It is my humble opinion that Kerry is a perfect elder statesman. The people know who he is. He united more people to vote for him for president then anyone else but "W" (in U.S. history). He was up against fear. The greatest enemy of freedom in the deck that can be played.
Kerry would have been the best President with regards to foreign affairs. The world would have been delighted to have to deal with a man like him and not our current "five word sentence" President. Kerry has shown enough social consciousness and concerns to work for the middle class, though he is not able to connect to the middle class due to his nuanced and complex way of talking. Kerry has brain, if you like it or not. Kerry is rich and can afford to vote against the interest of the elite. In that respect I don't think he can be bribed.
Kerry is just not able to talk effectively to "many a common man" and if he tries to do so, he becomes unconvincing, because it's not his strong side to buddy up with someone and make it sound real.
Kerry could win, if he just would have been left alone and said what he wanted to say in the way he wanted to express it. Kerry has stood his ground very well considering all the smear attacks against him during the campaign. I don't know why Kerry should be unelectable, but it doesn't speak against himself, it speaks against the electorate.
Kos, please. The criticisms of Kerry's 2004 campaign has gotten so old.
We chose Kerry as our candidate. Considering that the media "Gore'd" him and that he probably in all likelihood actually did win the election (both electoral and popular votes), I think Kerry did fine. My enthusiasm certainly went from lukewarm to very positive over the course of the campaign. (I voted for Dean at caucus.)
If we want progressive candidates to win, then we have to address some structural issues. The first is to reestablish the equal time rule Reagan scuttled. Another is to eliminate electronic voting and counting.
Personally, I'm guardedly optimistic.
I will support the Democratic candidate for the Presidency in 2008, whoever that might be. If it happens to be John Kerry, I will be very content knowing that we have a good man who is right for the times. In fact, no one might have been more right for 2004-- he did not run on being electable in the general election. He ran on being the kind of person who understood the perils of war, the difficult decisions that needed to be made, on being a mature diplomat who would, once again, as he did in 1971, return the country to sanity.
I was proud to cast that vote for him.
Yes Kerry made some mistakes. And he is by no means a back slapping cheerleader like the Chimp. But if YOU READ HIS BOOK you will understand all the great things he had planned for this country. It is tragic that he lost.
And above all, he withstood a withering onslaught from the liars on the right and the liars in the media, and he still almost won. None of the other candidates with the possible exception of Clark could have held up under that.
People better understand, a bunch of college kids all eager and fresh-faced are not going to win 2008 with their zeal and idealism. This is life or death. The fascists are playing for keeps. They will stop at nothing. So WHOEVER gets the nomination better be as tough as Kerry was--and less willing to listen to those who tell him not to fight back.
But I have to address one major thing: you are particularly upset that Kerry is going the anti-Washington route presently and imagine that the idea is that he's trying to present himself as a populist- which is your home turf, after all. Secondly, you imagine he's trying to talk to nonpartisan voters and Democrats.
First of all, if you were to know John Kerry properly, as I think I have come to, there is no one more deeply skeptical about a Presidential run in '08 than he is. If you buy into the Republican propaganda to discredit his efforts, spread by the likes of John McCain, that it's all selfishness...that's to be pretty gullible.
Secondly, if you really look at the political scene and polling, the game at present is twofold. One, getting nonpartisan voters away from their one last faith in Bush policies, and that comes down to proving that the Guantanamo Bay and other parts of the system designed to 'fight terrorism' have zero efficacy. But the time and data for that is not quite available yet- and when it is, it will need someone on the Democratic side to expose it fully and run the PR campaign that pulls Indies over to opposition to the hardline Republican policies in effect fully.
The fault line elsewhere in American politics is starting to move from between Indies and soft Republicans to between soft/moderate Republicans and hardline Republicans. Everything Kerry is doing at present fits to starting to apply the wedges. Be that the tone-down of Massachusetts Democrats' PR to not focussing on gay marriage for the time being, shifting the limelight on Frist and DeLay, or be that telling Louisianans to start thinking about whether (Republican) Washington is doing anything at all in their interests.
Kerry is strategically ahead of the game, ahead of the Democratic blogoverse. That may piss you off in your particular elitism, and he might- as usual- make a bunch of tactical missteps in the early phases of this campaign. I'm not sure I can convince you that his essential impulse is duty, even though the evidence is clear if you bring any generosity and care to the analysis. But I hope you reach that conclusion.
In our present rerun of the Civil War, he is our Sherman. (Have a look at any serious personality and political description of Sherman for comparison- no one "got it" about him of his peers, either, but Grant considered him easily his greatest and most successful general.) He follows on the Rosencrans that was Gore and the Grant that Clinton was (and still is), and contrasts with the Meade figure that Daschle and Reid represent, the Sheridan that Pelosi is. We've recapitulated in analogy the 1864 campaign in 2003 and 2004 with bizarre accuracy and we're into the events of late January 1865 at this point.
-- Killjoy (Quite lyrical, actually)
Kerry ran a flawed (what campaign is perfect), but respectable, passionate and sometimes heart felt campaign.
You can say whatever you want from the comforts of your keyboard, but I was there from the beginning supporting Kerry. People embraced him as they got to know him and they still respect him and wish him well, for the sake of the country. Even some that didn't vote for him now wish they had.
Kerry ran a campaign based on ideas, like fighting a smarter war against terrorism, energy independence, affordable healthcare and education for the middle class. He ran a campaign of hope and optimism that apparently was lost on your bitter sorry ass.
Kos, I respectfully think you're off your rocker if you think Kerry's populist, anti-Republican controlled Washington message is any different now than during the campaign.
He's only doing what he's been doing all his life. Fighting for what's right and common sense in politics.
And my personal favorite:
I don't know whether you have it out for Kerry nor not Kos, but you're wrong about what kind of candidate Kerry was. Nor was he guilty of espousing the "I'm the most electable" drivel... I'm as frustrated and angry about four more years of Bush, Kos, but attacking a worthy candidate like Kerry doesn't do anything other than reflect sour grapes. There were mistakes, in my opinion on the top staff and campaign advisors, the time and resources spent on the whole blogging/forum thing... I love the 'net, but honestly, the energy expended on the blog/forum thing was wasted energy when time on the ground would have been a better use of said resources. More than 55% of the citizenry is not online.. while the use of the internet for campaigning was ballyhooed, and it was an example of an effective means of fundraising, and networking.. labeling that type of activism, grassroots is a misnomer. Grassroots refers to working from the bottom up, it's a movement that is at it's heart inclusive to common people. Any democratic campaign should of course utilise the 'net, but people's participation should be directed on the ground.. not wasted typing away messages on blogs, et al, that for the most part were little more than high fives and alot of idle chit chat...
As to having a reason for running, John Kerry had a sound plan to resurrect America, to bring us back to democratic freedom, civil rights ethical leadership. I remember the cheap potshots tossed at him, from the right wingers and some Deaniacs alike. Not one of them could obliterate the decency, the ethics and honesty of that good man. Trust doesn't come easy for me.... but I felt proud to have him as my candidate.
While the president, instead of laying out a clear plan for foreign policy, attacked and attempted to discredit him, John Kerry laid out the facts about Iraq and the failed policies of the Bush administration. We were able to see Kerry's plan to lead America back to a stable and secure future. Kerry was tough, he laid out the facts about how Bush's economic policies were every bit as devastating a threat to the American people. Kerry offered a common sense plan to rebuild our economy, and his thorough understanding and intelligence shone through. That's the reason no one even tried to take him on, on that issue. Kerry has a legitimate record on the environment, his plan offered a return to the Clean Air Act, a commitment to clean water, protecting our natural resources. He had a complete understanding about the need to address the health care problem
John Kerry had a plan for real education reform, and improving opportunities for higher education. One could tell that he hadn't been coached on the facts.. these are issues he has worked on and fought for, for decades. Kerry's main campaign locations were at home in Boston, and yes, in DC as he is a sitting US senator. Dean's was in Vermont. Both campaigns struggled to keep campaign offices open in as many states as possible, it was a problem of spreading the resources. I know that I heard from more than a few volunteers around the country that some of the people in charge at the state level didn't put in the work early enough to allow them to get started.
As to the campaign insiders remark.. let's be honest again Kos.. the right wing love to slam democrats using unnamed sources in their smear campaigns in the press. Kerry volunteers traveled, at their own expense to other states, worked hard because they love and respect John Kerry. I've heard former "committed" Deaniacs trash Dean, and accuse him of everything, including selling out. A campaign is an emotionally intensive experience.. as the last primary proved, people put their all into it.. and unfortunately sometimes the worst in human nature emerges as a result of competition. The right wing exploited the divisions brought about by the democratic primary, if you believe that creating more divisions accomplishes anything other than helping the right wing, I know a bridge in Brooklyn that I'd like to sell you.
--Mary from RI