mike Brooks | March 2, 2006 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Funny how Republicans claim to be so tough on national security, yet when they have the chance to serve they stick their tails between their legs and hide behind daddy George-Bush style. This website is awesome:

Saxby Chambliss is a piece-of-**** bottom feeder. Calling someone who lost 3 limbs in Vietnam unpatriotic. I hope he is our top target in 2008 and that Max Cleland returns the favor and unseats him.

Posted by: Ohio guy | March 2, 2006 5:07 PM | Report abuse

This is a very worthy cause that Kerry is assisting other veterans with. And yes, he's absolutley correct about the Rove-style politics of cowardness in the extreme. Between Rove and "Mean Jean" Schmidt of Ohio, veterans will hopefully rally against them when their the sure to come not-too-swift boat attacks start. I'm thinking of starting a Web site to counter the morally repugnant attacks that Rove is sure to orchestrate against our veterans who will run for office during the upcoming mid-terms.

Posted by: Bob in Clinton CT | March 2, 2006 4:01 PM | Report abuse

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