Meet the Next President: Kerry's Second Shot

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Stephanie, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. Stephanie
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    Stephanie Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    Bill Sammon, The Examiner
    Sep 14, 2006 5:00 AM (13 hrs ago)

    KEENE, N.H. - Moments before Sen. John Kerry shows up to campaign for a local politician at a backyard rally here, voter Sue Borden wrinkles her nose at the mention of the man who lost to President Bush.

    “You get one chance,” the Democrat tells a reporter. “If you can’t win, then it’s time to let someone else try.”

    But less than an hour later, after she meets Kerry and listens to him deliver an impassioned speech from a wooden deck, Borden softens and says she would consider voting again for the Massachusetts Democrat.

    “I always liked what he stood for but felt that he was very snobbish and arrogant,” she says. “He’s not that way. People told me I would change my mind once I met him. And they were right.”

    It is not clear whether Kerry will have enough time to personally meet and convert every disaffected Democrat in the nation by the election of 2008. But he appears determined to at least counter the conventional wisdom that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., has all but locked up the Democratic presidential nomination.

    “I don’t buy it,” he said in an interview with The Examiner this week. “You know, people sit with you and talk with you here, and they’re going to make judgments about who can be president. They’re going to make judgments about who can run.

    “I think I’d be a good president,” he adds, sitting on the wraparound porch of an old house in Keene. “I don’t care what the dominant, conventional wisdom is today; it will not be the dominant, conventional wisdom in a year.”

    But even if Clinton were to stumble or withdraw, other Democrats are poised to step in. Some are already hinting that Kerry had his chance and blew it by losing the all-important swing state of Ohio in 2004. Similar arguments were made against former Vice President Al Gore when he lost the crucial state of Florida to Bush in 2000.

    “We are making a mistake if we put up candidates that are only competitive in 16 states, and then we roll the dice and hope we win Ohio or Florida,” says former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, another Democrat eyeing the White House.

    Far from being offended by this remark, Kerry says he agrees with it.

    “I would say the same thing,” he says. “If I were lucky enough to do it again, I’m going to make sure we’re campaigning in way more states.”

    Kerry says the only reason he didn’t compete in more states in 2004 was that he ran out of money. He says this was also the reason he did not adequately respond to a series of devastating TV ads by Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth, a group that questioned Kerry’s service in Vietnam and criticized his later opposition to the war.

    “They had money behind the lies, and we did not have sufficient money behind the truth,” Kerry laments.

    Asked if he dreads the prospect of being “Swift-Boated” all over again, Kerry counters that he would relish such a fight.

    “I’m prepared to kick their ass from one end of America to the other,” he declares. “I am so confident of my abilities to address that and to demolish it and to even turn it into a positive.”

    Kerry’s tough talk triggers laughter from John O’Neill, a fellow Vietnam veteran who helped found Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth and wrote a blistering 2004 book on Kerry, “Unfit for Command.”

    “Well, he’s got eight times as much time to prepare for us as he spent in Vietnam,” says O’Neill, referring to Kerry’s short tour of duty.

    Kerry’s blunt rhetoric on the Swift Boat Veterans is a far cry from his 2004 attempt to straddle the question of whether to fund U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it,” he said during the election, cementing his reputation as a flip-flopper.

    The utterance was draped around Kerry’s neck and was widely viewed as a factor in his defeat. And yet now he voluntarily alludes to the gaffe while criticizing Bush’s recent reversal on the handling of enemy combatants.

    “No American president should be for torture before he’s against it,” Kerry said at Boston’s Faneuil Hall last weekend, allowing himself a rueful smile as the crowd erupted in cheers.

    Eager to shed his image as an overly cautious politician, Kerry now prefers to “let it rip,” according to several of his closest advisers.

    “I learned a lot of lessons in the campaign,” Kerry tells The Examiner. “And one of them is to keep it simple. Direct.”

    Yet Kerry’s stance has been anything but simple on the question of whether to implement a specific timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. While Kerry opposed such a timetable last year, he now supports it.

    “I don’t see that as a contradiction,” he says while munching chocolate chip cookies.

    He explains that the politics of Iraq have changed dramatically since he opposed a timetable.

    “We didn’t have an election; we hadn’t had a constitution; there was no provisional government,” he says. “To set a timetable in that circumstance would have been wrong.

    “But once you’ve had the election, once they’ve accepted democracy, once they’ve put together a government, the only thing left to do is complete the task of security transformation,” he adds. “And I think it’s reasonable, then, to have a standard by which [the Iraqis] assume a sense of urgency and responsibility.”

    Charlie Cook, publisher of the Cook Political Report, says it will not be easy for Kerry to convince Democrats to give him another chance after coming up short in 2004.

    “Kerry came out as damaged merchandise,” Cook says. “Badly damaged merchandise.”

    Kerry acknowledges there is some “legitimacy” to such analysis.

    “If you have hundreds of millions of dollars spent saying something about you, some of it sinks in,” he shrugs.

    And yet such damage was part of an invaluable experience — passing through the crucible of a presidential campaign.

    “On the plus side, I think if I were to decide to run again, I’d bring a lot of assets, including the fact that I’m the only guy who’s fully vetted,” Kerry says. “I have the experience of three presidential debates and a convention, of having come out of the campaign being accepted by 50-whatever million Americans with being able to be president.”

    That’s a resume that cannot be matched by others in the crowded presidential sweepstakes of 2008.

    “If you win 10 million more votes than Bill Clinton did in 1996, a sitting president, and you come within 59,000 votes of beating a Republican president in a time of war, it seems to me you’ve done better than others who ran and didn’t win the nomination, who are thinking of running again,” he says.

    As for those who believe politicians get only one chance for the top job, Kerry rattles off a list of Republicans who lost elections, only to rise again.

    “I mean, John McCain got just beat up in South Carolina, and he’s fighting,” he says of a possible 2008 foe. “Ronald Reagan ran three times. Richard Nixon ran after a miserable loss in California.

    “So the question is, what do you offer? What do you bring to the table?” he adds. “I think the agenda I laid out is viable, is as urgent today, and that’s why I think about this.”

    He points out that while his 2004 candidacy failed, many of his foreign and domestic policies remain popular among Democrats. In fact, his anti-war stance may resonate more in 2008 than in 2004 because more Americans are tiring of the bloodshed.

    “If my ideas had been rejected overwhelmingly, if I was wrong, then maybe I should just go put my head down and go somewhere and work in the garden,” he says. “But I don’t think I was. And a lot of people, as I go around the country, reaffirm that with me.”

    People, indeed, like Sue Borden.
    http://www.examiner.com/a-284761~Meet_the_Next_President__Kerry_s_Second_Shot.html
     
  2. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    The man honestly thinks he can respond to the Swift Boat charges? Id like to see that. I really would. Heck the whole reason the swift boats gained traction is because he wouldnt respond and when he did respond it was to change his previously version of the story. So we had the swift boats continue with one story and every other day or so John Kerry would change his story. It was his response of changing his story everyday or so in attempts to respond to the Swift boats that made them so credible. Especially when all he had to do to respond is release his military record to the public. Something he still refuses to do.

    And quite frankly the Swift boat veterans most damaging attacks were John Kerry's attacks on the troops after he came home from Vietnam and not what went on while he was there. Its kind of hard to counter what is a matter of public record. There is no way he can deny that he attacked the troops and falsely accused them of genocide among other things. We have his own words condemning him. If he thinks he can counter that he is willing to go ahead and try. I dont mind another 4 years of Republicans in the White House.
     
  3. nt250
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    nt250 Senior Member

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    On April 22, 1971, John Kerry "testified" before the Senate Comittee On Foreign Relations. I put the word testified in quotes because Kerry was treated more like a celebrity than a witness and was apparently never sworn.

    His complete testimony is part of the Congressional Record and a transcript can be found here:

    http://ice.he.net/~freepnet/kerry/index.php?topic=Testimony

    Kerry's appearance before the Senate was a travesty. Reading just the opening statement by Fulbright is enough to give anyone an indication of the farce that Kerry's 'testimony" was. He was treated like a rock star. The only thing missing was Kerry dropping his pants and bending over so the senators could kiss his ass.

    Kerry said a lot of things during his statement that day. He said his appearance was symbolic. That he represented 1000 men who served in Vietnam, and that 1000 was just a small representation of all the men who served. He said all of them, if they could be there, would have the same kind of testimony:

    He then went on to give his famous "they cut off ears" speech:

    "This country"

    He says that a few times during his testimony. He couldn't just call all the service members in Vietnam war criminals without blaming it on what "this country" made them do.

    The true enemy was them. Not the North Vietnamese or the Viet Cong.

    Why does John Kerry deserve to be in a federal prison? Because during his testimony on April 22, 1971, John Kerry admits, on the floor of the United States Senate, that he committed treason. Yes, he does:

    By "both delegations" Kerry is referring to the enemy. The Democratic Republic of Vietnam was the North Vietnamese. The Provisional Revolutionary Government was the Viet Cong. Kerry admitted, right on the floor of the Senate, that he had met with the enemy and he promoted their agenda when he returned to the United States. That's treason.

    The man not only has no business being a United States Senator himself now, he is unfit for command and should be in a federal prison for committing treason.
     
  4. Stephanie
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    Stephanie Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    How the Democrats selected him to run for President.........:scratch:

    That tells you a lot...............................................................:food1:
     
  5. nt250
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    nt250 Senior Member

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    The fact that John Kerry was the Democratic nominee says a lot about Democrats and liberals.

    John Kerry is known, proven, liar. Not just about petty stuff all politicians have to do to get elected.

    The simple fact is that if John Kerry was a Republican, there is no way he would have been elected to even one term in the Senate. And it wouldn't be because of his anti-War activities, or his admitting to treason. It would be because of the vast recorded evidence of his lies.

    There is no way the MSM would allow a Republican politician to get away with the lies John Kerry in on record as telling. No way. But he's a Democrat, so he gets a pass.
     
  6. Hamiltonian
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    Hamiltonian Member

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    Kerry should win this nomination. That way Hillary can't possibly become elected president, unless she too tries to pull a Lieberman, but at that point what's left of the Dem. party would just disintegrate.
     
  7. nt250
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    nt250 Senior Member

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    There is no way Hillary Clinton can ever be elected president. Any woman is a long shot, but her?

    But I thought her running for the Senate was a joke, so what do I know?
     
  8. Hamiltonian
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    Hamiltonian Member

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    I used to consider her a non-threat too, but now I think that a large enough number of people could be tricked into voting for her.
     

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