John Kerry For Vice President

There’s been speculation that Obama might pick someone totally unexpected as his running mate as opposed to the names being discussed the most. WBZ TV has one suggestion:

Barack Obama has yet to name a vice presidential nominee and some are wondering if he might turn to Massachusetts to round out the ticket.

John Kerry for vice president?

Don’t dismiss the notion just yet.

Some political insiders are telling WBZ it could happen.

So why would Obama reach out to Kerry as his choice?

Kerry brings more money and name recognition to the table than any other name on the Obama list so far. Americans do tend to love a comeback kid and this would be the most amazing political comeback since Richard Nixon came back from the dead forty years ago.

“I’m not looking for any new job, I’m running for re-election,” Kerry told WBZ last week.

Asked about the V.P. buzz, his press secretary told WBZ in a statement Thursday night:

“If I was bi-lingual, I’d say no in multiple languages. The only job John Kerry is running for, contemplating, or considering is the one he already has.”

If you’re laughing off the idea of Kerry back on the national ticket again, I don’t blame you. While he came close four years ago, his campaign was widely derided as, to put it politely, clumsy.

But consider some reasons why Obama might now turn to Kerry as a running mate.

Polls show many voters question Obama’s foreign policy credentials to be a wartime president. As a decorated veteran and longtime member of the senate foreign relations committee, Kerry could fill that gap.

Obama suffers from being a new face on the political scene, but Kerry – warts and all – is well known to the voters, and in 2004, he did draw more votes than any democrat ever has.

And judging from a new anti-smear web site funded by Kerry’s political action committee, Kerry would eagerly assume the role of attack dog… Allowing a nominee who prefers to float above the fray to minimize the amount of political hardball he has to play.

One other note: the vice presidential nominee will address the convention on Wednesday night, August 27.

The theme set for that evening – a salute to America’s veterans.

The Obama campaign says we shouldn’t read anything into that. We’ll soon see if they’re blowing smoke on that one.

From a political point of view I doubt Obama will choose Kerry as it would mean reopening all the bogus attacks which came in 2004. However this could also work in Obama’s favor as this could highlight the fact that the attacks on Obama are just typical right wing lies which come around every four years, often from the exact same sources. More importantly, Obama could not do better in terms of a running mate who is qualified to be vice president, or president should that become necessary. It also turns out that Kerry has been vetted by the Obama campaign.

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16 Comments

  1. 1
    chris says:

    Picking Kerry would prove that Obama is not ready to lead. It would be a colossal mistake.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Picking Kerry would show that Obama is exercising true leadership in picking the best man for the job while ignoring all the right wing smears. From a political point of view it is unlikely as Obama has enough right wing smears to deal on his own without reopening all the old smears against Kerry.

    On the other hand, the right wing will smear Obama and whoever he chooses so it might not matter.

  3. 3
    chris says:

    The death knell of John Kerry’s national political career came during his appearance on The Daily Show. This was the only live appearance Kerry made in the last few months of the campaign. Slate described his appearance with the following:

    “…Kerry’s charisma was less than zero: It was negative. He was a charm vacuum, forced to actually borrow mojo from audience members. He was a dessicated husk, a tin man who really didn’t have a heart. His lack of vibrancy, his utter dearth of sex appeal made Al Gore look like Charo.”
    I wasn’t aware that Slate was part of the right wing smear machine.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    That’s just one person’s opinion. I saw Kerry both in a large rally and in a small private meeting. My opinion of him was the exact opposite of that expressed above.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    Chris,

    Wait a minute here. Do you realize you are paying Kerry a huge compliment? I did a search to see who wrote the review you were referring to. That “review” is by Dana Stevens, one of the most brain dead reviewers on the web. A general rule of thumb is that you are quite safe taking the opposite of what she writes if you want a reliable review (in reverse).

    The latest example of a worthless review I read from her was her hatred of The Dark Night. John Kerry is in good company in receiving a bad review from Stevens.

    The comments by reviewers with brains of Kerry’s appearance on The Daily Show were also the opposite of Stevens’.

  6. 6
    Christopher says:

    No, No, No, No, No.

    Kerry brings nothing to the ticket except to remind voters that he’s the man who couldn’t step up and play hardball against the Mofo from Midland in 2004.

    Please, Barack, don’t ask John Kerry.

  7. 7
    libgirl says:

    Kerry actually has been called charismatic for a good portion of his life – from 1971 through 2000. In 2004, the one segment of the population that was uninterested in John Kerry was the media. At various times, different people in the media wrote puff pieces on Dean, Clark and Edwards, but not on Kerry. They were the ones that insisted he had no appeal.

    I watched some of the early CSPAN footage and it was Kerry who was the most dynamic, interesting and charismatic from footage shot in Iowa and in NH.  Recently, someone posted some 2003/2004 stuff on Youtube. Here is one that someone from Iowa made where you can see all the candidates – the one who shines is John Kerry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1KTHmM2mzk

    One journalist who wrote a book on the primary, Walter Shapiro, wrote that one difference between Kerry and most candidates was that he actually was more relaxed and warmer when not on camera, while others, notably John Edwards, lost their sunny smiles as soon as the camera was turned off. But, when you watch the interaction between Kerry and individuals in Iowa, he comes across not just as very informed and committed, but connecting with individuals. Here is a Youtube that shows this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4nY8wkPTTM&feature=related

    In October 2004, Kerry drew groups that far exceeded those of Bill Clinton and later Gore. Unlike in 1992, when the media covered the ever increasing crowds, in 2004, those crowds were not mentioned. The cable shows always had their talking head speaking of the event outside the venue. The picture was the talking head in the foreground and random people walking to and from the event. When they  showed Kerry, it was in small segments, usually when he was attacking Bush, not speaking of his agenda. Very narrow shots were used so you did not see the huge crowds. Here, from another Youtube is a very short video showing the tail end of a  MN rally from that time that shows the size of those crowds. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDVr9jXYqSg

    One thing to consider is that, other than us CSPAN addicts, the people who saw and cheered for Kerry in 2004 were from the swing states. They saw him and heard his message. His message was echoed in the platforms and even the words of every candidate running in 2008. Those who argue that others are more eloquest speakers should ask themselves what lines will be remembered from Edwards or either Clinton 37 years from now.

    Kerry is running for Senate in MA and can not run for both offices at the same time. It ius against MA law. If he could though, what he would bring is that he is now seen as having been right on an incredible number of foreign policy points , his 2004 alternative energy/environmental proposals and words have been copied by every Democratic candidate running, many Republicans, includid McCain who copied so much in the speech he gave when Arnold endorsed him that he should have been called on plagerism, and even the despicable T Bone Pickens. Every healthcare plan pushed by any Democrat built on Kerry’s 2004 plan, which John Edwards in 2004 called to expensive. People forget that Edwards covered only kids in 2004.

    Since 2004, on every liberal blog, nearly every time Kerry gave a major speech, especially the 4 Faneuil Hall speeches given in 2006 and Fanuil Hall economics speech in 2007, people were amazed at how good he was – though by the next speech, they seemed to have amnesia, and were surprised again. These 4 speeches are all on JohnKerry.com under Multi- Media. The Dissent speech in April, 2006 and the Real Security speech on September 9, 2006 are personal favorites because I was lucky enough to see them. (I can tell you the crowd absoluely loved him) I sent a link to a transcript of the Real Security speech to an Independent voter, who was a WWII vet. His reaction was utter frustration that the Democrats in 2006 did not run on that because he was incredibly impressed by it.

    Since Kerry endorsed Obama, he has been brilliant and on message on every talk show. I am impressed, for instance, that on MTP he argued that Bush was moving to Obama’s position on a deadline in Iraq, how to deal with terrorism, and on his position on NK. Now, all of those were Kerry positions long before they were Obama’s, but Kerry did not even say Obama’s and my positions. Contrast that with Edwards’ reluctance to even use Kerry’s slogan in 2004 because he was convinced, in spite of losing badly to Kerry in the primaries and being clearly junior,  that he knew better. Kerry’s humbleness there is unusual in a politician of his stature. If you doubt that, read Bill Clinton’s 2000 or 2004 convention speeches – he spends a hug amount of time speaking of Bill Clinton.

  8. 8
    chris says:

    Ron – I probably have gravitated to the opposite end of the political spectrum than you but I respect your opinion and enjoy reading what you have to say. On John Kerry we are going to have to agree to disagree.

  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:

    libgirl,

    Kerry was certainly the most charismatic candidate in Iowa and New Hampshire in 2003-4, and the voters responded. If charisma is the only criteria there are far more charismatic people, but if we also consider ability to do the job along with charisma it is hard to beat Kerry.

    My bet is that if Kerry was offered the VP spot (which I do not think will happen) he would accept and give up his Senate seat.

    You are sure right about the amnesia factor. I can’t believe how many times Kerry would give a great speech and people would react like it was the first time he had done so, and then repeat the same line the next time he gave a great speech. Another memorable speech from him was his speech at Georgetown before the war in which he both correctly predicted all the chaos which would occur and urged Bush not to rush to war.

    Edwards sure was a disaster as running mate. I can’t believe anyone took the guy seriously as a presidential candidate this year after he stabbed Kerry in the back to promote his own future run rather than work for the good of the 2004 ticket.  That had to be one of the worst decisions Kerry ever made, but the reasons for it were obvious at the time. We can be certain of one thing. No matter who Obama picks, he will do a better job than Gore and Kerry in picking a running mate.

  10. 10
    MsJoanne says:

    Face it, no matter who Obama (or McCain for that matter) picks as their running mate, not every one of their supporters will be happy.

    Let them bring up Swiftboaters…wasn’t Corsi a major player in that, and isn’t he getting a pretty good trouncing now?

    I think the timing is dandy.

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:

    While I doubt Kerry would be picked, I would hope that most Obama supporters would be happy. Once they get past some of the Kerry-bashing which is usual among Democrats for a losing nominee, they would hopefully realize how similar Obama and Kerry’s views are. They certainly are far closer than a number of other people being considered.

    Yes, Corsi was one of the Swift Boat Liars and this time his lies are so transparent that even many conservatives have been critical of him. It doesn’t help him with conservatives that he has a bunch of lunatic views which even most conservatives don’t go along with.

  12. 12
    battlebob says:

    I worked harder for Kerry then any other candidate; including my time as a Repub campaign worker from 1980-2000.
    My only complaint is a Kerry VP would remove two Democratic Senators. We need to get more then 60 seats to counteract Lirberman and the Repubs.
    The worst thing that could possibly happen is for Dems to lose the Senate.
    Even if McBush gets elected, a 60 plus Democratic count in the Senate should block most of McCain’s goofball plans.
    However, Democrats have to stop rolling over and playing dead whenever Repubs rattle their saber swords; otherwise their Senate majority doesn’t matter.

  13. 13
    Ron Chusid says:

    Battlebob,

    If Kerry ran for VP most likely another Democrat will win his seat. (In contrast, if Evan Bayh should become VP, his seat would more likely be won by a Republican).

    Actually I would prefer that the Democrats do not get sixty seats if Obama wins. That would be too much power in the hands of one party, regardless of which party it is.

    Actually most of the time I prefer to see the White House and Congress controlled by different parties, but neither McCain or the current Congressional Republicans are suitable for controlling the White House or Congress. I figure that a Senate with just over 40 Republicans might sometimes stop something we’d like to see passed, but for the most part the Democrats should be able to get a handful of Republicans to at least agree not to filibuster for anything they want that is really worthwhile.

  14. 14
    battlebob says:

    I agree with you about keeping Congress and the WH in different parties. You are assuming that Obama will win. McCain is still the press darling. Most of the anti-McCain issues and facts never make the major news stations.
    To counteract McCain, a veto-proof Senate is mandatory.
    In reality, Dems are far less monolithic then Repubs who follow the party line closely.
    There are two parties but only one establishment at right now, the power and money barons are corporate america repubs.

    Obama’s strength is his ability to build a movement from the bottom up with small donors that aren’t tapped out yet. He has corporate supporters but nothing like the Repubs.
    When I was with the McCain staff in AZ, corporate Dons would ask us what they needed to buy. Air and print time, communications equipment, airplane seats…the works. It is all leagal.

  15. 15
    Nina says:

    I met Kerry at a booksigning last year – and I was very impressed with his humility and sincerity. I even had the chance to talk to him. I explained how the whole city (LA) was numb the day afte he lost. We were SOOOO sad – in grief that he lost – shocked and fearful of what was to come. he just looked down and very sad, and said, “I know, I feel terrible that I let so many people down.” Besides, he’s been through the grind of media and republicans before…I think he’s a great choice.

  16. 16
    Nina says:

    PS By the way, his book was about the environment – he cares about it that much!

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