In an interesting interview with Newsweek, John Kerry finally speaks to the press. It was even referenced on Tim Russert’s Meet the Press this morning as well. While there is no earth shattering news here, we could not help but remain astounded at Kerry’s mis-understanding of himself and his campaign. He still doesn’t seem to get it. He is NOT the best candidate the Democrats have to offer, or hope to offer in 2008. But to read the comments in the transcript published on MSNBC.COM, he still has it in his head that he would be his party’s number one choice in 2008. Go figure. Here is an excerpt from the Newsweek summary by Evan Thomas.
…Despite, or because of, a somewhat stoical and severe New England upbringing, Kerry has a tendency to natter at his subordinates, to blame everyone but himself.
…He never quite came out and said it, but Kerry sounded very much like a man who was running for president again. He has a mailing list with 2.9 million names and an organization in every state. His moneymen have not backed away…
(“Did he whine?” was the first question one senior Kerry aide asked of the NEWSWEEK reporter who had recently been to see Kerry.) On this damp November evening, he appeared alone in the house; he answered the door and showed his visitor into a cozy, book-lined drawing room. His face was deeply lined, his eyes drooped, he looked like he hadn’t slept in about two years. But his manner was resolute, his mood seemed calm, even chipper.
Why did he lose? Kerry points to history and, in a somewhat inferential, roundabout way, to his own failure to connect to voters?a failure that kept him from erasing the Bush campaign’s portrait of him as a flip-flopper. Kerry said that he was proud of his campaign, that he had nearly defeated a popular incumbent who had enjoyed a three-year head start on organizing and fund-raising. Sitting presidents are never defeated in wartime, he insisted (true, though two, LBJ and Harry Truman, chose not to run for another term during Vietnam and Korea). Kerry did not wish to be directly quoted touting himself, however; he did not wish to appear defensive or boastful.
He never quite came out and said it, but Kerry sounded very much like a man who was running for president again. He has a mailing list with 2.9 million names and an organization in every state. His moneymen have not backed away. By and large, Kerry has not been blamed for the defeat, at least not the way former vice president Al Gore was after the 2000 election. Some of Kerry’s followers are already plotting how Kerry can defeat Hillary Clinton in the Iowa caucuses in 2008. The conventional wisdom, already congealing before Bush’s second Inaugural, pictures Kerry and Clinton as the early Democratic front runners… – Evan Thomas/Newsweek
Kerry’s people must be in a state of denial! We found the possibilites of a Clinton/Obama ticket actually much more plausible… or even include Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) in the mix. John McCain and Condi Rice on the other side of the aisle would be interesting as well 🙂 Regardless, if Howard Dean does succeed in taking over DNC Campaign Chairmanship, we can be guaranteed another entertaining election campaign, with plenty of material for all blogging satirists out there. Either way, the Democratic party is in a mess and might do well to remove the rose colored glasses as quickly as possible. – zzb