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2008: The Case For John Kerry

When the 2004 presidential campaign started, Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) was widely acknowledged to be the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. A decorated Vietnam veteran, Kerry was seen as the right man to take on President George W. Bush during a time of war.

John Kerry
John Kerry during a recent appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press." Can Kerry do what no presidential candidate has done since Nixon -- be nominated by his party twice, lose his first run for the House House but go on to win his second? (Getty Images)

Fast forward two years -- past Kerry's come-from-behind victory in the Democratic primaries, past his narrow defeat at the hands of Bush -- to the present day: Kerry has made no secret of his interest in a second bid for the presidency, emerging as a leading voice in the party calling for an exit strategy in Iraq and continuing to use the e-mail list he compiled during his presidential race to raise money both for himself and for a slew of Democratic candidates and party committees.

Today, The Fix makes the case for another Kerry White House run. Check this space later in the week for the counter argument. And remember: These posts are meant to spark conversation, so feel free to agree, disagree, condemn or compliment in the comments section below.

Run John, Run!

By far the strongest argument in Kerry's favor at the moment revolves around fundraising. At the end of March, Kerry had roughly $14 million on hand -- in three different campaign accounts -- that could be used to jumpstart his presidential candidacy. The majority of that total ($8.5 million) sits in his presidential primary account, the same account he was able to raise $250 million for in his quest to become the party's official nominee in 2004.

No other potential candidate in the Democratic field has shown the ability to raise money at that scale, and only two -- Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Evan Bayh (Ind.) -- look likely to have $10 million or more available to transfer to a presidential exploratory committee at the end of this year.

When it comes to collecting cash for other candidates, Kerry again is at or near the top of the pack. He has repeatedly tapped his e-mail donor list (3 million strong, according to aides) for congressional candidates and Democrats running for state and local offices. Recent appeals have brought in more than $100,000 for Senate candidates in Tennessee, Minnesota and Ohio, and better than $400,000 for a handful of Iraq war veterans seeking House seats. All told, Kerry has raised and donated more than $7 million to Democratic candidates and party committees through his Keeping America's Promise leadership political action committee since the start of 2005.

Kerry's aggressive fundraising for fellow Democrats not only produces chits that he can call in if and when he decides to run for president, but it also keeps that massive e-mail list up-to-date and effective should he decide to jump to the presidential later this year.

The second argument in Kerry's favor is his high-profile on the war in Iraq. Kerry was attacked repeatedly by Bush and his surrogates during the 2004 campaign for his seeming lack of certainty on how best to conduct the conflict -- typified by Kerry's "I voted for it before I voted against it" comment about an Iraq war spending bill. But Kerry seems to have learned the lessons of that indecisiveness.

Beginning in the fall of last year with a speech at Georgetown University, Kerry has been advocating the partial withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. He recently took it a step further, calling for the majority of U.S. forces to be out of Iraq by the end of the year in a opinion piece that ran this month in the New York Times.

Kerry's emergence as a thoughtful and forceful voice on Iraq has won him plaudits from many on the party's left who opposed the war from the start. (It's worth noting that Kerry has courted this segment of the party in other ways since his 2004 loss, most notably in his decision to cut a trip to Switzerland short in order to return to the Senate and organize an unsuccessful filibuster against the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.)

If the war in Iraq remains at the forefront of voters' minds in 2007 and 2008, Kerry would appear to be the Democrat best positioned (in terms of policy positions and his own personal experiences) to speak authoritatively on what needs to come next in the Middle East. Kerry's own service in Vietnam could also be essential in leveling the playing field on the issue if Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), who spent several years in a POW camp during Vietnam, emerges a the Republican nominee.

The final argument for a Kerry candidacy is that he alone among those looking at the race has already had the experience of running a national campaign. (For the moment, we'll leave former Vice President Al Gore out of the '08 discussion, although we've made the case for Gore '08 in a previous post.)

Nothing can approximate the exhilaration, exhaustion and myriad pressures that go with running and winning the nomination and then going on to serve as your party's standard-bearer in a presidential election. While any number of Democrats have been planning 2008 bids for the better part of the last year, it is impossible to adequately prepare a candidate for what is to come.

Kerry knows what's in store should he decide to run again. And while he would certainly make mistakes in a 2008 campaign, he also would be able to avoid many of the pitfalls that could trip up his rivals for the nomination. During a recent interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," Kerry acknowledged: "I made some mistakes. I know what they are, and I take responsibility for them."

Will Democrats offer Kerry a another chance at presidency? Polls continue to show him trailing Hillary Rodham Clinton but ahead of nearly every other potential candidate -- no doubt a reflection of the near-universal name identification he built up during his 2004 race.

Kerry's refusal to simply disappear into the halls of the Senate was greeted with skepticism in the immediate aftermath of his defeat, but through sheer persistence he has kept himself in the national spotlight for much of the last 18 months and emerged as one of the most recognizable leaders in the Democratic Party. That hard work -- coupled with his continued fundraising success -- keeps him relevant in the '08 conversation.

Make sure to check The Fix later this week when we outline the case against a second presidential bid by Kerry.

And be sure to read the past cases we've made: for and against Al Gore, and for and against former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 18, 2006; 9:38 AM ET
Categories:  Democratic Party , Eye on 2008  
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Next: Ohio: Republicans' Machiavellian Maneuver in the 6th


Need to be readed.

Posted by: rape stories | June 15, 2006 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Senator Kerry testified about atrocities in Vietnam.

Nobody wanted to hear about that.

Nobody wants to hear about our country torturing people in Iraq or in Guantanamo either. It makes us uncomfortable. But we have to hear about these wrongs and make them right!

Nobody wants to hear about water-boarding, using attack dogs, or standing prisoners up with hoods over their head. It might make us doubt about our idealistic efforts in foreign policy. But America must hear about these transgressions and put a stop to them.

Nobody will want to hear about how stem cells may help cure disease. Rather talk about cloning half-man/half-animal hybrids in the State of the Union. We don't want to think about our country doing anything wrong. But America must learn about the promise in stem cell research and the immorality of failing to adequately support the scientific cures for disease.

Nobody wants to hear about how every American deserves the right to marry the person of their choosing. We would rather hear about something that moves our country closer towards Motherhood and Apple Pie and the American Flag. We would rather fight for the "sanctity of marriage" and adopt a malicious Constitutional Amendment than recognize that gays may have rights that need to be protected every bit as much as the rest of the population. But we all must speak out to prevent Constitutional Amendments from being passed that deny specific individuals their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Nobody wants to hear about how Capital Punishment isn't applied equally in America. About how violence can beget violence. Let us talk about revenge instead! About "closure" for victims. But we must not appeal to the blood-thirsty among us, but rather appeal to the higher thought processes that demand the elimination of barbaric punishments.

Nobody wants to talk about how our gas-guzzling habits are ruining the environment, our balance of payments, and our national security. Rather talk about providing more supply to feed our habit rather than talk of conservation and renewable energy. But we must address issues of global warming, pollution, and the waste of energy resources as well!

So when I hear about Senator Kerry talking about bad things Americans may have done in Vietnam. I don't want to hear about them. I would rather sit in my lazy boy chair, watch CSI, or Fox and hear Oliver North tell uplifting war stories. But that doesn't diminish the importance of what Senator Kerry had to say to the United States Congress. I know that Senator Kerry will speak up on all of these matters.

Senator John Kerry has been a dissenter in the past and he is a dissenter today. He has offered more leadership in his criticism of the War in Iraq than the other potential candidates. He has learned from the 2004 election and is stronger than before.

Americans and even Democrats may have a short attention span. They would like something new every four years. Especially if it wasn't successful the first time. But we need a leader who can appeal to our ideals and not our prejudice. Who can ask us to sacrifice when sacrifice is called for and who may lead us with compassion, and inspiration, and not hate and intolerance.

There are many qualified Democrats who could be President in 2008. But only Senator Kerry understands what it is like to send the last man to die for a mistake.

I supported Senator John Kerry in 2004 and shall continue to support him for President in 2008 as long as he is interested in the job. This country does not need a formulaic approach to picking its leaders. It needs the wisdom and understanding of John Kerry at its helm.

Posted by: Robert Freedland | May 7, 2006 4:06 AM | Report abuse

There was evidence that some, not all, but some soldiers were committing atrocities in Vietnam. Even Tommy Franks stated that things like that more likely than not happened.

The problem was that Kerry did not defend his record and sat there like a stump doing nothing, instead of defending his speech and what he intended it to be.

I supported Bush in 2000 and voted for him in 2004 (the first time I was eligible to vote) and I thank him for making me more involved in politics, but I am sincerely disappointed at his attitude towards having our troops leave Iraq (let the next Prez handle it?!) and the fact that extraordinary rendition has made the United States, once the human rights champion of the world, no better than Russia or China- the recent visit of Hu Jintao and the detainment of Wang Wenyi (the only true patriot there) made this all the more ironic. Not that I'm too impressed with Kerry regarding China, there are some reported connections that need to be explained.

We need fresh blood and not another one of these career politicians.

Posted by: John | April 22, 2006 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Jim D, I am impressed with your intelligent thoughtful post(s). But I must take exception to your statement, "Kerry's Vietnam heroism was attacked by the Swift Boat Liars". Huh??? Obviously you have forgotten Kerry's actions.
Imagine if now...if everytime you turned on the TV, there was a military OFFICER ranting about large numbers of atocities being committed by our..not their...OUR troops! REAL atrocities! Although Kerry probably gave only about a dozen interviews, the media showed him everyday. He was news! Here was an officer who had been there! He stated his accusations as fact!!! Our troops should hang their heads in shame. They were "baby killers" who also "cut off ears"... Our wonderful troops were advised not to wear their uniforms in public, lest they be spit upon. Jim D, you have forgotten! I haven't forgotten...and neither have millions of others. Remember, the draft was in effect. Career military families were not the only victims affected. Kerry has never apologized to the troops and their families for ranting untruths. All his replusive media interviews! THAT was and still is his problem! Not his war record.
Teddy Kennedy's Chappaquidick mistakes ruined only a few people's lives. Kerry's mistakes hurt...really hurt...millions! He cannot win.

Posted by: Pam | April 21, 2006 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I backed John Kery in 04. I'll back him in 08. He's the best President we should have had.

Posted by: Andy Witmyer | April 21, 2006 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Amen, llama lady.

Posted by: Thomas | April 21, 2006 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Don't count him out. I have seen plenty of new-looking Kerry-Edwards bumper strips popping up all over the western US--even in Utah.

I have met John Kerry and he is the most intelligent person I've ever met. He has a wealth of foreign policy experience which this country could desperately use. I want a president who is smarter than I am, and I will be happy to use my vacation time to work for him again.

Posted by: llama lady | April 21, 2006 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Right-wing Christians will not nominate John McCain.

Watch out for the Allen fellow.

Posted by: Thomas | April 20, 2006 4:02 PM | Report abuse

It's insanely sad that we have choose between 'electibility' and 'the best man for the job'...but it sure does seem to be the case. While always high, the problem is made worse because W's disasters have made the stakes so DAMNED high. I must admit, I'm hoping for bad things to happen to the Republican's strong candidates and to KR...or Maybe McCain will hear a voice from God, not to run.

Posted by: Wilma | April 20, 2006 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Whoever wins this time will have to be able to beat John McCain, whether they are Republican, Democrat, or Third Party. I think Kerry's youthful verbal indiscretions concerning the behaviors of troops in Vietnam are insurmountable in a "fight to the finish" with McCain. I recently was cleaning out my desk, and ran across a printout of the "Kerry Plan" from 2004. I was relieved to scan through it and see that it was, indeed, a plan that would have us on a very different track. And I think it would be a really good track. John Kerry made Bush look even sillier than he was, and that did not impress most of America. Imagine how Kerry would look to most of America, contrasted for months against John McCain, who is to some degree admired by even John Kerry's most ardent supporters? As ardently as I supported him, volunteering time at the Kerry call center, and giving backyard parties all summer, and attending coffee house Kerry meetings, I don't think he is the man to beat John McCain.

Posted by: Laura | April 20, 2006 7:47 AM | Report abuse

3:21 Apparently I didn't get my name on that. Night owls...

Posted by: Ginny in CO | April 20, 2006 3:25 AM | Report abuse

Q 12:36 AM

He lost GOP Ohio by 60,000 votes.

"I have no reason to believe he'd be any better this time than he was the last time, and that's not good enough"

Did you ever hear about the PIPA report?
Given that a majority of Americans now understand that there were no WMD, Sadam had no links to al Qaida; and are willing to question Faux news, Kerry might not have to be better.
Why are you so convinced that he didn't learn anything and would not do ANY better? Kerry had to walk one hell of a tightrope. As much as a lot of people think that if he had attacked Bush more or been angrier, he would have won, they discount the turnoff that would have been to independents and moderate Republicans. The opposing candidate cannot just speak to the base. Bush's approval ratings were mixed: fragile. Attacking him created a lot of animosity and a tendency to feel defensive of him. I learned that by September in trying to educate my coworkers about Kerry. The fear Cheney, Bush and Rove aroused was impenetrable in a lot of people. Hence, the PIPA results.

A Kerry '08 campaign will look much different than '04. Not only because he has the experience and the Democratic Party will be stronger in all states. The difference in voter attitude and knowledge base is going to be BIG. Kerry has won far more elections than he's lost. He knows the game and how to change with the weather. That isn't just from being a windsurfer.

"We can and will do much better than John Kerry."

Is a much longer shot than electing JK.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 20, 2006 3:21 AM | Report abuse

He was facing a war time incumbent President who at the time had strong Terrorism numbers.

Kerry ran an awful campaign and still almost won.

He deserves another shot.

Posted by: Thomas | April 20, 2006 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Here's the only way anybody would deserve another chance at running: if they made what should have been a landslide for the other guy into a tight race. Then their loss would have had to do with the incumbent's popularity, not mistakes by them. So if Mondale had held Reagan to a 5-point victory instead of an 18-point blowout, nominating him in a more neutral environment would be a good idea. But consider Kerry. He was facing an incumbent with mixed approval ratings who he should have defeated. John Kerry lost because of his incompetence as a candidate. I have no reason to believe he'd be any better this time than he was the last time, and that's not good enough. We can and will do much better than John Kerry.

Posted by: Q | April 20, 2006 12:36 AM | Report abuse

11:23 First line should read:

I agree and have *seen*

sorry, too long on the delete key...

Posted by: Ginny in CO | April 19, 2006 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Jim D at 9:54 2:28

I agree and have other arguments that the multiple applications of security should be the basis of the Democratic plan of attack.

Leadership would be the companion to that. I still think of Kerry's great debate comment to Bush;

"Just because you can't do it Mr President, doesn't mean it can't be done"

Leadership also can bring in the abuse of power and position scandals by the GOP. The answer to "the Democrats have done it too" is emphatically: no where near this scope and degree.
( Check out the Rolling Stones article on "The Worst President in History?" on the 29 officials in Reagan's administration that were convicted of the charges against them. The Law has yet to catch up to all the Worst President's transgressors, let alone the rest of the current GOP)

Interesting assessment on the Iraq war was published by the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute. [ ] Excellent and intelligent elaboration to David Kay's "We were all wrong" comment.

Somehow the candidate has to convey that as CinC s/he will respond to obvious danger without applying the football defense mentality (the best defense....) to weapons and war. Foreign policy knowledge, experience, the respect of foreign leaders and diplomatic skills would be a huge plus here.

Hopefully Rove's Machiavellian tactics are being thoroughly examined for pre-emptive strategy and deconstruction by think tanks, the DNC and anyone else who can help.

You would think for all the Dem support for gun control, shooting our feet would not be a problem...

Posted by: Ginny in CO | April 19, 2006 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Kerry has stated that he believes it is immoral to support this war. I'll take him at his word. Unlike you(and REPUBLICANS) I do not believe he is a flip-flopper. The man knows all about unpopular wars, and kids dying after our leaders knew the policies were/are failing. You're simply repeating Republican talking points.

There is no way Bayh, Richardson or Warner are better QAULIFIED. In the end, they may be more electable and have a better shot at the nomination, but Kerry will lose because he had his chance -- not because he isn't qualified enough.

Posted by: Thomas | April 19, 2006 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I have some more thoughts to add to my previous post outlining what I think the Dems need to do to regain the White House. Karl Rove is famous for attacking his opponents strengths. Kerry's Vietnam heroism was attacked by the Swift Boat Liars (funded by Rove allies from Texas). The Democrats need to go on the attack on national security and point out how Bush has bungled the war in Iraq. Again this will only be credible with a nominee the public will feel comfortable with as CinC.

Posted by: JimD | April 19, 2006 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Hey Thomas

Kerry has taken an opportunity to look at the polls and see how unpopular the war is so its now safe to say it. When the war wasn't this unpopular back in 04, he was trying to say that he supported the war as long as Iraq paid for it with some oil revenues. hence the "I supported it before I voted against it" comment that he made.

Had John Kerry come right out and said I'd made a mistake back in 04, he would be President right now. The man blew it, he dropped the ball. Now, while I will agree that Kerry would still make a decent candidate, you have to look at the field and there are much better and more qualified candidates out there who have a better shot at getting elected. Senator Bayh, Governor Richardson, and former governor Warner all come to mind.

Posted by: Rob Millette | April 19, 2006 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Senator Kerry was my choice in 2004 and he will be my choice in 2008- if he chooses to run, that is. I was impressed in 2004 with his intelligence and knowledge of the issues and his resilience and I continue to be impressed with his current tenacity. He has continued to win my support by consistantly working to keep the promises he made to his supporters during the last election.He has proven himself to be a leader bringing our attention to the what is wrong and trying to make it right. I have lost count trying to keep track of the times when Senator Kerry's stated postions and opinions in 2004 have turned out to be correct. He has earned the right to pat himself on the back for being correct, yet he is more concerned with the direction of this country and its citizens then saying I told you so. Unfortunately, there are people who continue to spearhead efforts to discredit him with inaccurate biographical information and out and out lies. Fortunately, all one has to do is see and listen to Senator Kerry to realize his attackers are just plain wrong about him and are just demostrating malice towards Senator Kerry.
The Senator deserves another try at the White House, it's time the Democrats realize they harm themselves by ignoring their best people simply because of a loss.

Posted by: Mark V-PA | April 19, 2006 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I wholeheartedly agree with those saying that the Democrats must be able to appeal to the Great American Middle. The public must be confident that the Democratic nominee will be a credible commander-in-chief. Since Vietnam, ther have been only 2 Democrats elected president. Carter won only because of the Watergate backlash and was also helped by being a Southerner. It might seem strange to younger people (I am over 50) but Carter was seen as a moderate to conservative Democrat in 1976. His opponents for the nomination were to his left. While he has been an admirable ex-president, his presidency was a failure. Clinton was elected only because Ross Perot siphoned off many Republican votes and because, with the recent collapse of the Soviet Union, the commander-in-chief issue did not seem so important. You can make a strong argument that Carter's and Clinton's elections were aberrations. Forty years of poor Democratic showings in presidential elections can be traced to the fact that a large number of people simply do not trust the Democrats on national security issues. I believe that the breathtaking incompetence of the Bush administration leaves an opening for the Democrats to regain credibility on national security and win back the White House. My ideas are:
1. I see a lot of hyper-ventilating on the left about Democratic Senators who voted for the Iraq war. Although we now know that Bush & Co. hyped the intelligence and ignored contradictory intelligence, remember that every major intelligence agency thought Sadaam had an active WMD program. The Clinton administration thought so. The New York Times was editorializing about Sadaam and WMDs even before Judith Miller became a mouthpiece for the neo-cons. The correct position for those who voted for the war is that Bush and Rumsfeld bungled it by not following military advice, specifically from General Shineski. They did not have enough troops to secure the peace, they dismantled the Iraqi army which could have been used to help keep order after purging senior Sadaamists, they did not plan comprehensively for the post-war period, they ignored the complexities of Iraqi society and did not accomodate this in their planning and they seriously misjudged the reaction of the Iraqi people. I do not believe it would be possible, moral or prudent to simply withdraw from Iraq after the mess we have created. Furthermore, if a Democratic president did do that, I believe that the resulting chaos would be a political disaster for the Democrats.
2. Katrina is a tragedy but a great example to use of how Bush and company have a very narrow vision of security. That can lead to a re-definition of national security that encompasses economic matters as well. The port fiasco also plays into that. So does the alienation of so many of our allies (although this critique has to be handled carefully - making it seem as if, say France, has a veto over US actions is a definite non-starter). The Democratic security vision should focus on a comprehensive plan to combat terrorism, particularly radical Islamic terrorism. Yes military action is a major component but so is intelligence (Dem must vow to fix our shortcomings in this area that have been so thoroughly detailed by the 911 Commission and other studies). Diplomacy is important. We must have allies in this struggle. Having allies is not a one-way relationship. Nations become allies of other nations because it is in their interest to do so. We must be respectful of our allies' interests if we expect them to be respectful of ours. The war on terorism is also a war of ideas. We must channel American idealism to project a vision of freedom, tolerance, peace and security.
3. Security also extends to protecting the homeland. While tightened airport security is obvious to all who travel, other vital infrastructure items are still under pre-9/11 security - most notably the ports. Ports, roads, bridges, rail lines are all possible targets. The Democratic candidate should advocate protecting, upgrading and building vital infrastructure. This would also be a good economic stimulus. The uproar over the Arab port deal (although I think it was ridiculous) will help Dems make this point.
Economic security is also a component of national security. The outrageous deficits incurred by the Bush administration undermine our national security. Not only do foreigners own a large portion of our government debt but the deficits stifle more productive investment. We are staring down the barrel of a fiscal train wreck with the impending retirement of my baby boom generation. Sound fiscal policies must be restored. The budget surpluses of the Clinton administration can be compared to the irresponsible spending and tax policies of the Bush administration.

Security can be the theme and many traditional Democratic strengths can be tied to this theme. Consumer product safety and workplace safety, energy independence through government investment and incentives for alternative energy sources and more efficient technologies. The list could go on. Another line of attack can be the Bush administration's muzzling of scientists and ignoring of scientific evidence on stem cell research, climate change and other environmental issues.

Bottom line - the Democrats must attack the Republicans on the grounds that the GOP has undermined national security on a wide array of issues. To do this, they must nominate someone who presents him or herself as a credible commander-in-chief. The nominee cannot be too closely associated with the pro-impeachment, Michael Moore fringe. The culture wars are real and, while the nominee must be true to Democratic principles of tolerance, equal rights, etc., he/she should not be vulnerable to portrayal as disdainful of Joe & Jane Sixpack's values, religion, etc. There is a definite element of that in some circles, although not generally among office holders. I remember Garrison Keillor's first monologue after the 2004 election in which he advocated denying fundamentalist Christians the right to vote. The nominee must be able to articulate basic Democratic positions on social issues without appearing to be disdainful of citizens who have different views.

I believe the Democrats have an historic opportunity to reverse several decades of Republican gains. However, they have proved extremely adept at shooting themselves in the foot.

Posted by: JimD | April 19, 2006 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Seem's like a lot of people are convinced that because they see Kerry as a buffoon, irrelevant and a loser, just about everyone else in the country does too.

Kerry is in a unique situation. Just months after he lost the election by 60,000 votes (5 million would be from the GOP talking points), Bush started his downslide and buyer's remorse set in. Today's Harris poll has W's approval rating down to 36%. From the time he lost, Kerry has not given up being a thorn in Bush's side. From the Kids First Health Plan, Iraq, the hurricanes, Iraq, Small business legislation for the hurricane areas, Iraq, ANWR, Iraq, Alito, Iraq, the scandals, and Iraq. Kerry is giving a speech Saturday you may want to listen to. If you never HEARD his testimony to the Fullbright Comission (4/23/71), you might want to do that. Kerry can speak to the mind and heart.

Change the game.
Does the coach of the losing Super Bowl team get fired?
Is the team considered unlikely to win the next season if they don't get a new coach? Do you really think politics and being the President of the US is easier than Pro football?

Other countries keep the losing national candidate as the opposition leader. The next election they are ready with name and personality recognition, a record the voters are familiar with and a better chance to win than dropping out for four years and starting over.

Why are some so convinced that political candidates who have failed will continue to fail? Business considers failure and persistence the path to success. Kerry has won a lot more elections than he has lost. The Republicans have lost and won. The Democrats might give it a try.

The wind has changed. What the heck is wrong with windsurfing? (I personally think golf is an idiotic game-but I am not blind to it's popularity) The guy is a genuine athlete. He does not fall off skis and snowboards. He plays a game on ice skates called hockey; he rides a motorcycle - for which he has a license.

I have to share this passage from "Rad Decision" an online novel :
" What [political] persuasion would you be, by chance?”

“I never paid much attention. Politics to me always seemed like my sisters having a hissy fight.”

“Oh, to the contrary, our political system is far worse than that.”

Ain't it the truth.. Maybe we could make it better

Posted by: Ginny in CO | April 19, 2006 5:05 AM | Report abuse

kerry is an articulate, thoughtful politician who produced a number of solid, coherent plans. however, nobody knew about them. he did little to rebut outrageous GOP claims about his health care plan, economic policies, and voting record (particularly on military matters). he deserves the consideration of every american voting in a general election - but not in the primary. his failure to defend himself and his policies was his undoing... i think american voters would have been willing to overlook a few mistakes if only they had been addressed.

hillary would be a disaster. nobody is in the mood for another polarizing candidate. i would consider voting republican in 2008 if she were nominated to help punish my party's perpetual fumbling of elections.

warner reminds me a bit of edwards. he's young, competent, popular, ambitious, and tried and true in a red state. i respect and would support his candidacy, but should john mccain be the republican nominee, he would appear an inexperienced upstart. clark or, more realistically, bayh, would pose a more formidable challenge to the experienced mccain. it's tempting to salivate over a bayh-warner ticket, but given his ambition, i think warner is ill-suited for the vice presidency. if he can improve his delivery, bayh could be the midwestern hero democrats are looking for and could conceivably fare well in his home indiana as well as ohio and missouri, as was mentioned in an earlier post. additionally, it would be nice to see a candidate halt missouri's increasing slide into the red column.

Posted by: peter | April 19, 2006 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Kerry is not Reagan or Nixon. Again, in 1960, people thought that this election was stolen from Nixon, and was "destined" (for lack of a better word) for another run. For that 8 years out of office (granted, after a failed gubernatorial run in California), Nixon was doing all the right things in preparation for another presidential run. He really had established himself, politically, to do it again. The political atmosphere was right for him at that point in time. After 8 years of Democratic, White House control (Kennedy and Johnson combined), Nixon rose to the occasion.

Reagan was a political anomaly. When he ran for the Republican nomination for president in 1976 and lost to Gerald Ford, people knew, even then, that they had chosen the wrong guy for the nomination. Reagan was seen to be more conservative than Ford, and was thought to be hawkish and tough on foreign policy. Reagan, it was thought, was given another chance in 1980, after Republicans finally figured out that he, indeed, was the right guy all along. Reagan carried some of that optimism and charisma on to the 1980 election, and eventually went on to defeat President Carter. After suffering through high inflation, coupled with high unemployment (stagflation), the country was in desperate need for optimism and calmness, as well as a belief that they could make it through tough times. Reagan was this personified.

Again, the political winds have to blowing your way, and I just don't think they are gusting in Kerry's court.

Posted by: Centrist, Texan Democrat | April 19, 2006 12:24 AM | Report abuse

If Hillary thinks she can walk into the White House with her John Kerryeque position on the war, she is nuts. She won't repudiate her war vote, but she still criticizes the war. What a hypocrite. She will expose herself to the same "flip flop" attacks Kerry got and by supporting the war, she'll turn off the Democratic base. Knowing the Democrats, they'll nominate her, see her lose, and wonder why, oh why they never win. They blame the loss on the party being too far to the left, gay marriage, abortion, etc. Everything except having a bad candidate. I hope the Democratic party won't buy into Hillary Clinton's equivocation on the Iraq War. You're either for it or against "but"s.

Posted by: Q | April 19, 2006 12:10 AM | Report abuse

If the Democrats are masochistic, suicidal, and delusional, it would be a good idea to nominate John Kerry. No offense Chris, but your reasons for re-nominating Kerry are pretty bad. That's not your fault though, because there is no good reason why Kerry should be nominated again, aside from his ego. As for Kerry's "military service" being an advantage, 2004 proved it was either neutral or perhaps a touch negative. If we're looking for candidates with the experience of running before, why not turn to Dukakis, Mondale, or McGovern? Kerry is thought of by most voters as the "flip flop guy" and nothing he does will change that opinion. He still sounds boring when he gives speeches. If he thinks that all the votes and money he got were because of personal popularity instead of opposition to Bush, he's crazy. There are so many better candidates than Kerry. Think Kerry has learned anything? Take a look at his PAC's name. Waaaaay too long. For all the people who want Kerry to get a second chance, please explain how: 1) He is no longer a poor speaker and will now deliver good speeches 2) Why he is better than any other candidate 3) What makes you think he won't make the same mistakes he did in 2004 4) What makes you think he won't repeat the same mistakes he made before (he still hasn't admitted that his ruderless campaign lost him the election, instead blaming public financing). Frankly, I don't think I could handle another Kerry campaign. The time for him to do all of this stuff he's doing now was in 2004. That train left the station and it's not coming back.

Posted by: Q | April 19, 2006 12:03 AM | Report abuse

John Kerry had better economic plan than President Bush, but he was a soft figure and not a strong figure on the topics such as anti-terrorism, protection of ethics, protection of Taiwan and so on. In the era of anti-terrorism, if someone wants to win the election, he must show his ability to combat terrorism and to protect the interests of Americans. Actually, some Democrats are very brave, for example, General Clark could order NATO to have bombed Chinese Embassy who support terrorists. Democrats have better economic plan and have the tradition to combat Chinese terrorists, if Democrats show these advantages, Democrats will win.

Posted by: Huaichun Jiang | April 18, 2006 11:42 PM | Report abuse

I still do not understand why some people think that Kerry is even relevant. He is yesterday's news - finished politically. No one cares. He is a buffoon and a clown and should be completely ignored.

Posted by: Sandy | April 18, 2006 10:56 PM | Report abuse

I like John Kerry. I took the time to research his record and he is a good man, who has been doing right by this country for 30 years. He has been on the forefront of the issues we are now facing. It's a shame people are too busy looking at image instead of quality. I don't need a screaming banshee or a Repblican wolf in "moderate clothing", when I could have someone (Kerry) who has acted with integrity throughout his career and genuinely cares about the welfare of the country and not his rich cohorts.

Posted by: Karla | April 18, 2006 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Hey Greg, Adlai Stevenson was not the first lovable loser for the Democrats. Willaim Jennings Bryant was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for president in 1896, 1900 and 1908.

Posted by: Jim D | April 18, 2006 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton will be the 44th President of the United States of America.

Posted by: joefer | April 18, 2006 9:02 PM | Report abuse

I voted for John Kerry with my head; but when he gave his heartfelt concession speech, I felt like I was seeing him for the very first time. For the last year and a half, I have been following him closely, and cannot believe what an incredible Senator and person he is! The first word I would use to describe him is honest. He doesn't lie. Ever. I have researched and studied things about him, saw him asked about it on a talk show, and heard him give the facts, nothing more and nothing less. When he talked about integrity, that wasn't a talking point -- it's how he's lived his life and his career.

As you pointed out above, he has been a leader on Iraq, and is usually a few steps ahead of the incompetent Bush administration. A couple of weeks ago, he said Iraq was embroiled in a civil war, and it was only going to get worse. Now today, we hear reports of a full out battle between Shiites and Sunnis in a Baghdad neighborhood. As usual, Kerry was right, and Bush and Rumsfeld look like fools.

Why should we have to find a new candidate, when we have one who is perfect for the job? I saw upthread talk of Mark Warner. He was my governor and he was just great, probably the best governor in the country. But he has NO foreign policy credentials, and in this dangerous world we don't have the time for a learning curve for our next president. We need somebody ready to go and bring back this country from the ruin Bush is leaving. That man is John Kerry. No doubt in my mind.

Posted by: Lynn | April 18, 2006 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Enough of the conspiracy theories- Kerry actually won by 5 million votes but the Republicans burned the votes; millions of Democrats in Ohio were drugged so they couldn't get to the polls. Instead of trying to find excuses face reality.
As long as the Democratic party lets the radical left seem to set its agenda and policies it will continue to turn off the majority of Americans.

Posted by: Jessica | April 18, 2006 8:00 PM | Report abuse

This Democrat is behind Senator Kerry in 2008. The Hillary crowd wants the party to think the race is over. For those reasons outlined earlier, Kerry can overcome the liablilities that encumbered his campaign in 2004. He has the foreign policy experience, he has been the one Democrat who has been out front promoting a better vision for America.
No to Bayh, No to Warner, No to Feingold, and No to Hillary.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2006 8:00 PM | Report abuse

KERRY? Democrat=maschist.
What's with the Democrats and their passion for losers? Did it start with Adlai Stevenson?
Kerry didn't loose because he was slandered, or outspent. He was a terrible candidate and not electable.
If the Democrats can't come up with someone more capable than the jokers that
"offered" themselves in 2000 and 2004 they're in danger of becoming a party like the 19th century Whigs- electing fewer and fewer members to Congress and eventually ceasing to exist as a political party.

Posted by: greg | April 18, 2006 7:48 PM | Report abuse

KERRY? Democrat=maschist.
What's with the Democrats and their passion for losers? Did it start with Adlai Stevenson?
Kerry didn't loose because he was slandered, or outspent. He was a terrible candidate and not electable.
If the Democrats can't come up with someone more capable than the jokers that
"offered" themselves in 2000 and 2004 they're in danger of becoming a party like the 19th century Whigs- electing fewer and fewer members to Congress and eventually ceasing to exist as a political party.

Posted by: greg | April 18, 2006 7:47 PM | Report abuse

KERRY? Democrat=maschist.
What's with the Democrats and their passion for losers? Did it start with Adlai Stevenson?
Kerry didn't loose because he was slandered, or outspent. He was a terrible candidate and not electable.
If the Democrats can't come up with someone more capable than the jokers that
"offered" themselves in 2000 and 2004 they're in danger of becoming a party like the 19th century Whigs- electing fewer and fewer members to Congress and eventually ceasing to exist as a political party.

Posted by: greg | April 18, 2006 7:46 PM | Report abuse


Be sure you know what you are talking about before you lecture others. Congress controls the purse strings and gigolo john Heinz-kerry and other treasonous democRATs held up the money needed to properly supply our troops, in a desperate attempt to make President Bush look bad.

Remember he voted for it before he voted against it.

Posted by: Jeff Davis | April 18, 2006 7:03 PM | Report abuse

I still believe that Kerry is the best choice for president. He has been through the gauntlet of GOP abuse already, and he is still speaking out for what's right. He did make mistakes in the 2004 campaign, but he has learned from those mistakes. Most of the others will be neophytes to the world of presidential politics, and will likely make some of the same mistakes that burned Kerry last time. Kerry has become a nationally-known figure, whereas he was an unknown quantity to much of the country last time. Lots of people are having 'buyer's remorse' for having rejected him in 2004. They want a president who is smarter than they are, who has experience with international diplomacy, and who personally knows the terrible price of war.

As for those who say he can't win after losing in his first attempt, that didn't stop Reagan or Nixon from going on to become president after they initially lost.

Posted by: rox63 | April 18, 2006 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Pete (6:11 pm)

There were a lot of people who felt personally burned after putting so much time into the campaign and then losing.

2 observations;
I think there is still a legal challenge in Ohio that Kerry is involved in. As I said in the longer post, the problems were where they could not be proven. Either the machines had been hacked, or the votes never cast. What I have wondered about since is that Ken Blackwell was very open from the beginning that he was going to deliver the state for Bush. The paper weight issue was early in the year. What was going on in Ohio from then on to change the machines and the process before it was too late? From what I have read, the GOP had enough of a lock on the state that any efforts that were made were stalled, etc.

The problems you describe with the local volunteers being missed and others being brought in have several contributing factors.
The Democratic Party has not maintained party offices between elections - especially in heavily GOP areas - so there was a lot of rebuilding every 4 years. This is the point of Dean's 50 state rebuild strategy. The other is that learning curve of how to run a national campaign. Everyone who starts out with no experience is that much behind someone who has it (and learned from it). Both will make inevitably make mistakes, the one with experience has an edge on making fewer. The other piece here is the database that the GOP built over decades and the Dems have just started.

I hope the voting system there is going to be reliable come November. It will make a big difference your congressional and senate races.
Thanks for all you did for Kerry in '04

Posted by: Ginny in CO | April 18, 2006 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Kerry is today's Alf Langdon. H. Clinton is a craven careerist who believes her own BS (read the great Vanity Fair article on her to understand this). Democrats need to nominate someone who didn't buy Shrub's war rationale from the start, and has had the guts to call him out for illegal wiretapping: Russ Feingold. He's the only sitting senator worthy of the progressive mantle, and he'll get my write-in vote come 11/08.

Posted by: acohn | April 18, 2006 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Look, anybody but Bush...or probably any
of the now corrupt right wingers. If Kerry could win, fine. But he can't. He cannot. Hillary is in the Israeli pocket. McCain pandering to the moral majority crazies. Is there no decent candidate in all of America? Jim Baker, if he were younger, could run this country...(former sec state.)

Posted by: Manny | April 18, 2006 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh the misconceptions.

No Democratic Candidate will win if we don't get the voting system fixed. That means THIS YEAR.

The leading exit poller thinks that Kerry actually won by a small landslide in '04.. But the votes were changed in the machines and there was no way to challenge it or recount.
There was also no way to count the disenfranchised voters who had registered and whose registrations were tossed into dumpsters and paper shredders because they registered Democrat.
There was no way to count the Democrats, in heavily Democratic precints with too few voting machines and 4 to 8 hour voting lines, that left without voting.

If you haven't figured out the role the Main Stream Media Right wing Echo chamber played in the last two elections, get a clue. And support Dean's rebuilding of the Democratic Party operations in every state. '06 and '08 will depend on getting the candidates messages out there, without the MSM distortions.

Kerry had a huge problem in responding to the Swift Boaters. He had accepted the nomination in June. At that point, he could only use the pot of money given to a presidential candidate from the Government. Bush would not have the same amount until August. In the interim, Bush could spend from his own warchest while Kerry had to conserve his funds for the main campaign season. The swiftboaters were financially supported by private donations - from deep pocketed Republicans.

When someone says they've never met anyone who really liked Kerry, I know they were not involved in the campaign. I have to wonder if they spent the last month ignoring the crowds that showed up for Kerry. Philladelphia and Madison were flukes? There are plenty of people who voted for Kerry because they saw him differently than those who dislike him. And most of that is because we have studied his record, his statements and know the facts; not what was dessiminated by the GOP and the MSM. For some, the initial respect was driven to total support after seeing "Going Upriver, The Long War of John Kerry". His leadership skills are subtle, and very effective.

There are many analyses of Kerry's vote statistics. He came within 100,000 votes of defeating a seated President, during war, with a message ignored or distorted by the press, many questionable voting machine tallies and other irregularities, not to mention the kind of campaign the GOP wages under the radar with it's grass roots base in mega churches.


Getting out of Iraq
*** Reliable Voting machines for '06 ****
The '06 elections to Congress GET INVOLVED in a campaign and help get Dems elected in November.

Meanwhile, follow and study the major/minor players for president in '08. Know what their records, actions etc say about them. (Anyone who thinks McCain is a moderate really needs to do this)
When the time comes, the voters in the primaries and the people who participate in caucuses in the states that use that system, will determine the winner. From then on you can chose to support that candidate or not, but let's not do the kinds of things that amount to shooting ourselves in the foot.

As several people have commented, this is not just about winning, it is also about have a qualified person to take over the mess BushCo has made.

Posted by: Ginny in CO | April 18, 2006 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I guess there is an East coast bias. Out here in the West, I don't think you would would get support for the argument that Kerry has kept himself in forefront or in the news. He is a non-entity in our media coverage.

At this point, neither party has anyone that represents new ideas or is a new face. We seem destined to choose among the lesser of two evils. (Our own fault for driving decent people from possible candidacy with the fear of the unending media scrutiny. We want idols; not real people. Perfection isn't to be had.)

Posted by: Colorado Voice | April 18, 2006 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Kerry run again? In Ohio, he'll win the primary when Hell freezes over. I worked in the 04 campaign, and had the regional coordinator live in our home for 6 weeks. We ALL felt betrayed by him in his gutless refusal to fight the massive voter fraud that occured here. Quite simply, we have no use for him whatsoever. His campaign was disorganized, ignored people who wanted to volunteer for months, then brought in out-of-towners to a rural area where New Englanders went over like Cindy Sheehan at a Bush rally. Leave it to we Dems to wrench defeat from the jaws of victory- one time around the drain with this quitter was more than enough.

Posted by: pete 77 | April 18, 2006 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Jeff D.: A little lesson in military responsibility - It is the resposnsibility of the commanders to see that their men are properly trained and equipped. Blame first goes up the Chain of Command to the C-I-C, before can jump over to the Congress. This Administration's hands weren't tied by this Congress. Put the blame where it belongs!

Julie: If people could vote for Bubba with HRC along side him; they could have voted for Kerry with the Ketchup Queen. It wasn't her!

Posted by: Nor'Easter | April 18, 2006 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I think/hope we're destined for an exciting Democratic Convention in 2008. None of the candidates (Clinton, Kerry, Gore, Edwards, Warner, Vilsack, Feingold, Clark, Bayh, Richardson, Biden, Gravel... am I forgetting someone) will have excited the electorate enough to win the nomination, and all will be trailing the presumptive Republican nominee in the polls (be it McCain, Guiliani, Allen, Romney, Hagel, or Rice).

The only way the Democrats win it is with a last-minute, week-before-the-convention Barack Obama candidacy. Especially if it looks like we're headed for a brokered convention, but even if Hillary appears to have it all sewn up, Obama could easily sweep in at any time and with one speech win over a huge majority of delegates. He's the consensus choice. And don't worry about those who would call him "inexperienced": just look to our last Illinois President. Obama served eight years in the Illinois State Senate, then won a US Senate seat. Lincoln served eight years in the less-powerful Illinois State Legislature, before losing the 1858 US Senate election. He rebounded a mere two years later by winning the Presidency. Obama won his U.S. Senate seat with 70% of the vote.

Experience sunk Kerry. Bush won twice, despite failing at everything he ever tried (except being Governor of Texas, which is really a very easy job, with almost as much - if not more - power residing with the Lt. Gov.).

Barack's time is now.

Posted by: Middle-roader | April 18, 2006 5:47 PM | Report abuse

There is no way that Kerry will win the primary. After 8 years of Bush, Democrats want someone who can win and Kerry is a proven loser. 4 years ago, Democratic primary voters proved that the ability to raise money doesn't mean anything if they don't think the candidate can win in the general election. 4 years ago, Bush was vulnerable and Kerry didn't win. He isn't going to get another chance.

Posted by: Matt | April 18, 2006 5:41 PM | Report abuse

John Kerry cannot get elected and the biggest reason according to both the Men and Women I've spoken with: his wife. People do NOT like her, she comes across as pushy, demanding and shrewish. Thats the elephant in the room nobody speaks about.

Posted by: Julie | April 18, 2006 5:34 PM | Report abuse


Was the before he vote for and agaist the money our soldiers needed to buy armor with?

Posted by: Jeff Davis | April 18, 2006 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Kerry for President? He's been there and done that.

I am disenchanted with almost every politician and find myself leaning more to anyone who can distance themself from sameo-sameo. We have had sameo for far too many years. Do you catch the aroma of most of our elected officials? What you smell does not elevate us as a nation. It has a name, and it clings to the feet of almost every politican who enters the halls of congress.

Give us someone who speaks to us as equals, who believes we are reasonable men and women, and who inspires hope among the most humble of our citizens. It is not the institutions and political parties and wealth of this nation that are great but we its people. We the people have allowed ourselves to become a nation of the politicians, by the politicians, and for the politicians. Their rhetoric has grown weak and meaningless. Their excuses inexcusable. More sameo-sameo. We need fresh air in Congress.

How refreshing it would be start all over again with men and women who inspire us to believe in the tenets of democracy instead of dividing us as a people.

Posted by: Richard | April 18, 2006 5:03 PM | Report abuse

A Kerry or Hillary nomination = Big win for McCain.

Come on Democrats! How could some of you possibly want Kerry to run again? Why in the world would you want Hillary to run? Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie and Ken Mehlman would love this, and would have no trouble digging up old news. I can just hear it now: "I voted for it, before I voted against it" phrases plastered all over the media. Wind vanes conveying a flip-flopping Kerry. Sex scandals, Whitewater and Vince Foster reminding voters of what the "real" Clintons are all about. The "plantation" House of Representatives comment made by Hillary Clinton earlier this year... It would be a disaster, and GOP operatives are preparing for the big fight--especially with HRC.

The country--I very seriously doubt--will grant Kerry another opportunity, because he suffered through a terrible loss to President Bush in 2004. He ran an inept campaign that he probably should have won (a support-waning Iraq war, sluggish economy, decreasing, presidential poll numbers by President Bush...), and he didn't exhibit resolve or vision. I'm saying that running a campaign isn't difficult, but Kerry had all of the ingredients he needed for a victory in November 2004.

Nixon, yes, came back and won, but Kerry's no Nixon. Richard Nixon was a man who had vast international experience with being Vice President, under Eisenhower, for eight years, and narrowly losing the 1960 election to President Kennedy--an election that is thought by many historians to have been stolen from him (I don't really know if I accept this). Though he had faults, Nixon was charismatic, extremely intelligent, decisive, a brilliant hawk in foreign policy (his policy of detente with the Soviets; his and Kissinger's strategic triangulation with the Chinese, further bringing the Soviets to the table of capping their nuclear arms), and by many historians was thought of as being a political MODERATE. Again, Kerry's no Nixon.

We need people who can bridge the divide between extremes, and who can actually get things done pragmatically. This candidate has to frame the argument in such a way that forces Americans to believe that it is morally right that we achieve these goals (get Americans insured, jobs, etc.); much the same way that FDR did with "The New Deal;" much the same way that Kennedy did in the escalating stages of the Cold War and inspired a new generation to want to serve; much the same way that Johnson did with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Voting Rights Act of 1965; much the same way... The Party's future--hopefully--lies not with the Clintons and Kerrys of the Party. No. It lies with moderates who can talk with the American people, and are able to relate to them culturally, spiritually and emotionally. Think about it: In the next 15 to 20 years, most of the Southwest (including Texas) will include a majority Latino population--a people who are hardworking and, yes, religious. Latino voters are more likely to vote for the Democrats, but we need not take Latinos for granted. We need to be able to offer people something, and make them think, but we need to do it in such a way that we are not screaming and yelling.

Democrats need to start talking with people of the Party and country who are religious, because to ignore them will mean another 4 years in the political, presidential wilderness. The effect will not happen right away, but it will trigger to these Americans that we our reaching out. This is the future, my friends.

Wake up Democrats!

Posted by: Centrist, Texan Democrat | April 18, 2006 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I am and have always been an avid supporter of John Kerry. I listened to what he had to say in all of his speeches, read his approaches to each of the respective issues. The electorate too often mistakes nuance for weakness. There are never EVER two sides to any issue in Washington. I appreciated Kerry's acknowledgement of the many factors surrounding each issue. I would vote for him in 2008 not because he is the Democrat but because he John Kerry.

Having said that, The Democratic Party needs to invest in it's youth. Turn to Warner and Bayh for inspiration. Give them a chance to show what they are made of, and let them display the brilliance and drive that has made them so effective in Red States.

Posted by: Charlie | April 18, 2006 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Rob Millette:

Kerry has stated publicly that his voting for the war was a mistake. Quit making ignorant statements without having facts.

Thanks in advance.

Posted by: Thomas | April 18, 2006 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Kerry remains a viable candidate. As you point out, he is no longer a neophyte when it comes to presidential campaigns, and this would enable him to avoid making the same mistakes he made before. But, in addition to that, he also has an historical example he can follow: Richard Nixon.

Like Kerry, Nixon lost a close presidential bid in 1960, only to come back eight years later to win the presidency at a time when the United States was engaged in another unpopular war: Vietnam. Remember, it was the unpopularity of that war that caused Democratic President Lyndon Johnson not to seek a second term.

While Bush is term-limited and cannot run again, whoever takes the Republican nomination will be in the awkward position of having to defend his administrations's actions in waging an increasingly unpopular war in Iraq. Given President Bush's poor performance in handling this war, Kerry's call for a withdrawal of the majority of the troops by the end of this year just might sound pleasing enough to voters to warrant them taking another look at him in 2008.

Moreover, if the Republicans once again trot out those "Swift Boat" ads and try to make Kerry's war record the focal point of the campaign, he can answer simply by pointing out that the current Commander-in-Chief never actually fought in Vietnam; and given his poor handling of Iraq, perhaps its time that the top spot, once again, be occupied by someone who has actually fought in a war.

Posted by: Jack | April 18, 2006 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I have no doubt that I would vote for John Kerry in 2008.

Posted by: Brittany | April 18, 2006 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I fear that those calling themselves democrats are simply listening to the republican or the media’s spin on Kerry and the Democratic party and taking it as truth, whether they realize they are doing it not. More than a few “democrats” are speaking in terms of they instead of we. How many of you that have posted have said something like “if they nominate X, I’ll not give him/her a dime”? One specifically stated the we need someone new, someone that cares about other cultures, the environment and takes an interest in the rest of the world. We are talking about the democratic party right?Has global warming not been one of Al Gore’s, and many democrats, main concerns? Wasn’t it Kerry that said over and over and over again during 04 and to this day that we need to rejoin the world community and lead, as opposed to intimidate? Was not Bill Clinton’s first priority after leaving the W.H. to help curb the spread of AIDS in Africa? I point these things out because a theme I noticed in reading over these comments was that Democrats have nothing new to add, etc. This is the chief response of republicans today when any democrat critizes the administration, now we democrats have just taken them at their word?
If instead of buying into what Republicans have said, and are saying about us and our leadership, perhaps we should look in the mirror, or actually listen to what visible members of our party are saying as opposed to judging the leadership strictly from the comments the opposition are making. It is not the likes of Kerry that are letting republicans define us, it is we that have capitulated by not remembering who we are and by failing to remind all who ask exactly what that means.
Until that happens, it will not matter who is nominated. As for Kerry, I think, given the difficult task that was before him he performed admirably, its easy to forget now, especially for those that just repeat all the criticism levied against him during the campaign as the reasons for his loss, but he was fighting a sitting president, while the nation was at war and the country divided right down the middle on nearly every issue. I doubt any candidate, even the great Bill Clinton himself could have fared much better. He is intelligent, deliberate, experienced and curious. These are all attributes necessary to navigate the troubled waters in which W. has placed our nation, and the world. Demanding anything less in a presidential candidate courts disaster. We already have one “charming” candidate in the oval, look where that got us.

Posted by: a. bonuchi (mo) | April 18, 2006 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I have to second William's assessment of the Repub nominee. While McCain is by far teh stronger candidate in the general, he has almost no chance in teh primary. And any move he makes to make himself 'more republican' will only serve to alienate the independent base. I don't think McCain is going to be a problems to the Dems in '08.

I suspect that Romney will be the front runner and I doubt he can carry the general. He will be another 'religion in politics' that the ultra conservatives love and the recent fiasco with health care in Massachusetts will backfire on him.

I'm rep leaning and in Mass and I think I would have to vote against Romney, especially if the Dems actually manage to come out with a candidate worth voting for; however, HRC, Kerry, and Gore are not such candidates.

Posted by: Dan | April 18, 2006 3:48 PM | Report abuse

He gave the presidency to Bush...

my little sister could have kicked bush's butt, with his background, war or no "occupation to obtain control of a scarce resource,"

cokehead, alcoholic, daddy's boy, draftdodger, poor student, worse talker...

yeah, he was hard to run against, real hard...

and why didn't Kerry complain about the newspapers running

"WAR ADS" three (3) dead in Iraq!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

on the front page of every newspaper, website

every friggin day of the friggin campaign.

no complaints from John heck no....

he used his clout to call Dennis K. a "vegan" in a disparaging voice



truth justice and the american way...that's a laugh...he's a rollover...kiss my

well, whatever.

Posted by: Kerry, he's an elitist... | April 18, 2006 3:40 PM | Report abuse

If Kerry runs against McCain, he ought to take a page from Karl Rove's book and bring out the GOP smears of having a black child and having been brainwashed by Ho Chi Minh. It worked in 2000 and can work in 2008.

Can the GOP swipftboat Kerry again? By now, the Conservative Media knows these charges are bald-faced lies, so the GOP not only may not get much traction out of them, but also risks seeing it blow up in their faces should it backfire. Any future Kerry campaign can quickly and easily rebut the charges. Saying "Soldiers told me they cut off ears" etc is not the same as saying "Soldiers cut off ears." With Iraq going down the tubes according the GOP plan, the public may not react to Vietnam issues the way the right wants. Vietnam? You mean that quagmire that was just like Iraq?

As for atrocities, gee, sounds like Abu Ghraib. Again, a serious problem for the right if it backfires.

But would McCain even try to Swiftboat Kerry? McCain does appear to acutally have some scruples, which of course separates him from the Deserter-in-Chief.

Would Osama bin Forgotten issue a last-minute endorsement for McCain like he did for W? This could be serious. The GOP's best friend might well again decide a Republican administration would be better for world-wide jihad than a Democratic administration. Maybe Bush's best friend would pull off another 9/11-style attack to aid McCain. Perhaps multiple suicide bombers at a MLB playoff game. Given how much bin Laden owes Bush and the GOP, it's the least he could do. I'm sure Karl Rove would appreciate it. Republicans all over would rejoice.

McCain would offer great opportunities for attack ads. Kerry a flip-flopper? How about an ad showing McCain trashing the Blame-America-First crowd of the not-very-Reverands Falwell and Robertson (remember them saying America DESERVED 9/11 for not killing gays on sights?), and then cutting to McCain brown nosing them?

Even better would be the religious promises the Blame-America-First crowd at Focus on the Family would extract from McCain. Ban abortion in almost all circumstances. Every dying American a potential Terri Schiavo whose non-existant life must be saved at all costs no matter what the decedant wanted. Force-feeding America a Wahabbi version--no, PERversion--of Christianity. We all know the pseudo-Christian right will demand any GOP candidate swear he would go after Terri Schiavo again, and take similar Wahabbist stances. If the right thought Kerry's "I vonted for it before I voted against it" statement was a great soundbite, just wait for the Dems to take on the GOP platform to be written by the religious right. As America lears the dangers of religious extermism from Iraq, the Dems won't have too hard a time showing the GOP is just like the Iranian ayatollocracy.

As for Kerry standing up for America's Constitutional principals against Opus Dei, let's see what the Republican Wahabbists do with the Catholic Church's stance on illegal immigrants and the death penalty. Ooops, we only meant you have to kowtow to the Vatican on SOME issues, not ALL of them. Most American Catholics disapproved of this blatant attempt at spiritual blackmail. I can see the ads: "America is fighting a war against religious extremism in Iraq. Now we have to fight one here, too, against those who would force Americans elected by the people to do the bidding of an unelected group of child molesters." Ooops, did I say child molesters? I meant old men.

Botton line: Almost any Dem can win in 2008 as long as they ask WWKRD? What Would Karl Rove DO? Smear, attack, lie, distort, and give them a taste of their own medicine. But in a first strike, not a response. Down and dirty. The best blow is a low blow. WWKRD.

Posted by: I'm Not W | April 18, 2006 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Nay to Kerry and the senator-speak. We need a governor to run in '08. I met Tom Vilsack at a fundraiser this year, and he's the real deal. Smart but earthy, with a genuine morality about him. He could run a 50-state strategy. But alas, the money's not going his way. And we all know, if they're not making money three years before the election, then ...

Posted by: Wyoming | April 18, 2006 3:36 PM | Report abuse

It is never too early to handicap in politics, it's just hard to be right.

Posted by: RMill | April 18, 2006 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Jason, President Bush has a BS from Yale and an MBA from Harvard and he know what the definition of is is. gigolo john Heinz-kerry was rejected by Harvard and had to attend 3rd rate Boston College.

Tell us about your education. As judgmental as you are, surely your education must be impressive.

Posted by: Jeff Davis | April 18, 2006 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey reggiesmom, are you aware that weasley clark was relieved of his command because the lunatic tried to start a war with Russia.

idiots like weasley may make good democRATs, but we certainly don't need a fool like that for President.

Think Tom Tancredo

Posted by: Jeff Davis | April 18, 2006 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Yer dreamin, Eddie C. George Bush doesn't want out of Iraq. He wants to build permanent bases there [already in progress] as a jumping off point for future wars to control the Middle Eastern oil fields.

If the Dems were to win and cause 'gridlock' in the Congress [and what would you call what is happening now?] most of the country would rejoice -- because this is the least popular Congress ever.

Posted by: Drindl | April 18, 2006 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Unlike many here, I do think that Kerry's Vietnam service does equal McCain'. Neither shouls be the main reason they are considered. Here is my comparison of them:
McCain was a mediocre officer, by most accounts, until he was shot down. The one genuine and true thing that makes him a hero was refusing to take advantage of his name to return early. Kerry, was a genuine hero because he put his life at risk to save another. His other medal is in some ways more a reason to want him as President. Form the account given by one of the other skippers, Kerry worried about the deadly ambushes that had happened to a few other patrols, he spoke to the people who were involved, and came up with a possible counter measure. He then explained his idea to many of those he had talked to before, asking their opinions. Kerry and some of his peers decided under certain circumstances that they would turn towards the ambush. It was a risky strategy but there was a high likelihood that some of the men would have been killed using the standard procedure. They all survived. To me, that he thought about the risks before they occured, got information from people who had it, came up with a plan, solicited opinions and then agreed with others on when to do it. Maybe a President who at 25 bothered to plan would be a welcome change.

That he then returned to the US when he could and on the second day told his admiral how the mission in Vietnam he was assigned to had incredible casualty rates and was not succeeding. This was a responsible thing to do, for the sake of those still there

Looked at fairly, Kerry's service shows intelligence, creativity, initive, and heroism. McCain's shows loyalty and a respect for honor.

Additionally, if they ran against each other, I would copy the chapter from McCain's book on the POW/MIA committee. Kerry comes across as patient, hard working, very diplomatic, and compassionate. McCain comes out less well.

Posted by: karenc | April 18, 2006 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for posting AllDems. It would be nice to have an intelligent President again. Don't forget, it's not only important that a Democrat get elected but that he will govern effectively as well.

Posted by: Jason | April 18, 2006 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Most of the people who have commented thus far are Democrats, obviously. I, however, am the much-hated "neo-con" (whatever that means, as opposed to a Ronald Reagan conservative; they're the same). Leaving aside the fact that most of you would be diametrically opposed to the type of political platform that attracts me, here's how I view the '08 Democtratic primary.

As a conservative Republican, the Democratic candidate who most scares me is Mark Warner. He's someone who could probably connect well with the American people, the way George W. Bush does when he's at his political best. Love him or hate him, that is really what has won Bush the past two elections; his affable appeal to the average American. Hillary scares me marginally. No Clinton should be underestimated, however, everyone is making too big a deal out of her, and the primary will by no means be a slam dunk for her. As for Russ Feingold, I see him as a more legitimate version of Howard Dean. He's someone who will gain the support of and most of the important liberal PACs, but the reality is that he is far too liberal to carry the day, perhaps even too liberal for a Dem primary.

With the Republicans, forget about McCain and Guiliani. Both will make formidable wins, and either could easily win a general election, but neither has a chance in the Republican primary. George Allen and Mitt Romney will be the front-runners a year from now, and I'd bet my last dollar on that. If Dems want to stand a chance against either candidate, they're gonna want a guy like Mark Warner in the race. If I were a Dem, I'd probably support Feingold, as he appeals most to the liberal aesthetic, in the same way that I am almost leaning towards a vote for Newt Gingrich. These are two idea men, but also two men who would stand no chance in a national election.

I am sincerely hoping that you nominate John Kerry again, because it would guarantee the next President to be a Republican, no matter who we nominated. Besides, it was so much fun satirizing him! And please stop mentioning John Murtha as a VP candidate. None of you even knew who the hell he was until it was brought to your attention that he was a Vietnam vet who opposed the Iraq war. Dems should realize: one needs more qualifications than that in order to hold high office. Veterans of war are people just like the rest of us: they have opinions, some are liberal, some conservative, some probably think wars are bullsh*t, some don't. But having a uniform doesn't completely validate anyone's opinion. Legitimizes it, but does not validate it.

Posted by: William | April 18, 2006 2:55 PM | Report abuse

It's just too soon to be handicapping this horserace. First, the 2006 mid-terms are going to completely change the playing field. If the Dems win the majority in either the House or the Senate, all progress will stall AND THE DEMS WILL BE BLAMED FOR THE GRIDLOCK. Leaving the Reps in a better position for 2008. If the Dems DO NOT win the majority in the Fall, this will be a sign of strength for the Republicans and the Dems will be left in a disarray of finger pointing.

Either way, 2008 is a long way off. By then, even King George will have figured out a way to get out of Iraq and all this political calculus will be for naught.

Line Item Vito Political Cartoons

Posted by: EddieC | April 18, 2006 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Kerry continues to fight for policies that will unburden working Americans and make America stronger. His record of standing up for our troops, veterans and their families, along with his record of standing against special interest and corruption is exemplary. His commitment to America's future and his experience in foreign policy will, as in 2004, make him an excellent candidate. He has the potential to be a great president. He has earned my support.

Posted by: AllDemsonBoard | April 18, 2006 2:45 PM | Report abuse


I agree with you about Bayh except it is difficult for a sitting US Senator for the very reason that the GOP runs the agenda and will schedule votes to out a nominee on certain issues.

Bayh and Clinton can try and explain away their votes but it gets back to the Kerry thing, either you are for or against it. If you voted for it you can be held accountable for everything that follows.

As a VP candidate, it won't hit him as hard.

And I have said that about Clark a number of times so I definately agree there.

Posted by: RMill | April 18, 2006 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Why are we talking about Kerry when better Democrats are in the field. Kerry had his chance in 2004 and blew it, but candidates like Edwards, Mark Warner, and Evan Bayh are the Democrats are the ones we should be looking at. They can carry red states with ease, and win back the White House. Hillary and Kerry they can't win a general election. If we want someone to really speak about foreign affairs and national security then have General Wes Clark be the nominee or VP.

Posted by: PopulistDemocrat | April 18, 2006 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I have to say that most of these posts are rather amusing. I see a lot of dedicated liberals hyper-ventilating about the last two elections and a few arch conservatives making sarcastic remarks. (I know that not all the posts can be characterized this way but there sure are an awful lot that can be.) Attention true believers of the left and right: the majority of the country is somewhere in the middle. Polls have shown that most voters tend to agree with the Democrats on more issues than they disagree. However, too many moderate voters simply do not trust the Democrats on national security. This concern trumps other issues. Unless the Democratic candidate can project credibility as commander in chief in the age of terrorism, he or she will lose. This administration's incompetence in dealilng with the war in Iraq and Katrina can create an opening for Democrats on this issue. The candidate must understand that the US is a super-power and, in the most part, a force for good in the world. Any association with the "Blame America First" chorus will be disasterous electorally. Karl Rove, Lee Atwater, certainly have been more Machiavellian over the last 20 years than their Democratic counterparts. However, they would not have been successful in their caricatures of Democratic candidates if there had not been a kernel of truth in the caricatures.

The Democrats need a candidate with integrity who can take a stand on issues and explain that stand. People will vote for someone with whom they disagree on many issues if they have faith in the person. That explains why a lot of moderate to liberal voters supported John McCain in 2000. I would have voted for McCain in 2000 even though I agreed with the Democrats on more issues than I agreed with McCain on.

In any event, I am a moderate who holds liberal views on some issues and conservative views on other issues. I think Michael Moore and Rush Limbaugh are both buffoons. I voted for John Anderson in '80, abstained in '84, Bush I in 88, Perot in '92, Dole in '96, Gore in '00 and Kerry in '04.

Posted by: JimD | April 18, 2006 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Kerry? Insanity.

New blood is mandatory. No Hilary. No Edwards. Nobody who voted for the damnable war.

Warner? Clark? Hell, even Montana governor Schweitzer. Get everybody out there, and see who's left standing.

Who don't know who the winner is. But I know who the losers are: Clinton, Kerry, Edwards. Especially against a credible moderate like my old freshman dorm buddy (at Stanford, before he absconded to BYU), Mitt Romney.

Posted by: Bruce | April 18, 2006 2:39 PM | Report abuse

wow leave for 20 minutes and look what happens anyway I'm gonna tackle this one post at a time and maybe 10 years from now I'll catch up

RMill you stated When contrasted with their authorization votes, Kerry Bayh and Clinton will have a tough time on this particular issue.

You were talking about Iraq and I feel that I differ with you here. Kerry will have a tough time cause he has 5 different positions. I believe that Clinton and Bayh will be able to say they made a mistake and that it was the wrong thing to do.

In my opinion, Evan Bayh is one of the best candidates in the field. Before being elected to the Senate, he was Indiana's Secratary of State and Governor. During his time in the Senate, he was on the select committee on intelligence and the Armed Services Committee. He is also the ranking member on the subcommittee of International Trade and Finanace and a member of the Small business committee.

During his time as Indiana's governor, he established one of the strongest and most financially secure economies in the nation. He never raised taxes, gave a huge tax cut and had the largest budget surplus in state history.

Evan Bayh is by far an away the most qualified candidate in the democratic field and deserves atleast the VP slot if not a chance at the presidency.

I like Wesley Clark as well but I think he is better suited to the Sec of Defense slot than either P or VP slots.

Posted by: Rob Millette | April 18, 2006 2:33 PM | Report abuse

as long as we're talking unelectable, we should bring up Feingold. Clark would be electable if he could campaign, but he can't.

Posted by: Scott | April 18, 2006 2:28 PM | Report abuse

John Kerry is unelectable in a national election. That may also be true of Hillary, which leaves the Democrats where?

Posted by: Dan Barthel | April 18, 2006 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Kerry is not the CHALLENGE to Bush. And, the media railroaded the past 2000 and 2004 elections, greviously. Yes, the Campaign Managers ALSO have a distorted picture of THEIR candidates shown ALLOWED or DEFINED, whichever may be true, also, and a change in any reruns of MAJOR CANDIDATES should be New Campaign Managers with the Candidates' showing hindsight 20/20 wisdom.

The PUBLIC did not get the CHALLENGE to Bush campaign momentum view. Nader was never given proper entrance, but given the "He cannot win" as a mainstream mantra, and the Democrat's libelous and very undemocratic claim, "A vote for Nader is a Vote for Bush" which MANY people did not understand.

That claim was that Nader could not be ALLOWED as a REAL challenge and permitted the DECLARED contest of a three way race...when certainly IF the PUBLIC had the MEDIA presentation of TRUE NADER OFFERING -- including PEACE CANDIDATE challenge against Bush, then, certainly the three way race would have happened.

"He cannot win" was the confused public view. Cannot people vote for their affirmative choice? Shouldn't a fair and objective REAL view of each candidate at a (1) EDUCATION and TRACK RECORD ALREADY ACHIEVED as their right to run; (2) THE CANDIDATES VIEW of the STATE OF THE UNION and their PLATFORMS/ISSUE STATEMENTS (plus how to's/would do's); and (3) Their CHALLENGE and OFFERED CHANGE IF ELECTED. A Vote for Nader would have CERTAINLY net NADER NOT BUSH RESULTS AT A MAJORITY LEVEL IF PEOPLE VOTED NADER.

Campaign staff need to present their CANDIDATES and the AFFIRMATIVE truth of what they offer IF CHOSEN at a MAJORITY LEVEL. Then the polled question which was totally pre-emptive, and should be changed to a "Who do you want to win and be the President" type of affirmative question...allowing preference over the time of the campaign momentum to show--not a pre-emptive 20 year used horror poll story, of (yes, at the very beginning this was the poll used for rating, very pre-emtpive and horrific status quo endorsement against democracy, big time), "If the election were tomorrow, who would you vote for?" Before the public had the proper view and saw the proper honest portrait FROM seeing the CANDIDATES themselves speaking for themselves to the nation.

Please and thank you!

Posted by: Elizabeth Ellis | April 18, 2006 2:18 PM | Report abuse

As a Republican, I think the Republican Party is due to lose--quite likely this fall, certainly in 2008. It's made too many mistakes. It's for the Democrats to determine whether they will grasp their opportunity as Republicans did in '52 or lose it as in '48 with Dewey.

But how refreshing it would be to read an entry beginning "Since we are going to win, this is what we'll hope to achieve by 2012 or 2016--specifically--with a view to which we want X rather than Y." Who can win, yes, that's what this spot is about initially; but who can win and then do what?

Posted by: Kakuzan | April 18, 2006 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to see Kerry run again. he's actually impressed me more in '05 and '06 than he did in '04, and my support for him has grown by leaps and bounds since his campaign. I was pretty satisfied then, but I wouldn't have crawled over broken glass to get him elected or anything.

But that's all changed, now that he's become so outspoken on Iraq, led the filibuster of Samuel Alito, defined a clear course of action for the Democratic party, and proven himself to be possibly the hardest working Senator in Congress. I am so inspired by this man, and I think others are getting there.

Posted by: jenn | April 18, 2006 2:09 PM | Report abuse

While it is true that neither Gore nor Kerry inspired the masses, Dems successive losses for the White House were caused by tactical mistakes.

Gore pulled out of Ohio too soon and did not connect with Nader early enugh to deflect votes that essentially lost him NH.

Kerry got beat by Rove and the GOTV effort that far outclassed similar traditional Dem campaign strengths. And the series of 14 "Gay Marriage Ban" amendments in key states rallied conservative and independant voters without exhausting hard campaign dollars.

Howard Dean's 50 State strategy and fund raising efforts had better remedy this crucial problem or it won't matter who we ultimately pick.

Posted by: RMill | April 18, 2006 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I donated money to the Kerry Campaign - several hundred dollars. MOre than I could afford, but I was a "true believer". I spent weeks knocking on doors for his Presidential campaign in Oregon. Then, my sn who had enlisted in the Army as a trama nurse was abruptly sent to Iraq as a combat medic for the Marine's (I KNOW it's not done normally, but it was, and he is still there), so I wrote a letter and sent an email to John Kerry's office (and did the same to Hillary Clinton). The result? I received another solicitation for a campaign donation. John Kerry, you let me and my family down. So did Hillary Clinton. You are nothing more than the usual grubby money and power hungry politcian's and you wont get my vote and you wont get my money. You, both of you, and from what I can tell - all politician's, are no better than George Bush and his gang. In any event, you cost every Democratic candidate my, my wife, and our other two children's votes anbd everyone I can tell this to. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. We need a third party.

Posted by: Mike | April 18, 2006 1:49 PM | Report abuse

People, when are we going to learn, northeasterners don't play well in the south and midwest.

That being said, take a look at the record of Sen. Evan Bayh. Indiana Governor for 2 terms, never raised taxes, and now Senator distinguishing himself on national security issues.

Check out Indiana's Dem. blog:

Posted by: Ind. | April 18, 2006 1:44 PM | Report abuse

A party is largely defined in an election year. The Party does not suffer from a deficit of new ideas, we merely lack the ability to distill and communicate our ideas and our ideals. And this is largely because we are the minority, our potential spokesmen have no platform. In a Presidential election year, we need someone who can communicate. This is how are party is defined.
Few believe that John Kerry is the man for this. He can talk to the primary voters, he can wow the wonks, but he can't get the message out beyond that.
We need a candidate who can talk to America.

Posted by: Scott | April 18, 2006 1:40 PM | Report abuse

The argument against John Kerry is simple: I have never met a single person who even slightly liked John Kerry. That's not to say people hate him--he just has no real constituency. He got the nod once because he was the least objectionable candidate, then proceeded to completely blow his chance. It's amazing to me that people would even consider giving him another chance after his lackluster performance last time. Any of the ones looking to run this time who have a devoted core of followers is already ahead of John Kerry. If he doesn't want to make himself look like a complete fool, he'd be wise to lay down his "national ambitions."

Posted by: Staley | April 18, 2006 1:38 PM | Report abuse

The 2004 Dem vote went to ABB (Anybody But Bush) not to John Kerry. Who in their right mind would want that guy to represent us again? I'm sorry to say, he had his chance to run against the worst president in modern history.....and he blew it.

Give me Wes Clark any day of the week! He's the only Dem "potential" with the brains, experience and gravitas to get us out of the PNAC pickle we're in. Yes, I said PNAC! Perhaps the MSM needs to do a little research on that one? Hmm......?

Posted by: reggiesmom | April 18, 2006 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Paul, you concern yourself with the cowards who infest canada and don't worry about America.

Posted by: Jeff Davis | April 18, 2006 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Good points. I think there are millions of Americans who wish they'd voted differently in 2004. There's only one candidate who can satisfy that desire for a do-over.

Posted by: DC | April 18, 2006 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Kerry is a buffoon. A buffon I say! You hear me, Kerry is a buffoon and I FINALLY have a thread where it makes sense to say it!!!

Posted by: Karen | April 18, 2006 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe it's possible to dumb down the likes of jenniferm any more than she already is.

Posted by: Jeff Davis | April 18, 2006 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Only one of the Senators/ex-Senators who has indicated intentions to run deserves a second thought as a candidate for President - that would be the only one who voted againt the war the first time. If not Senator Feingold, we must find a non-Senator or non-ex-Senator to run for President.

We elect and pay our Senator's to be a check on the executive branch. That job includes the responsibility to analyze and investigate the words of the executive. It was easy enough in 2002 and 2003 to see that George W. Bush was lying to the American public:

1) In 1963, Adlai Stevenson shocked the UN and the world with crystal clear pictures of missiles on trucks in Cuba. Forty years later - yes, after 40 years of technological advancements - Colin Powell goes to the UN with pictures that resembled grains of sand more than anything else as "incontrovertible proof" that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

2) Again, with all of our spy photo prowess, Colin Powell, shows hand drawn, toon quality sketches of mobile labs as proof that Iraq has mobile WMD production facilities.

3) George W. Bush was always careful to say in public statements that Iraq has yet to prove that it does "not" have WMD. As anyone who has taken Logic 101 knows, a negative cannot be proven. It was not possible for Iraq to prove that it did "not" have WMD. For every grain of sand they turned over, Mr. Bush would have turned to the next and said "You haven't shown us what's under that grain of sand".

I could go on and on. The point is, that any Senator who voted to fund the war was clearly not doing his due diligence and does not have the attributes that the next President of the US must have to win back US credibility around the world.

Posted by: Dave | April 18, 2006 1:20 PM | Report abuse

As far as military credentials, let's not get too excited about electing someone who served in the military.

In the 1990's we had a well-charecterized "draft dodger" beat two WWII vets in a row and then in the 2000's, two miltary veterans with active duty service in Vietnam lose to a supposed "AWOLer".

Governor Richardson is making a lot of headway with veterans groups in New Mexico with an expanded package of benefits for vets on active duty and in the Guard.

All in all, I cannot shake the need for someone new either. I think Gore, Kerry and Clinton can win the nomination but would lose the general election.

I like Bayh, Warner and Vilsack but in supporting roles. I have to pick the horse and that is Richardson (4 leaf clovers aside- I still don't get this rant- I'm Irish and I got what he was saying).

Richardson paired with Bayh is my ticket. There is a tremendous amount of international and security issue experience. Richardson will get sideswiped for his time in the Clinton administration and the Wen Ho Lee
incident but it may not play as badly as it would have before 9/11. He is purportedly the source of leaking Lee's name and has come under fire from civil rights activists.

IN the end, I think Warner and Vilsack are too inexperienced and Richardson-Bayh gives the Dems the depth and breadth of experience and background to cover all the bases.

Posted by: RMill | April 18, 2006 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I second Thomas points regarding John Kerry with the exception of I'm still undecide as to who I'll support. But please, liberals who demonize Sen. Kerry are playing into the Republicans hands. We need to be strong for our candidates otherwise, it just adds to their "perceived" weakness.

Posted by: Jason | April 18, 2006 1:20 PM | Report abuse

dosen't really matter who the democRATs run. They will get an ass kicking from the Republican nominee.

Americans simply will not support the treasonous, cowardly surrender monkeys who infest the democRAT plantation.

Posted by: Jeff Davis | April 18, 2006 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I still want my money back from Kerry's fake "We Will Fight For You" Legal Defense Fund.

I really like Russ Feingold & think he would make a truly superb Attorney General. Mark Warner seems to be a competent business manager who might make a good understudy for someone with the national security credentials & sheer brilliance of General Wesley Clark.

I can't take any suggestion of Kerry seriously.

Posted by: velvetdays | April 18, 2006 1:16 PM | Report abuse

The fact that there can even be an apparently serious discussion of Kerry seeking the Democratic Party nomination in 2008 is yet another among the expanding list of compelling reasons to plead for, work for, pay for a Third Party alternative in the next presidential election. The creative, intellectual and ethical bankruptcy of the Democratic Party under Dean, Reid & Pelosi is what will give the Republicans the chance they do not deserve in '08. Help! Someone! Give Americans some hope--and a new political organization that can actually nominate someone with vision & integrity. Break the choke-hold on choice! End the Two Party Paralysis of American democracy!

Posted by: Third Way | April 18, 2006 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I thank Chris Cilizza for making a point I have made about experience from earlier campaign's and realizing his mistakes as an advantage. I think this is an important quality to have. I do think former Vice President Gore will make the better candidate however, because he is as intelligent and issues oriented as Sen. Kerry but is perceived to be the better speaker and has the added experience of being Vice President.

In terms of first-time candidates that are talked about, my first choice would be Sen. Finegold. I know a lot of people are high on former Virgina governor Mark Warner, but I don't really know that much about him and if he goes up against Sen. McCain, I think that would be a bad matchup. Also, as another poster has indicated, what about foreign policy experience?

Posted by: Jason | April 18, 2006 1:15 PM | Report abuse

You people are unbelievable. Rather than blame the smear tactics of the Right-wing, you're ATTACKING Kerry's character? That is shameful. The same people who are bitching so passionately now against Bush, are the same ones who didn't back Kerry as hard as they should have in 2004.

Kerry made mistakes, he acknowledges that. I trust he woulnd't make the same mistakes again(picking Edwards as a VP, waiting too long to respond to Swiftboats).

One more bit, he won't have to answer about his vote on the war anymore. Something that ultimately killed him in '04. He has dubbed it the biggest mistake in his senatorial career.

John Kerry '08, let's get it right this time.

Posted by: Thomas | April 18, 2006 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to agree with the other Will, and suggest that going with either Kerrey or Clinton as a front runner is something the grassroots won't do.

What might work, though, is a Gore/Clinton ticket, or a Gore/Kerrey ticket.

It's time to pull the plug on Iraq, no matter who runs.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | April 18, 2006 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Democrats had the unfortunate experience of having a DLC-chosen candidate (Bill Clinton) win in '92 and '96. Since then, we've had DLC-chosen candidates lose in 2000 and 2004. Bill Clinton won because he was Bill Clinton -- an intelligent, thoughtful and charismatic person; not because he ran on a DLC platform.

The DLC's idea of a platform is "Republican-lite". The supposed idea is that Democrats will support a DLC candidate because they're not a Republican, while Independents and Moderate Republicans (if there still are any any) will support them because they're a moderate alternative. Bush and the Republicans have now shown that they're masters at appearing less conservative than they really are (as well as more likeable), and no Republican is going to vote for a phony Republican when they can vote for the real thing.

Bottom line -- the DLC strategy is a guaranteed loser, and candidates like Kerry, Lieberman, and Hilary Clinton who buy into it are asking for a repeat of 2000 and 20004 -- a narrow loss, but a loss nonetheless.

The Democrats need to come up with a better platform than "Not Republican". They need a platform that presents a real, cohesive, and attractive alternative to the Neocons.

IMHO, the Democrats ought to be forthright in calling the Republicans' vision a vision of empire, and rejecting it as the colossal disaster it's turning out to be. A vision based on cooperation, and where Government serves as a catalyst to help make good things happen (and prevent bad things from happening), might be an appropriate countervision.

The New Deal and the great Society may be dead, but that shouldn't mean abandoning government as an agent for positive change.

Posted by: Stu in CA | April 18, 2006 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Keep Hilary and Kerry in the Senate and lets take it over.We need their senate votes.
Mark Warner is a fresh new face and has done a great job as a Democrat in a Republican state. In addition, he is plain-poken and can relate to the people.

Posted by: | April 18, 2006 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I had better find that Swift Boat Veterans site and send some money quick if your logic is correct.

I hope the Democrats realize that most Americans remember John Kerry for his anti-Vietnam rhetoric and realize he is doing it again with Iraq by demanding an early withdrawal and including a self-defeating early announcement of a timetable.

No more Kerry's, no more Fonda's, "No More Vietnam's".

By the way, I hear the Democrats are trying to unseat Joe Lieberman in his re-election bid. one of the few principled Democrat leaders with America's national interest at heart and the rest of the Democrat leadership can't allow him to exist (electorally speaking).

Posted by: Keith Fowler | April 18, 2006 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I strongly suspect that Kerry will walk right up to the edge and then not actually run. He can raise enough money that he's probably in a better position to be courted as a king-maker by other candidates.

My suspicion is that he will decide not to run, wait a while to endorse anyone in order to reap the obvious benefits of apparant indecision and then he'll back Mark Warner, steering millions of dollars his way to stop Hillary Clinton. Kerry will back either Warner or Edwards, assuming that Edwards is still in the race as a viable candidate at that point. Which I tend to doubt, given that Edwards is a very known quantity nationally following his 2004 run and if he was going to poll well for the '08 primary then it would have happened by now.

Posted by: Jackson Landers | April 18, 2006 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Kerry would make an excellent presidential candidate if you want a looser for president. He has little or no substance, integrity, or vision. He's an egotistical and self-centered Democrat who puts himself above his country.

As to being a Vietnam hero, Kerry admitted he screwed up going to Vietnam. When he joined, he thought he would avoid the draft by getting into the Navy and not go to Vietnam.

Nor can Kerry be trusted to keep his word. One day he says one thing, the next he says something opposite for political expediency. Notwithstanding, he was willing to compromise his religious beliefs to be elected.

Of course, he could have an outside chance of winning. After all, the country did elect, to a second term, a convicted pervert and consummate liar, who perjured himself in a federal court and was impeached.

Ironically, even California voted for Clinton after he sold the country out to the Chinese for campaign funds.

Now China boasts of targeting Los Angeles and our whole West Coast, thanks to Berni Swartz and Loral Technologies. So, why wouldn't the same electorate elect another bum that panegyrized the foul mouth of Woopi Goldberg as our country’s paragon of moral probity?

Glen Huber

Posted by: GLEN HUBER | April 18, 2006 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Kerry looks and sounds aristocratic. I meet him in an airport in 1988 and came to that conclusion then. I respect his intellect. The candidate with the best disertation on the issues usually loses. We need someone that is not an east coast or Southern politician. Evan Bayh is very personable and his wife will be a huge asset. Kerry's wife was a disaster. Crass with a thick foriegn accent. Bayh would win in the midwest Indiana and a good chance in Ohio, Missouri. A lot of important states. Democrats will keep the coasts we need better representation in the middle of the country. I think people are tired of Southern good ole boy types also. Carter won after nixon with his unimpeachable honesty family man image. Bayh has all of that an incredible record as governor for balancing budgets and cutting taxes. I hate his vote for the Iraq war but, i was mislead will work.

Posted by: Robert Deppert | April 18, 2006 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Richardson's the wrong one to be associating with foreign agriculture. At a Saint Patrick's Day Breakfast in Manchester, NH he told the audience that they were there celebrating Saint Patrick and four-leaf clovers. [Shamrocks aren't four-leafed or clovers.]

If he can't get that right, how's he going to solve the poppy problem?

Posted by: Nor'Easter | April 18, 2006 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Great idea... run the same idiot who lost for you the last time. I thought the man an incompetent fool while he was running and had it confirmed beyond my wildest dreams reading Evan Thomas's behind the scenes account of the Kerry campaign in Newsweek. The man can't make a decision...just what you want in a President. And I hope some Republican saves your comment that he should run because he has the money... yeah, that counters his rich Yale image just fine. I used to be a Democrat but I am sick of the long line of weak minded and weak speaking clones the party puts up as candidates. Who else had a website called Kerry Haters for Kerry!!!! (Yikes, it still works?!?! Yes, put up a proven loser with such a lousy Senate record that he chose to run on his Viet Nam war record - but pay no attention to that protester behind the curtain. Are you a Republican mole?

Posted by: LS | April 18, 2006 12:44 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: REALIST | April 18, 2006 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Hooray for Nor'Easter. Will all Dem candidates immediately step away from the beltway consultants? Hint:people who have lost you two elections are not who you should be listening to. Have some ideas and passion, take a stand. If Al Gore had been more himself he would have won in a landslide -- too much to for a loss to have been manipulated by Rove.

But what's truly sad and depressing is this column... the media never talks about who's best qualified to lead this country out of the pit it's in now--it's all about who can raise money.

Posted by: Drindl | April 18, 2006 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Interesting discussion! As a Canadian, I think I'd like a Warner/Feingold ticket best. Any chance of those two teaming up? Warner looks like a good choice and I really like Feingold, but perhaps he's too liberal to win the presidency.

I don't think voters are prepared to consider Kerry. In politics, it seems once you lose nowadays, you're a loser for life. Same goes for Gore. I just don't think you can risk nominating someone who has lost once already.

Hilary would be a disaster, I think. While I'd be okay with a woman president, I have a suspicion that many voters would think long and hard before voting for her.

Go Dems!

Posted by: Paul | April 18, 2006 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Yes! Run John, Run!

The greatest reason for him to do so is not that he's a great fundraiser. It's that Americans regret their vote from two years ago. He is the "I told you so" candidate. (Al Gore can also cash in on this, but that's another discussion).

Plus, Kerry has been thoroughly vetted. What new can they throw at him? Americans like the familiar, they don't like new blood--how do you think Bush got into office in the first place? If it weren't for his name, he'd be flipping burgers at McDonald's.

Most of all though, Kerry is an inspiring man of conviction. He's a true American hero. He would be not just a good president, but a great one.

Saying all that, I'm not sure I'd pick him in the primary. I like Russ Feingold a lot and I'm curious about Mark Warner, but I'd like the option.

I say to the Senator, Kerry on!

Posted by: Stephanie Dray | April 18, 2006 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Kerry is a joke and a disaster

Posted by: Sandy | April 18, 2006 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I heartily agree with JC above.

In fact, all Democrat aspirants should be required to take a pledge that from the moment they announce their candidacy, neither Bob Shrum nor Donna Brazille be allowed to have any contact with them or any official in their campaign.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | April 18, 2006 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I am also holding out for Richardson.
But the Democratic party has to have more than just a person. We need a strong reason to vote Democratic, not just a person.
I also do not believe at this point in Iraq that we can have a date for pull out. I did not agree with the war, but we can not just leave the country as it is now. I think we left Afganistan too soon. No plan to help farmers & the tribes. An example is the poppy fields.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2006 12:20 PM | Report abuse


NO! NO! & NO!

Too long to list lest this become a rant.

If for no other reason, historically, the odds of congressional candidates winning the W.H. is nearly non-existant. Why does the DNC persist?

Posted by: SL | April 18, 2006 12:19 PM | Report abuse

From reading the comments it is clear why we have in office an thoroughly unqualified candidate.

Believe me, history would be reading much different if the result had been different. I have little hope for a country that has succumbed to using such low-bar qualities for presidential qualifications as is seen from the shallowness of the reasoning exhibited in these responses. The world keeps getting more complex and it seems the American voting public want another president without the coping skills required for survival without declaring every other country an enemy and waging war to keep the third leg of the false economy from falling over.


Posted by: graysmoke | April 18, 2006 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I find disagreement with lots of the support and opposition to another Kerry candidacy for president. Also for Al Gore and Hillary Clinton I disagreed with Kerry's vote to give Bush permission to invade Iraq even though most members of Congress and most citizens fell for all the arrogant, macho talk of Bush and Colin Powell.

Ah, do not leave Dick Cheney, the virtual president, out of that mix no matter how much he hides. After all, he's "the shooter with the Scooter" who did Bush's dirty work in disclosing life-threatening secrecy about Valery Plame. Talk about honesty!

Colin Powell is still too whimpy to voice his resentment of the way he was used as a token black just to get black votes in 2000, then used as nothing but a puppet throughout the first Bush term to suck up more black votes in '04. Remember how Bush repeatedly mentioned that Powell would make a good Secretary of State while he was campaigning in 2000?

When, since the Civil War and Reconstruction, did the Republican Party do anything for the benefit of black people? Even then, except possibly for Abraham Lincoln himself, they were exploited for the grand profit of business.

Why has the Congress allowed presidents to pursue military action so incessantly since December 8, 1941, without a single request by any president for a legal declaration of war or a demand by Congress that he follow the Constitution and do so?

And while we're at it, why do we allow presidential executive orders that ignore the fact that we have a separate legislative branch that is supposed to be checking and balancing presidential presumptions of emperor status? Forget the Supreme Court. Federal judges should not be lifetime appointments.

Most citizens of this country fell for Bush's justification for war-like activity, and it's taken them until very recently to pay enough attention to know and admit he was a liar and Congress was a patsy. And the Bush gang remains obnoxiously arrogant, imperious, and deceitful.

But who's to blame? Only the people who obviously don't care, don't become informed, and don't vote--until they themselves are hurt badly by what's being done? Since they don't care and aren't informed,it's better that they don't vote!

Where's the clamor about the outrageous rip-off in gas prices while the oil industries continue to explode all past profit records? Where's the disgust with Bush's do-nothing attitude about the post-Katrina Gulf Coast? Of course there's no money to do anything, it's all been blown in Iraq!

Talk about a tail wagging a dog, the Saudi royal family, protector of terrorists, dear friends of the Bush family, are the tail wagging the U.S. dog.

Kerry lost the '04 election because he campaigned like a whimp. Remember how great he was at his nominating convention? And then remember how long and silently he sat back while that Swift Boat gang did their damage? He's talking like a tough candidate again, but I don't know if I want to trust him. I preferred Howard Dean during the primaries in '04, anyway.

In 2000 and 2004, the Republicans didn't really win. In 2000, Bush was illegally appointed by a strictly partisan Supreme Court. In 2004, people like Secretary of State Blackwell in Ohio enabled Bush to win with still more cheating at the polls. In neither case, did the people stand up and scream, "NO WAY!"

Our problems are not caused by the madness of the religious right so much as by the whimpy middle (Note Joe Lieberman), and the weakness of the left. The Democratic Party has lost its way, it has deserted its traditional philosophy of being the party for all the people, not just the party of the rich as the Republicans are.

The Democratic Party and its nominating process need new blood. Yes, Russ Feinstein has been honest and bold. Look at his speech demanding at least a censure of Bush in the Senate. Then take a look at how the rest of the Democrats fled and hid. The vast majority of Democrats are their own worst enemy, both elected Democrats and could-be Democratic voters.

All told, I think we need a system that is more than the two parties dominating all politics and steadily weakening government in this country.

Gil Cantlin
Berea, Oh.

Posted by: Gil Cantlin | April 18, 2006 12:15 PM | Report abuse

A Democratic candidate for President who went around bragging about his sophistication and ability to speak french would be a Republican dream. :-)

Posted by: Mike | April 18, 2006 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Sure, access to money is the main thing. Just ask President Steve Forbes.

Posted by: aces | April 18, 2006 12:13 PM | Report abuse

No, no, no no no no no no no no no NO!

Not again.

Yes he raised 250 million BUT he ran a lousy campaign. He's a lousy speaker and frankly probably be a lousy President.

If I'm going to take a chance like that again...let it be Hillary.

Posted by: Toby | April 18, 2006 12:13 PM | Report abuse

As far as the NYT opinion piece goes, it is classic Kerry - way to nuanced. After I finished it I still couldn't explain it easily to my wife. Kerry just can't speak clearly to ordinary people and that means he is unelectable.

Posted by: anonoman | April 18, 2006 12:12 PM | Report abuse

The 2004 election was Kerry's to lose, and lose he did.

If the Democrats do the same crap that they've done in the past few elections, they'll get trounced again.

Please, for the love of Pete, put up someone who can stimulate and set on fire, the party faithful and convert the disenfranchised Republicans and Independents.

Posted by: Loser | April 18, 2006 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I think the most important thing for the Democrats to do to win back the White House is to go west. We need someone either at the top of the ticket or as vp to be from the west. Bill Richardson or Janet Napaltano come to mind. A liberal northeasetern and a southern senator as the ticket is where the dems have been getting into trouble. Go West!

Posted by: Bill Nissley | April 18, 2006 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Outside the republican national Convention in 2004, anti-Bush demonstrators by the hundreds of thousands chanted "Kerry Sucks Less" -- not exactly an inspiring campaign slogan, and Bush won on turn-out primarily. Four years earlier Gore lost by less than the margin claimed by Ralph Nader. Notice a pattern? HRC alos carries a huge pile of baggage -- and especially the power to ignite an anti-Clinton groundswell. How the radically Repub. faithful will respond in Nov. will be an indication of what chances there are for a larger Dem. turnout in '08, but only a distant signpost, not an accurate prediction.
There are several dark-horse hopefuls who could carry some of the mythic 'blue states' (many of which split rather closely). Richardson, Napolitano, Warner and Vilsak all come to mind, but there are no doubt a number of others who are not yet household names even for us CSPAN junkies.

Posted by: Manny | April 18, 2006 12:06 PM | Report abuse

If Kerry seriously intends to run again, he should first loudly and publicly affirm that Robert Shrum will not be allowed within ten miles of him until January of 2009.

Posted by: JC | April 18, 2006 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Good comments all the way around. I say a Edwards-Warner ticket. Kerry simply does not have what it takes to win, his past is insurmountable:

a real combat vet, Kerry allows himself to be "swiftboated" instead of going for Bush's vulnerability on that or Bush's torture policy, or lack of WMD, and NOT making the allegation he is now that the intel was cooked, and then Kerry offers the confusing response to whether he supported the war in Iraq. The American public is not about nuances they want what Bush has offered, "black and white" stay the course stubborness, yet now they are ready for such policies that go the opposite direction with the same determination.

Kerry should use his money to support his previous running mate, John Edwards, a true Lincoln style self-made success story, who connects well with people, true Edwards did not win in his own state, but Kerry hurt the ticket not Edwards, plus all Clinton would do is mobilize the right even further, and yes some demcocrats as well. Clinton has not been as forthright about Bush's torture policies or the cooked WMD intelligence, she looks more like Kerry than the old Hillary the right frothed about.

Posted by: c.gonzales | April 18, 2006 11:59 AM | Report abuse

My heart aches every time I see a Kerry Edwards bumper sticker. They would have been great and Kerry is a smart man. I'm so tired of the stupid polls about who would be the guy most likely to pull over to help you with a flat tire. Seriously, the Secret Service would never let that happen as if George Bush would even notice. The president doesn't need to be charismatic he or she needs to be smart. I think Hillary is vulnerable to the argument that she's not qualified having never held any office except junior senator. What the Dems really need is someone with a backbone. Bush would beat us tomorrow with the best Dem we could find because at the end of the day he doesn't care whether people think and a lot of people like that. I was really angry with Kerry when, asked whether we know what we know now would he have still voted for the war. He should have said: Hell no. But he didn't. Hillary has supported the war too and what's with her focus on flag burning and sex in video games? Hello we've got real problems and we need someone willing to take a stand on them.

Posted by: CMH | April 18, 2006 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Kerry is damaged goods, damaged by his own hand. I voted for him but I can no longer take him seriously - nor will most other voters as evidenced by the comments in this post. I actually do think it's time for a woman president. I hope Condi and Hillary go at each other. When the dust settles, we'll have one or the other. Both are emminently qualified.

Posted by: Joseph Tether | April 18, 2006 11:58 AM | Report abuse

If JOhn Kerry couldnt use his Vietnam record against George Bush, why would he be able to use it against McCain?

Posted by: Jimmy | April 18, 2006 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Kerry is a buffoon. He is finished politically. Why do people waste so much time talking about this irrelevant blowhard?

Posted by: Sandy | April 18, 2006 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry Chris but no...I'd almost rather see Russ, okay maybe not but it's time for new candidates rather than dragging out the same ones that could not win over and over again. It reminds me of a product that wouldn't sell "OH LOOK! It's NEW and IMPROVED!".

John Kerry could not beat George Bush, even Sherrod Brown is quoted as saying,

"John Kerry couldn't carry a populist message to the people of Ohio," Mr. Brown said, adding: "If he windsurfed, he should have done it on Lake Erie."

Posted by: Lisa Renee | April 18, 2006 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Kerry and Clinton. A Karl Rove dream.

Posted by: Karen | April 18, 2006 11:49 AM | Report abuse


Well put. There is not enough oxygen for all 3 and I believe that to a certain extent, these three candidates draw from the same crowd of voters. Obviously, there is a link between Clinton and Gore and I do not believe that Al would run against Hillary (if he runs at all).

Kerry, having been the immediate past nominee is more independent of the three and has shown he can sustain his fundraising in the wake of the massive efforts of HRC but as far as actual primary votes, he would not be considered the anti-Hillary having already given it a shot.

My feeling is that if Gore stays out, then Kerry will step up. That leaves it to Hillary to make a final decision. As has been said, if she believes she can win the nomination, I believe her sense of history and destiny will make it hard for her not to run.

It will make it difficult for anyone else to gain traction. Bayh can raise money as can Warner. Such a situation, with Hillary and Kerry in, would require a unique solution as an early pairing of second tier candidates like Bayh-Warner. Not sure what the rules are about announcing a VP before primaries are done but would definately be worth consideration.

Posted by: RMill | April 18, 2006 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I am strongly, passionately in favor of John Kerry as the Democrat candidate for President in 08. A second run for the White House by Kerry would be in the best interests of the United States.
We need a sophisticated progressive candidate who can speak French, and will be admired in Europe.

Why do I favor Kerry? I am a Republican!

Posted by: Peter Parrott | April 18, 2006 11:41 AM | Report abuse


The voting public needs the phony Texas common man smoke & mirror show of the George Bushes of the world, yeah you are right, as opposed to the lying, manipulative, gutless, loser, who turned the white house into a brothel, piece of shit, who did nothing to defend this country.
Yeah, I will stick with my boy from Texas, as opposed to the last 2 Democrat Presidents who did nothing more than make a mockery of the office and embarrass this country.

55 Million people voted for Bush the highest number ever received for any Presidential candidate, are you really so stupid to believe that it was all because of smoke and mirrors..

Posted by: Anti-Slavin | April 18, 2006 11:40 AM | Report abuse

You inside the beltway types slay me. How about the completely inept campaign Kerry ran in '04? And has Kerry actually learned anything from his last campaign? Announcing a filabuster from Davos, Switzerland? Wind surfing anyone? Kerry had his shot and those of us out in the hinterlands, in places like New Jersey, who would have voted for a cabbage were it to run against Bush, are not about to throw away another vote on him.

Posted by: Bert | April 18, 2006 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Last time around Kerry fumbled an easy win by being boring. He only raised all that money because people wanted to see Bush lose, not because they were thrilled with Kerry. He would be an idiotic choice for the Democratic Party to back.

Posted by: Cerulean | April 18, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse

It would be surprising-perhaps unfarthomable to imagine a country of 300 million people resorting to two (i.e. Kerry and Gore) already tried and tired outfits for another run for the presidency. There is too much talent in this country to even contemplate going down that path.

Posted by: Eric Tonui | April 18, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Kerry raised $2.5 M for his PAC and $9 M for Kerry for President in 2005. Only Hillary raised more total ($21 M for Senate and $1.5 M for HillPAC). Bayh had $10 M for Senate and $2 M+ for his PAC and Warner raised $5 M+ for his PAC.

Kerry has definately sustained his ability to raise money in the off year.

Unfortunately, money is a strong indicator and barometer for those with national aspirations. Of course no one chooses a candidate because of his money but it is a reflection of the depth of support and the ability to gain a national stage to deliver one's message. Bemoan this reality all you wish, it remains a necessary evil of our political system and to ignore it is not realistic.

Posted by: RMill | April 18, 2006 11:35 AM | Report abuse

A Kerry-Warner ticket would be a dream. Complex, well-rounded, brilliant candidates with high ideals send me into ecstasy. Unfortunately, the voting public needs the phony Texas common man smoke & mirror show of the George Bushes of the world.

Posted by: slavin | April 18, 2006 11:35 AM | Report abuse

As a Republican, I hope either J. Kerry or H. Clinton run for President in 08', this will pretty much ensure that a Republican wins again. Neither one of them poses any significant threat because they both flip flop on too many issues. In some of the postings I have read here, some of the democrats writing have good ideas, present somebody new from the Democratic party, look at Clinton in 92', he was somewhat of an unknown and won. Neither Kerry nor Clinton will win, Mark Warner would present more of a problem to a republican nominee simply because people don't know everything about him and therefore would be less likely to formulate an opinion. In my opinion to be considered a strong legitimate contender for President the Democratic party would need to nominate a person with no significant ties to Hollywood or other figures with extreme left-wing opinions.

Posted by: E. Howard | April 18, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse

The elephant in the corner of a McCain campaign is his health (I keep hearing the C word, rhymes with answer). At some point someone has to ask him what his prognosis is.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Politics, today, is primarily about PR. Who in the Dems stable is remotely capable to counter Rove and swifty buddies? I don't see anyone functioning like someone of the opposition. Yes dollars are important, but more important is generating some olf-fashioned enthusiasm. Like it or not the lies of the Sboaters ultimately raised bundles of cash.
Reading the comments above discloses a large amount of moxie in the party about the lack of viability of Hillary. She is a walking disaster now, has moved so far right that she resembles Joe Leberbottom and if she run for Pres you can count on Rove's researches to dig up enough corruption from Arkansas days to finally bury the Democratic Party for good. I do give Kerry a + for persistence.

Posted by: David Valentine | April 18, 2006 11:28 AM | Report abuse

A key consideration regarding both Kerry and Gore is the effect that a run by either or both will have on the primaries. They both start with not only the fundraising ability the Chris mentioned, but also massive name recognition. With any two, let alone three, of Gore, Kerry and Clinton running it will be very difficult for another candidate to break through in Iowa or New Hampshire. If we are agreed Clinton is ahead of the pack and the candidate to beat, someone has to emerge very early on as the 'not-Hillary' candidate if the primaries are to be at all competitive. Mark Warner or Evan Bayh could very credibly become the recipient of anti-Hillary votes and get catapulted to the top tier. But Gore and Kerry have too much baggage of their own (see almost everyone's comments above)to do the same. But is there room for Bayh or Warner in the race if Clinton, Gore and Kerry are all there?

Quentin Langley
Editor of

Posted by: Quentin Langley | April 18, 2006 11:21 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats need a fresh face in order to recapture the White House. Mark Warner does not have the Senate voting record that will hamper most of the front runners, particularly on the Republican side. Hillary would be an excellent VP candidate, still making history and lots of money to spend on a general election.

Posted by: Isabelle | April 18, 2006 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Kerry for President in '08?

Do you really think that the G.O.P. will have any trouble re-defeating the most liberal Senator in Congress and leader of the white-flag contingent of the Democratic Party.

Please nominate him again!!!!

The Democratic Party won't really abandon its leftist crusade and go mainstream without another decade or so shut out of power. Nominating Senator Kerry would help assure that result.

Posted by: IWTFYITA2006 | April 18, 2006 11:17 AM | Report abuse

"I made some mistakes. I know what they are, and I take responsibility for them."

Just the fact that he's willing to admit that he made mistakes makes him a good canidate in my mind.
It would be a nice change from Bush's "Things are going well in Iraq! Don't listen to the media."

Posted by: Claire | April 18, 2006 11:16 AM | Report abuse


I think it's rather nice that the Democrats have at least three potential candidates who are national players: Kerry, Hillary, and Gore -- and are smart to boot.

The Republicans have McCain (remember in Arizona McCain is considered moderate and poor Goldwater is almost a socialist by comparison -- at least on social issues) and some retired moderate Republican Governors.

With Bush having purged the Party of all but the faithful one wonders how any moderate Republican could be nominated in 2008. Unless the Republicans view McCain as a kind of Pope Benidict short term option until they can rebuild their stable of inexperienced but Christian candidates.

Kerry does say he made mistakes, but if candidates like the military fight the last campaign he may not be win against a McCain-like figure. Both H. Clinton or Gore might have a better chance if the public is ready for leadership of a different brilliance than that of the Bush Presidency.

But, do they want or can they be returned to wanting a secular leader in two short years? And that remains to be seen, otherwise, that McCain presidency may prove more conservative than the new Pope's papacy.

Posted by: Kurt | April 18, 2006 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I am flabbergasted that you did not mention the prime Kerry negative: his TROOP bashing during the Vietnam war. The problem is NOT that he was anti-war.(In fact, today that would probably be a plus). No, the HUGE problem is that he constantly attacked our TROOPS! He concentrated on calling our troops "baby killers" et al, rather than discussing anti-war POLICIES. And the soldiers, wives, children, parents, and friends of those troops remember it!!!! Our lives were TERRIBLY affected by his misinformation!
He has ONE chance of recovering from his "Bash our Troops" disaster. But he didn't do it during the last election so he probably wouldn't do it this time around.
He has to rent TV time and say, "I never personally saw the atrocities I insisted had occured. I was young and I listened to people who didn't tell me the truth. I presented untrue atrocities...atrocities that didn't fact. I was young and I was wrong. These were the ramblings of a young man. Maturity and experience now have given me...etc".
Then...and only then, he may have a chance to win.
Too many millions of us remember his replusive actions.

Posted by: Pam | April 18, 2006 11:10 AM | Report abuse

No more senators! They are killing the Democratic Party with their multiple votes, lack of leadership, and forced compromises. It took Jack Kenendy a miracle from Chicago to win 1960 and we've done poorly since. Too many old white bread people babbling to themselves.

Say what you will about President Bush, as a Governor, he was able to appear out in front of things and looked like a competent mananger. Senators always look like petty brats.

Posted by: jacketpotato | April 18, 2006 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Kerry's own service in Vietnam could also be essential in leveling the playing field on the issue if Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), who spent several years in a POW camp during Vietnam, emerges a the Republican nominee.

CC: You blew this one. There is no way to compare the vietnam service nor the post-vietnam character of these two men. McCain wins ANY debate/discussion of this issue.

Posted by: Dan | April 18, 2006 11:03 AM | Report abuse

How could anyone seriously talk of nominating either of the the two men who lost to George W. Bush (if you agree that Gore lost, which many don't)? Only individuals who think they have to qualify every staement they make and who don't speak from the heart with real conviction could make Americans turn to someone like our current failure-in-chief.

Democrats cannot win until we hold onto the base on the coasts and the upper Midwest and start again being competitive in places like Missouri, Kentucky and West Virginia (need I mention Ohio?)and make some breakthroughs out West in states like New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada -- which can be done. Maybe we can start by nominating a straight talker who doesn't try to convolute every statement to fool the electorate.

I don't have a preference yet, but whoever the Dem nominee is should be able to sound like he or she has values and core beliefs and can convey them clearly. Kerry, Gore and Hillary Clinton are not the answer. Evan Bayh, while he might be a new face to many, also seems to suffer from the same malady.

Our hopes lie in Mark Warner, Tom Vilsack and Bill Richardson; none of them are perfect, but all at least seem to be able to speak American. John Edwards was my personal favorite last time and speaks from the heart, but being the VP nominee on a failed ticket is not the greatest selling point for one's candidacy.

Posted by: Carmine | April 18, 2006 11:01 AM | Report abuse

The nation needs new ideas, principles and a world view that can be communicated to the electorate without boring them to tears. It was incredible to me that the Democrats could not beat George Bush in the last election. However, it was not so unbelievable when they chose John Kerry to be their standard bearer. I am a life long Democrat, but I could not vote for a man whose claim to the nomination is ability to raise money and that he was in the Vietnam war. The Vietnam war is ancient history and has no bearing on the problems of the United States and the world today. John Kerry as a long time member of the Senate with one of the worst attendance records appears not to have any fundamental principles. I would never vote for him. I would have voted for John Edwards if he had been the Presidential nominee instead of Veep nominee. If the Democrats want to ensure that a Republican is in the White House in 2009, then all they have to do is nominate Kerry or Hilary or Al. Try someone like Evan Bayh or Barack Obama. they are young and smart and principled. I have long admired Christopher Dodd and Jay Rockefeller as well and would vote for them We need some new ideas because the old ideas aren't working. Someone needs to take some interest in the rest of the world, the environment and other cultures. Please Democrats, don't nominate someone so bland, so unimaginative that I have to throw my vote away on a third party candidate again. Who knows, maybe the Republicans will come up with a creative, principled nominee, although I doubt it, but if they do, and Kerry, Hilary or Al is the Democratic nominee I will vote Republican.

Posted by: Beth | April 18, 2006 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Sen. John Kerry's brilliant mind and progressive view of America and the rest of world should have been enough to gain him the top seat in the 2004 presidential election. However, Mr. George W. Bush's shamefully dirty and incredible smearing campaign against Kerry, and the "useful idiots"-virus living in the minds of half of the population (blindly supporting any "patriotic" policy this administration has put forward until recently) was enough to beat such a great candidate. I do think Kerry would be a great candidate for the 2008 elections, but i am also hoping for a successful primary for Sen. Joe Biden who is more than equal to the task of clearly and resolutely bring America forward in a good light which it deserves and needs to be in. Neither Biden or Kerry blindfold themselves from today's International climate or the pressing needs of the American people, democracy or foreign relations!

Posted by: Andreas | April 18, 2006 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Kerry is a man who snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Time to move on.

Posted by: AlexM | April 18, 2006 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Strange how the press can turn an election by being duped into repeating the spin of one party or the other. I refer to the last two presidential elections.

Kerry was made fun of for his comment "I was for it before I was aganinst it." The careful observer would have noted the Congressional dynamics of the time. President Bush stated that he would veto the Iraq appropriation if it continued to have the proviso that Iraq would have to pay back part of the appropriation with Oil money. Kerry supported that version of the bill. President Bush, who once stated "I mean what I say", had he been forced to veto that version would have been in a position of stating "I was for it before I vetoed it." Of course that dynamic is never mentioned, only Kerry's awkward comment on the subject.

Then go back to the Gore/Bush election. The gamesmanship then was to belitte Al Gore for his "exageration', namely the "Invented the Internet" caper. A serious observer shoud google the issue [Key words- "Gore Invented the Internet} to fully understand how this Rovian tactic elected George Bush. In reading Richard Cohen's column, Washington Post, April 18, 2006, "A Campaign Gore Can't Lose" I grieve for my country on what might have been.

Posted by: Harold Breaux | April 18, 2006 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Kerry remains a viable candidate-- but needs Jim Carville to run the campaign this time, and to tailor his speech for Joe & Jane Sixpack. Keep it simple, but aggressive. Hillary's negatives are too high, Warner is a) unknown and b) untested, particularly in foreign affairs.

But Kerry/Warner-- that's a ticket.

Posted by: Greg F. | April 18, 2006 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I voted for Kerry without any reluctance. But he ran a horrible campaign. He let himself be defined by the opposition--and Rove knows how to dumb down the electorate for his candidate. Kerry was the skilled and knowledgable debater against the class clown and the clown will always win--at least it works that way in high school.

Posted by: jenniferm | April 18, 2006 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I should also say that any kind of partial withdrawal from Iraq is useless. Was Vietnamization remotely successful at anything but dragging the war on for a few more years and costing the lives of more troops? If it is possible that all insurgents will be defeated and all militias pacified, and that continued US involvement is the path to that end, then troops must remain stationed. If US involvement is useless towards that end, or that there is no remaining hope for the future of Iraq, then why not withdraw troops immediately? If you are not sure, then decide; don't choose the "compromise" of a slow withdrawal. A slow withdrawal will not accomplish anything but make us feel better for the time being. In the long run, more lives will be lost and the war will drag on, guzzling resources. I am always incredibly frustrated by politicians (like Kerry) who are in support of a "partial withdrawal" or "near-complete" withdrawal. One can be with Murtha or Bush on this, but not with Kerry.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2006 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I am going to get to see Mark Warner for the 3rd time this Thursday in Iowa. I think he is going to be my pony in 2008.

Posted by: Jordan | April 18, 2006 10:47 AM | Report abuse

The only repeater that would have a chance or even the credibility to run again is fmr. Vice President Al Gore. Gore won the popular vote in 2000. Unlike Kerry, he could actually rev up the base a little bit about his loss in 2000 . . . point to eight disastrous years of George W. Bush that could have been avoided if he had not lost Florida (think Nixon in 1968). Gore has also been consistent on the War in Iraq, the War on Terror, and has always been vocal on Global Warming (it only took 16 years for the rest of the country to realize that Gore wasn't being radical about it).

My pick for 08 -> Gore-Warner . . . and if not Gore, Governor Warner would be the only candidate positioned to knock off John McCain or George Allen. He did wonders in Virginia, cleaning up the mess that Allen and Gilmore created in the ‘90s.

Posted by: DaveD | April 18, 2006 10:45 AM | Report abuse

No, no, no, nooooooo.....

I was one of the many people who voted for Kerry in 2004 because he wasn't Bush. I read in the polls on election day that many who were as anti-bush as I were not content to vote for Kerry for that reason alone.

He let the bushmen define who he was.

I am a proud Vietnam veteran and had to vote for Kerry despite his activities both in country and afterwards because bush is so incompetent.

The democratic party, or the republican party needs to give us a "real" choice that will free us from the neocons.

No more Kerry. I live in the state of MA.

Posted by: Bill Allen | April 18, 2006 10:42 AM | Report abuse

To say that because Kerry raised X amount means he can do it again is a false arguement. Kerry raised his money in 04 because the front loaded primary made him the man to take on Bush. No way in hell he'll come even close to that this time around. As long as there are a choice of other candidates Kerry will never see that kind of cash again.

As for being able to talk about Iraq his plan for a timetable is playing right into the hands of the repugs and is losing ground on this issue. We would be better off leaving it Wes Clark to take on.

Posted by: Brent Parrish | April 18, 2006 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Please god no. I would sooner die.

I used to tell people if it ended up being McCain v. Kerry I'd vote for McCain, the first republican vote I'd ever cast. But now he's a sellout, so I'd probably just stay home. What a farce.

I'm liking Feingold. Even if he's way too liberal to get elected, I'd love to cast a vote for him. First vote I'd ever cast that wouldn't leave me hating myself in the morning.

Posted by: Ben | April 18, 2006 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I mostly agree, with the exception of your assertion that Senator Kerry's war record could "level the playing field" with Senator McCain, should that particular matchup arise. Senator Kerry's war record became almost a joke in the 2004 campaign, if only because he seemed to push it more than anything else. the electorate was sick to death of hearing about Senator Kerry's war record then, and will be now.
Further, pushing his purple hearts for political gain ultimately will not reflect well on Senator Kerry, particularly in the face of McCain's record. McCain cannot physically lift his arms above his head due to the torture he endured while imprisoned in the "Hanoi Hilton" in the 60's and 70's; his war record speaks for itself, and McCain himself will seem dignified while letting his record speak for itself, while Kerry takes his worn -out record and pushes it incessantly, making him look as if he is trying to "one-up" McCain on the war record issue. If you can call it and issue.

Posted by: celdred | April 18, 2006 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I favor Feingold pared with Clark, Richardson or Rep. Murtha, but I like Kerry and believe he has a shot. You underestimate one key point that has gotten lost in the bash Kerry's 2004 campaign crowd: Kerry won the debates and he was right on so many points. He was right on port controls. He was right on negotiations with Korea (which have bogged down in six-party politics). And yes, he was right on Iraq, then in calling for more troops and again now in calling for the Murtha plan.

Who better to be the un-George Bush that voted are going to be dying for in 2008 than the un-George Bush who lost to Bush by a razor thin margin?

Kerry will have the money to stay in the primary to the end, and if the democratic race comes down to Hillary and Kerry, well, I think a lot of anti-Kerry scorn goes by the wayside and a lot of people reconsider who they would rather have as the nominee. If McCain if winning on the other side, there will be a lot of hand wringing as to who is the best candidate to stop him.

I wouldn't say Kerry is the presumed favorite, and he isn't my favorite. Frankly I don't think there is a democratic favorite, although the conservative media has dubbed Hillary the annointed. However Kerry has a puncher's shot, at both the nomination and the presidency.

Posted by: Greg in NY | April 18, 2006 10:35 AM | Report abuse

While Senator Kerry may have the dollars inhand for another go at the Presidency he still has not chanaged in his overall acceptance by the general populace. Many of his votes were anti-Bush, anti-Republican votes, not necessarily por-Kerry. The National Democrat Party continues to promote and encourage, at least at the national level, fairly lackluster candidates.

Posted by: Scott | April 18, 2006 10:33 AM | Report abuse

It is a sad commentary when the first, and strongest, argument in favor of a candidate is his ability to raise money. Shouldn't we be talking about who can motivate people to care enough that they will talk about issues, get involved in communities, and, above all, vote?

Posted by: Jim S. | April 18, 2006 10:31 AM | Report abuse

There is one thing missing here, Charisma.

Posted by: Jim Walsh | April 18, 2006 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I can think of anything worse for the democratic party, aside from picking Hillary to run, than picking Kerry. I think the problem with the dems is that they are so fearful of how reactionary the base is. Whereas the conservative base will take the lowest common denominator and would probably, at the end of the day, vote for a moderate (pro-choice) republican like a Guliani, the liberal base will jump ship and go Nader if the dem's candidate flounders a bit. Although it is the peril of the 2-party system, the dems need to wake up and realize that they exist in a system in which they are strongest when they band together, at least on a core of issues - besides "we aren't G. W. Bush" - which has failed once already.

The dems need to prove to voters like me, who are self-styled republicrats - a little right on foreign policy, but a little left socially - that they can do better. The folly that has been called their leadership, Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid, have not done a good job of that thus far. But, who knows? The strategy of letting republicans implode has been going pretty well, but at some point I need a tangible idea for Iraq, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, China, India, Russia, and our nation's trade deficit.

Posted by: ZTP | April 18, 2006 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I hopy Kerry runs again. I will most definately vote for him.

In with the Democrats and out with the Republicans.

Posted by: Bruce Rogers | April 18, 2006 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I think Kerry's Vietnam service makes him the best canidate amoung Hillary, Warner and Feingold. I'd vote for him again, but I do agree he needs to better contect with the average voter. Sometimes that Yale elite thing comes across too much..


Posted by: Mike | April 18, 2006 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Kerry? Been there, done that. There's no enthusiasm for him.

I too like Feingold and Warner at this point.

Posted by: Nick | April 18, 2006 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Democrats have nominated bloodless, homogenized men who speak in droning banalities for most of my adult life (Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, Kerry) and lost every time. Their only open-seat victory came in a three-way split ('92), and Clinton's re-election was guaranteed by a roaring economy and the Republicans' inability to transcend their own internal divisions. Please, for the the love of God and the safety of the world, let the Democrats nominate someone who is not afraid to speak in his or her own voice. As a fervent opponent of this president's disastrous policies, I was a substantial contributor to Kerry's '04 campaign. But I will not give him a dime this time.

Posted by: Homage2Clio | April 18, 2006 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I should have added Gore to that list as well.

Posted by: RMill | April 18, 2006 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I would also challenge the notion that Kerry is the best positioned Democrat to speak out against the War in Iraq.

He got battered on his waffling vote statement and that will all be brought up again.

Without a Senate voting record, candidates like Warner, Richardson and Vilsack (and Feingold and Clark) are much better positioned to emerge as a voice of reason on Iraq, regardless of recent plaudits for Kerry. When contrasted with their authorization votes, Kerry Bayh and Clinton will have a tough time on this particular issue.

Posted by: RMill | April 18, 2006 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Kerry is a loser for president. He epitomizes what "Red America" imagines when it thinks of a typical Democratic politician: someone who values verbal acuity over moral action; and somebody who at his core really doesn't like his own country very much.

Posted by: Mark | April 18, 2006 10:18 AM | Report abuse

In 2008, a new candidate will emerge and capture the hearts and minds of people in Iowa, New Hampshire, and the rest of the country. It will be Mark Warner.

Kerry won't survive the sequel to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

Posted by: FDB | April 18, 2006 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I think a kerry campaign all over again is futile & a non-starter. americans seem to vote based upon either a combination or evocation of a certain sentimentality, fear, reactionary or complacent-optimism, cynicism, race, class & a boutique like fashionable-mentality that is seeking reassurances wrapped in simplicity or nostalgia. kerry's complex nuances go down with national voters like castor oil it seems, even to those who like him an awful lot. & furthermore, a good fundraiser is not necessarily a good front man for his party. but my point here is that through it all, kerry has always had a flat national appeal and still is not leading the news or in the hearts and minds of democratic voters in key states like ohio or florida & does not resonate on a level that voters buy into as he is established as easilly torn down. and another kerry campaig evokes the somebody other than him sentimentality more so than anything else. As a 2nd presidential run will I'm sure play out like a hollywood sequel to a bad movie that didnt make bank the 1st time around.
thinking about a return of john keery is not how you win elections. & politics is not & really has never been focused on a party or person being right, in as much as it's all about winning & delivering results @ the polls. Kerry couldnt close the deal the last time & this case for kerry right seems to point to the fact that the democratic party despite the horrendous misteps, deadly blunders & the misfortune of the Bush admin's overall incompetence, does not have a clear leader or candidate who can unite and stand for something that says more than we are against bush. The democratic party needs john murtha but him being as forceful as he is now @ the age of 50 something other than 70-something. or someone like a bob casey jr with more endearing speaking skills. but a kerry again scenario is a shoo in for mccain, just like having hillary clinton on the top of the ticket in 08.

Posted by: john cecil price | April 18, 2006 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I do not believe Kerry is dishonest but he was certainly painted that way. He waffked on his military record and the famous I voted for and against the war. I believe he is sophisticated and intelligent too, maybe too much so for his own good. However, you are correct to a point- but it was the American people who proved that he was unqualified by not voting for him. But with the money he has, he is certainly still a threat to all seeking the nomination.

Posted by: RMill | April 18, 2006 10:12 AM | Report abuse

As much affection as I have for Sen. Kerry, I really think a Feingold/Clark ticket is best. Think about it...

Posted by: Soonerthought | April 18, 2006 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I don't believe Kerry initiall supported the war in Iraq out of conviction. He did so out of political expediency. That alone makes him unfit to be commander and chief. Russ Feingold for President in 2008.

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | April 18, 2006 10:08 AM | Report abuse

No, no, no, no, no, no, no! Aside from "electability" and money issues Kerry is just what the Republicans said he was a flip-flopper. Besides that he is profoundly dishonest (I don't mean corrupt) and is as monumentally uninterested in the welfare of the American people and the Republic as George Bush. Though I oppose Hilary Clinton of policy grounds she is what Kerry is not and intelligent and sophisticated politician who has moxie and guts. Kerry has proved he is completely unqualified to be President in these very perilous times.

Posted by: Christopher Stahnke | April 18, 2006 10:05 AM | Report abuse


Question. Is there a limit on what Senators can transfer from their Senate funds to a Presidential? I don't think there is. Also, the money in the General Election funds- what are the restrictions on use of that money? Can it only be used if Kerry becomes the nominee again? I can't find any information readily available to answer.

Hillary is likely to continue her torrid fundraising pace(at $6 M+ per quarter)giving her an additional $18 M or so by the end of the year on top of the $20 M she has. She can spend $5 M or so on re-election, give $5-$10 M away to the various Democratic committees and other candidates and still be able to transfer over $20 M. Kerry is still chasing HRC.

I had posted yesterday and had made a mistake on Kerry's numbers. The way it was written up looked like he had $25 M (which I think I had posted).

It appears that $14.031 M is in his Kerry for President Inc. account as of 3/31/06. Kerry-Edwards General Election Legal and Accounting Compliance Fund has $5.275 M on hand. Kerry-Edwards Inc. had $200K on hand as of 3/31/06. Kerry's Senate campaign fund had $297K on hand as of 12/31/05.

Also, Kerry's Vietnam record has not really proven to be a bonus and far from leveling the playing field he was leveled by it. Not sure this is much of a bonus.

Posted by: RMill | April 18, 2006 10:03 AM | Report abuse

New blood, please.

I like Feingold and Warner at this point, in that order. Please, no Kerry or Hillary.

There's a reason the GOP is so good at painting the Dems as devoid of new ideas - they're right.

Let's prove them wrong.

Posted by: Chris | April 18, 2006 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I first met John Kerry in August, 2003. Living in Iowa we have the benefit of early and often meetings with the canidates. I said after the first meeting that John Kerry was the most qualified candidate that the Democratic party had at the time, but that he was not the best candidate. Reasons being:
1. Kerry cannot or will not provide an answer without giving all the nuances that go into making his decision. While that may play with wonks, it does not work with the electorate.
2. While I have no doubt that John Kerry has the fire in the belly that is required to run a campaign, he needs to tae advice from people who have won races rather than lost them. This is true of all the Democratic candidates on the national level.
3. I firmly believe that both Al Gore and John Kerry have the values and core beliefs that most American's would call their own (look at the polling on how American's look at the issues) the tone of delivery of that message came off as rather professorial. Gore and Kerry did not connect with a large number of voters because they stopped listneing to the message.
4. George Bush and the Republican's were masters of redirecting the truth of what their plans were by using warm fuzzy names for the initiatives (Clear Sky's).
All said and done, I don't believe that John Kerry can change the one thing that most cost him the election, his manner of speaking. We need a candidate who is right on the issues and who cn connect with the voter.

Posted by: Don Ruby | April 18, 2006 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Here we go again - electability - we lost on that one once and will loss again - the ability to raise money does not make John Kerry electable

As a long-term Democrat I did not vote in the last presidential election (I did vote down ballot) - As a Texan it made it east to not vote for Kerry because Texas was not even in play - to be honest had Texas been in play I probably would have voted for Kerry as an anti-Bush vote

I hope Democrats will learn from the past and realize that when the press uses the term - electability - it means the candidate cannot win - Kerry proved that

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Yes I am holding with Richardson for President

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | April 18, 2006 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Can we have some new blood, please? We're doing the same old-same-old, which actually plays to the republicans' strength. the only thing preventing a landslide for the dems right now is that the repubs can counter that we've got nothing new to offer, either. Put a Mark Warner in the picture and we're the fresh new party of ideas and unity (southern state governor), not the anti-Bush party looking to restore the glory of the Clintons or pay back for the defeats of 2000 or 2004. They're great people, Kerry and Clinton and even Gore, but thier time has past.

Posted by: Will | April 18, 2006 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Regarding argument number three, his experience in running a national campaign for the presidency; setting Al Gore aside, I honestly wonder if he has this advantage over Hillary Clinton, who was such an integral part of her husband's two bids for the presidency.

Posted by: Chris | April 18, 2006 9:46 AM | Report abuse

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