Sunday, February 06, 2005

I Would Support John Kerry in 2008

This post is in response to a Pro Kerry Diary at the Daily Kos, which speculates on a Kerry run in 2008.

Here's why I hope Kerry will run in '08?

Bottom's personal.

In May of 2003 I began my political life volunteering for Kerry. I was a novice, but his lifetime of action inspired me to act. I saw in him the rebirth of John Kennedy's dreams and aspirations for America: the work that was started before I was born, and that I read about, but that for most of my 33 years has been on hiatus or completely off track.

The people I met and the stories we shared on the campaign trail are the reason I believe Kerry will give it another go. I believe he will be a better campaigner a second time around, and those of us who grew to know our own influence at his side will be stronger and wiser too.

Kerry inspires loyalty like no other. It's not that his friends and supporters don't see his faults, we do, but we see his potential and his unyielding belief in America. An America with faults, but endless possibilities.


Blogger DynamicDems said...

If John Kerry runs in 2008, I'll be behind him 100%. I couldn’t imagine why on earth he would want to subject himself to that again, but if he runs, I’ll be there.

When the primaries first began, I didn't believe anyone could come close to defeating George Bush; however, I supported Kerry because I felt he was the best of the lot. Having been a resident of Massachusetts, I knew he was qualified and that his views most closely matched my own. I simply didn't believe that Bush could be stopped.

As the campaign drew on with Kerry running neck-and-neck with Bush, I started to have something I hadn't had in years: hope. People who ask what went wrong should instead be looking at what went right. We came so damn close. I think we would be better served by embracing the strengths of the campaign and building on those strengths in the future.

Something that gets little coverage is what Senator Kerry went through personally during the campaign. He lost his mother, was operated on for prostrate cancer, had the flu and lost his voice repeatedly, was operated on for a shoulder injury, and both the senator and his wife were constantly insulted and demeaned on a very, personal level. In addition, it was recently revealed that, during the campaign, Teresa Heinz’s sister was operated on for cancer. How the senator managed to campaign as tirelessly as he did is a feat in itself.

I’m not even going to get into the hatchet job the media did on John Kerry, but it makes me want to hang my head that such injustice and mean-spiritedness can prevail in our country. The flip-flop attacks were about the most unjust of all and they particularly enraged me because George Bush has flip-flopped more than any politician alive! Even fellow Democrats had much criticism for Senator Kerry: he didn’t fight back enough, he fought back too much, he talked too much about issues (dull), he didn’t talk enough about issues (not enough substance). For every criticism, there seemed to be an equal and opposite criticism.

Despite all of this, Senator Kerry maintained his honor during the campaign. He never resorted to the kind of personal attacks that were launched against him. He chose to aim his attacks at the policies of the Bush Administration instead of at George Bush personally. He did call Bush out on the issues, but he was never answered on the issues. Instead, micro-issues were elevated to importance as a smoke screen to obscure the larger issues, the ones that were of importance to the entire country.

In many ways, I am deeply ashamed and embarrassed for America. I want to tell the world that most of us are not reflected in the viewpoints of our media. But is that true? I think of what the conservatives of the time did to a good man who spoke out over 2000 years ago and I wonder if we have changed at all. I don’t think it was stupidity that re-elected George Bush. It was human nature. We are not as evolved as we think we are.
We are the new Romans and we have just re-elected our neo-Nero.

The fight for justice and for compassion is not over, however. It will never be over. Sometimes the good guys do lose, but they never, ever give up. John Kerry gave us hope and he is still lighting a beacon of hope for us to follow. Losing this election has made many of us more determined than ever to fight for our beliefs, and we have a strong leader who is still fighting for us.

Whatever you decide to do, Senator, count me in.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't. I am a democrat also, but Kerry is old news and will not be able to get the nomination in 08. Hillary has already been annointed to the post and anybody who does not believe that is fooling themselves. Kerry was the worst choice for the party because he could not bring the middle class americans toward the party because he was too liberal. That is the reason why he lost. You can support him all you want but you are wasting your time and energy. Of is your energy to waste so feel free.

10:19 PM  
Blogger IFK Editor said...

Actually Kerry won the Independent (read moderate, many of them middle class) voters, and he won the youth vote big time.

Sorry, but Hillary is not anointed as you say. First she has to win her senate seat in 2006.

If Kerry continues to show this toughness he is demonstrating he as good a shot as anyone. Hillary is not Bill. She probably has higher negatives than Kerry with Independent voters, which often tend to be men.

In 2008 security and toughness will still be a predominate theme.
Sad as it may be a woman will have a harder time making that case.

And as I'm fond of reminding the naysayers, I was repeatedly told Kerry wouldn't make it past Iowa, and he won there big time!

He's a fighter and he doesn't quit.

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IFK editor is absolutely right. I might add that Kerry overwhelmingly won voters from households making $15,000 or less and from voters from households making $15,000-$30,000. He also won voters (albeit by a small majority) voters from households making $30,000-$50,000. He won the votes of self-proclaimed "moderates" and the independent vote. He won the under 30 vote and the 75 and older vote. Its hard to say that he didn't connect. I might also add that he got a greater percent of the popular vote than Clinton in 1992.
To those who think Hillary will win my question is "what has she done that would qualify her for the nomination other than be Bill Clinton's wife?"
Also, it is a reasonable (though not ironclad) assumption that Kerry would win at least the 19 states (and Washington DC) that he won this time. Kerry could plausibly carry some or all of the following: Ohio, West Virginia, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Iowa, Florida and MAYBE Missouri and Arizona next time. Can anyone tell me ONE RED STATE Hillary would carry? I'm not entirely sure Hillary would win the Democrat leaning swing states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania.
Also, politically do we really want to repeat the CLinton years?
He never won a majority of the popular vote and then there are the following little details: we lost the majorities in the House, Senate, the majority of state legislatures, the majority of governorships and the mayoralities of many major cities (New York anyone?)

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a European observer of the election I can only say that the outcome is not only disastrous for the U.S., but also for the rest of the world. His go it alone policy in Iraq has created a terrorist heaven in the Middle East while the center of the war on terror lies in Afganistan.
The United states needs a president who will return to a "common sense" foreign policy. So,John if you decide to run again you've got my back!

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Max Bentinck said...

In response to that last comment, I can only say that I strongly disagree with your opinion of Bill Clinton. During the 8 years of his presidency, Clinton set the foundations for an era of economic and social prosperity that has lasted his entire presidency! I would be more than glad to repeat the Clinton years.
Max Bentinck

8:04 AM  
Blogger Tom Petty said...

Max I do see your point. Yes the economy boomed in Clinton second term and the last part of his first, but even Joe Stiglitz (Clinton's CEA chief) admitted that income inequality grew in the Clinton years and median household income was barely higher at the end of the 90s (adjusted for inflation) than it was at the end of the 80s. Not to mention the growth in people without health care.
Look, we could argue all day about the Clinton years, but in any event he's gone and he can't come back. I do have an honest question for you: Could Hillary win all 20 states (okay, 19 states and the District of Columbia) that Kerry won? What red states could Hillary win in 2008? I've asked these questions on other liberal blogs and have yet to get a straight answer or even speculation on this. Any answer you can give me (even if I strongly disagree with it) would be more than welcome.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Tom Petty said...

One other thing Max, I realize that a number of the problems of the 1990s were beyond Clinton's control (mainly because of the GOP takover of Congress). I just wanted to make clear that the economic situation was not always rosy in the 90s (specifically 1990-95)and even when the economy was doing very good there were still problems that Democrats (not just Clinton but even many progressives) did not address at the time

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll be there. I already have my "Support Kerry '08" bracelet.

I'm not so concerned with "electability" as I am with what goes into the makings of a good present. As I see it, John Kerry would make an excellent president.

Besides, he's been pre-smeared. What more can they say about him that isn't old news. I'm thinking of him as the "I told you so" candidate of 2008, and trying to keep a list of the issues he will have turned out to be right on by then. We shall see.

Besides, as IFK said, it's personal. His was the first campaign I ever worked for. I'm kinda attached to the big lug.


4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so disappointed at what is happening to our great country. I dont know if anyone is capable of turning the corruption around but I would be for John Kerry in 2008 as I was in 2004. There is so much work that needs to be done in this country to help the American people to get back on their feet after all the devastation by natural causes. So much money and work to be done to our infrastructure to keep from that happening again. We need to be getting our schools in order, looking for more water sources as our city is running out of water and not doing anything about it. We need to help our citizens in the U.S.rather than spend all the billions on war and repairing cities that we destroy abroad. We need to get back to being a country by the people, for the people. Now it is only for the large corporations that have money to lobby with and get their agendas thru. I would hope that Mr. Kerry becomes president. I think he would be a concientious person that would work tirelessly to improve our country.God knows we need that.

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you on Mr. Kerry. I want him to run again. My husband and I voted for him in 2004, and will again in 08'. He is the greatest and he is for the middle class, much like the Kennedy's were. The Republicans are for big business and the power hungry oil and gas company's and I for one am sick of it.
When the Democrats are in office, we live better financially and when the Republicans are in we suffer and are continuously in War. I too want a secure America, but Iraq was not even part of the picture. Bush did a 360' and went from afghanistan where we should have stayed due to 9/11 and went to Irag, makes no sense to me..Please run again Mr. Kerry, we need you in the White house to make the changes for a better America.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Hillary Clinton runs for President, I will write in Elvis Presley for President and then vote straight Democratic ticket elsewhere. We don't need her in the white house, we need a strong man like JOHN KERRY-HE IS THE CANDIDATE FOR 2008!!!!!

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would be ecstatic if John "Why the Long Face" Kerry runs in 2008. It would assure a Republican win!!

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Max Bentinck said...

I do not believe is the right candidate for the democratic Party; by moving to the centre, she has alienated your liberal base and the conservatives she seeks support from, mistrust her and still think she's a liberal.

8:45 AM  

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