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John Kerry for 2008?

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John Kerry has maintained a very high profile since his loss in 2004 to President Bush. This is highly unusual, as most losing candidates tend to fade away and disappear. So is he planning to run again in 2008? It seems highly likely. The question is: Is Kerry the best the Democrats can do? I think that the answer is a resounding no.

Let’s just take a look at three possible Republican candidates. First, John McCain. He’s a moderate conservative who has allies in both parties. He’s popular with both the old and the young. He’s a war hero. More importantly, he’s flexible and is willing to work on bipartisan issues. Kerry wouldn’t have a shot against McCain.

Next: Condoleeza Rice. She would seem to be a long shot candidate, but she has a lot to offer. She has experience in the White House, and she is highly intelligent. The African American community might rally around her, despite the fact that African Americans tend to vote Democrat. She would be able to raise enormous funds for a campaign. Kerry could win here, but it would be an uphill battle. He’d have to move away from the left and more to the center in order to attract his base. He would have to work really hard to win the Southern Democrats over.

Finally: Rudolph Giuliani. 9/11 brought him to the attention of the world and made him a hero. He’s one of the more moderate Republicans in the nation. Like McCain, he has more broad spectrum appeal. He’s a dynamic, intelligent, and popular man. He surrounds himself with the most talented people. Kerry wouldn’t stand a chance. He’d be lucky to win a few states, but he’d have no chance to take the nation.

So who does stand a chance to win under the Democrat ticket? Hillary Clinton has been mentioned again and again. She could certaintly raise an enormous war chest. Polls show her as the leading Democratic candidate for 2008. Could she win? It’s hard to say. She’s shown her willingness to move more towards the moderate end of the political spectrum, but it’s hard to forget her far left history, and many Americans resent her sticking her nose into the health care issue while her husband was President. It seems hard to imagine that Hillary could win given the current political climate. Howard Dean is another potential candidate. As chairman of the National Democractic Committee, he certaintly has the ability to raise money for a campaign. Unfortunately, Dean has the tendency to say things that get him in trouble. For example, as Chairman of the DNC, he said the Republican party was “pretty much a white, Christian party.” He was critized for using religion to divide.

In my opinion, the Democrats’ only chance to win the election in 2008 is to rally around a relatively unknown Southern Democrat. If the party does this, they might just be able to gather enough states to take the White House.

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About Joe

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Whatever happened to the proverbial ‘Yellow Dog’?

    Dave

  • http://freewayjam.blogspot.com uao

    Not knowing who the Rep. candidate will be, I’d say Hillary Clinton just wouldn’t win; she’s considered a “NY liberal” now, funny since she is hardly a New Yorker. And the woman thing is going to be a hard hurdle to overcome.

    But some moderates might see that as a sneaky way of getting Bill back into the White House, and that might help (but might hurt too).

    Kerry would have a better shot; he didn’t lose by all that much in ’04 despite the President’s then-still-pretty-good approval ratings.

    But is that the best the Dems have? Two retreads? If so, they’d better look long and hard for a conservative Southern democrat for VP, if any such thing still exists…

    A lot can happen between now and 2008, though.

  • Justin Berry

    Last I heard the Dems. were trying to court that General from New Orleans. Hillary will nver live down her past. Why do the Democrats have such a problem with Obama? Wes Clark?

    As far as the Repubs go you covered them pretty nicely with the exception of the outside chance that a former Sec of State changes his mind.

  • http://leftistjoe.blogspot.com Joseph Johaneman

    As far as the Repubs go you covered them pretty nicely with the exception of the outside chance that a former Sec of State changes his mind.

    Yeah, I totally missed Colin Powell. Thanks for pointing that out.

  • http://leftistjoe.blogspot.com Joseph Johaneman

    Whatever happened to the proverbial ‘Yellow Dog’?

    Well, unfortunately, the South isn’t the same as it was in the old days. They don’t have that hostile attitude towards Republicans based on the Post Civil War animosity. They’re becoming more neocon every election.

    Still, it would be nice to be surprised.

  • Justin Berry

    From what Ive seen lately I think both parties should nominate John Roberts. He is the only one who can dance with both agendas. Oh and he has impeccable credentials.

  • http://freewayjam.blogspot.com uao

    re: Obama

    Obama is still a junior Senator; you’ve got to show some staying power first before you can be a serious candidate.

    ‘Cause those surly other Senators push the juniors around, like in any club.

  • Justin Berry

    Hillary is still pretty junior compared to Sir Edward. problem is too much seniority and you’ve likely alienated some groups.

  • http://freewayjam.blogspot.com uao

    Yeah, but Hillary lived in the White House. That cancels junior, and then some.

    But that might fall under your second point “too much seniority”. Frankly, I want no Bush AND no Clinton in the 2008 Presidential ticket.

    Because the last time that happened was 1976.

    Democracies of 280,000,000 people shouldn’t have patterns like that.

  • Justin Berry

    Agreed, I can find candidates from both paries that I would vote for. Just depends on which party runs those candidates.

  • Elizabeth

    a) Howard Dean? Are you kidding? He’s been stating for over a YEAR that he isn’t going to run….
    b) Condi isn’t running either
    c) Kerry came the closest a challenger ever has to upsetting a wartime president and has been dividing his time since the election between work in the senate and learning from the mistakes he made in his last campaign. He has huge name rec and a 3 million member email list. I bet that man would give up sleep forever to work hard enough to win 08. don’t write him off. he inspired A LOT of people. and if you think he’s a totally shoddy campaigner, you weren’t watching Iowa and New Hampshire in 12.03.
    d) moving to the center is not how to win elections. dubya is not and never has been anywhere near the center. people vote based on “values,” not issues.
    e) seriously, anyone but mccain for their nomination. he CANT LOSE. if i were a little less hard core of a democrat, i wouldn’t even mind voting for him.

  • http://leftistjoe.blogspot.com Joseph Johaneman

    a) Howard Dean? Are you kidding? He’s been stating for over a YEAR that he isn’t going to run….
    b) Condi isn’t running either

    I was just running through possible candidates. There is a huge grassroots effort going on right now to convince Condi to run, not that I think she will, but you never know.

    c) Kerry came the closest a challenger ever has to upsetting a wartime president and has been dividing his time since the election between work in the senate and learning from the mistakes he made in his last campaign. He has huge name rec and a 3 million member email list. I bet that man would give up sleep forever to work hard enough to win 08. don’t write him off. he inspired A LOT of people. and if you think he’s a totally shoddy campaigner, you weren’t watching Iowa and New Hampshire in 12.03.

    Oh, I was watching. The problem here is that Kerry lost, and it’s very rare for someone to lose an election and then get the nomination the very next election. It’s certaintly within the realm of possibilities. It might even be likely in Kerry’s case. I just don’t think he can win, and if the Dems want to win, they have to find someone they can throw their support behind. Mark Warner (Governor, Virginia) seems to me a very viable candidate. Mike Easley (Governor, North Carolina) is also another potential, though he doesn’t seem to me to have the same bipartisan appeal as Mark Warner, who would draw in the independents.

    d) moving to the center is not how to win elections. dubya is not and never has been anywhere near the center. people vote based on “values,” not issues.

    But one of the rallying points of the Republican party in 2004 was Kerry’s Liberalism. It seems to me that a moderate Dem has more of a chance that a Leftist Liberal Dem. Just my opinion.

    e) seriously, anyone but mccain for their nomination. he CANT LOSE. if i were a little less hard core of a democrat, i wouldn’t even mind voting for him.

    You’re not the only Democrat I’ve heard say this. He, like Mike Warner, could attract the independents. It would be interesting to see McCain run against Warner. It would be tight, but I think McCain would probably win. His problem is winning the Republican nomination. It’s too bad he won’t run Independent. I honestly feel he could win as an Independent.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    dubya is not and never has been anywhere near the center.

    It always amazes me how little democrats actually know about the records and backgrounds of their opposition. Maybe this is why they keep losing elections or why they keep nominating such horrendous candidates – Kerry being the prime example.

    Bush is VERY centrist as Republicans go. He managed to form alliances with some extremist groups because of certain key issues, but on all the major issues that matter to independent voters Bush took a moderate position or at least made it clear that he was open to compromise, and that includes issues like abortion where the left portrays him as a fundamentalist extremist, but where those who know him understand that he’s as moderate as they come.

    Dave

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    Oh God Dave, not this bullshit again.

  • zingzing

    hey, scott, don’t forget that dave KNOWS bush and understands him better than the rest of us. all moderate republicans want to go war, torture, spy and take away civil liberties. it’s just what they do. damn, scott, get with the program! killing, torturing, spying and degrading the constitution are middle-american values these days. it’s only extremists like you that don’t understand that. poor bush. he’s soooo misunderstood.

    i was reading about the catholic/protestant history in england during the 15th and 16th centuries last night. it’s high time we americans approach things with the same zest. every time there is a republican in office, all democrats will be drawn and quartered (or was it burned alive?) and then, when the tables turn, democrats get to have their fun with the republicans’ guts. god, that would be lovely.

    or maybe, we should just have a nice civil war. all those republican farmers (who have all the guns) would have to attack the democrat’s cities. democrats could rove around the city streets, looking for rich white men to kill. then burn all the suv’s. we could throw their corpses onto pikes outside the city limits as warnings to all those gun-toting farmers who want to get into the city. then we could hole up and wait… when it was all over, the winners would inherit all of the money, minorities and women in the us. not bad, eh? christ…

  • Bing

    Hillary is still pretty junior compared to Sir Edward. problem is too much seniority and you’ve likely alienated some groups.

    “Sir Edward?”

    Justin, what did that fat drunk bastard ever do to earn the title of sir?

    I think his habit of driving drunk off bridges with pregnant women in the car, swimming to shore, letting them drown, and not reporting the incident until you consult with your political handlers has had more to do with his “alienation” than his length of service in the Senate.

    This piece of shit thank god will never be preside nt.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    sez Dave Nalle:

    Bush is VERY centrist as Republicans go.

    I’m not sure what to do with this, bearing in mind that I consider Bill Clinton to have been VERY centrist. (At least for his second term.)

  • Anthony Grande

    Great post, totally agree, but

    “…John McCain. He’s a moderate conservative who has allies in both parties.”

    Would you be kind enough to explain how McCain is a moderate?

  • gonzo marx

    well, how about McCain on C-SPAN as i type( taped from earlier hearings) going after Abramhoff and his cronies…

    basically routing out corruption…regardless fo who gets burned, prosecuted, fired…whatever

    he moved up a few points in my Book for this one…and the more i am seeing of him in these hearings…the better i like it…and him

    no other GOP type comes close in regards to appealing to Moderates and Independants…second place goes to Giuliani

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • Anthony Grande

    Sure, he appeals to moderates but what specifically makes HIM a moderate?

  • gonzo marx

    2 examples for ya off the top…

    McCain-Feingold

    Gang of 14

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • Anthony Grande

    The Gang of 14 is a united effort for bipartisanship.

    The McCain-Feingold thing is limiting free speech and do not see why you are claiming why this makes him a moderate. I assume that even you can agree with me on this one.

    I would like to see actual issues for examples that show McCain a moderate. I can name plenty that make him conservative.

  • gonzo marx

    well then, Ant G

    let’s do this correctly…epitemology is crucial

    please share your Definitions of the following terms

    “conservative”

    “moderate”

    “liberal”

    “neocon”

    “paleocon”

    “socialist”

    “fascist”

    for extra points, if you can give an example of each for the sake of clarity it will help

    then we can move forward and discuss Issues surrounding these terms with a definitive understanding of where each of us is coming from
    (to see McCain in action in a moderate manner, turn on C-SPAN while typing)

    agreed?

    Excelsior!

  • Anthony Grande

    Yeah, stop the games now. I asked you to name some issues that makes McCain a moderate.

    He may not be 100% Conservative, but who is?

  • Anthony Grande

    P.S. how can you watch C-SPAN during the Texas vs. USC game?

  • gonzo marx

    first, Ant..no game, i am genuinely curious to read your definitions…i am being completely honest in that i think it will aid in discussing Issues

    and second…how can you care about college football?

    NY Giants 4 life!

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • http://leftistjoe.blogspot.com Joseph Johaneman

    NY Giants 4 life!

    NY Jets for life!

    (even if they do suck right now, LOL)

  • http://kerryforpresident2008.blogspot.com Robert Freedland

    I supported John Kerry for President in 2004 and shall support him for President in 2008 if he is interested in the job.

    Keep on throwing the dirt at him. He gets stronger with each shovel. He is a decorated war hero who understands what it is like for a nation to get bogged down in an endless conflict. He underestands prosecution of criminals as a former D.A.

    When the best the Republicans can come up with is G.W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and all of their cronies, Kerry will be looking better and better.

    He is intelligent and right on the issues.

    And he isn’t going to just go away.

    Bob

  • http://www.iamcorrect.com Lono

    As a proud Democrat, I say no Hillary 2008 because she is not qualified. She has a few years as a senator and some very questionable ethical history as a lawyer.

    John Kerry, Wesley Clarke… these are people with a lifetime of public service, and that is honorable and admirable. I would welcome either back to the race for 2008. I think we will wait to discuss frontrunners though. Reason being, I feel extremely confident that the GOP will be eviscerated in the 2006 mid term elections… at least the few that aren’t in jail or under indictment.

    I like McCain though. Maybe it is because he is crazy old… but dude seems to care and speak his mind.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Bush is VERY centrist as Republicans go.

    I’m not sure what to do with this, bearing in mind that I consider Bill Clinton to have been VERY centrist. (At least for his second term.)

    If you look at their performance on a lot of issues Bush and Clinton aren’t that far apart. Bush is much to the left of most of his party. Clinton is much to the right of most of his party. They aren’t identical by any means, but they probably agree on more issues than they disagree on.

    John Kerry, Wesley Clarke… these are people with a lifetime of public service, and that is honorable and admirable.

    Wow, Lono. You ought to read up a bit on the history of the people you call ‘honorable and admirable’.

    Dave

  • Nick

    Full disclosure: I was a Kerry supporter in the primaries. Sure I’m open to other folks, but right now I don’t see anybody in the Dem field whose as good.
    Running against an incumbent president at a time of war, who had an approval rating of 50% or more at the time of the election, Kerry came within a wisker of winning. It should also be noted that AT NO TIME in his first term, even before 9/11, did Bush have an approval rating that was lower than his disapproval rating. Thankfully for liberals this has not been the case in Bush’s second term.
    Kerry won 20 states (including DC which is not technically a state but has 3 electoral votes-and if there is one thing we all learned in 2000 is that you can’t argue with the Electoral College).
    In at least 4 states- Ohio, Iowa, Nevada, and New Mexico Kerry came within 2% of winning those states. No one knows what the political conditions will be in 2008, but given how close Kerry came to winning under conditions that tended to favor the incumbent you gotta like Kerry’s chances if running against a nonincumbent.
    I’ve often asked the question: “What state would Hillary win that Kerry did not?” I’ve yet to hear any kind of answer anywhere in or out of the blogosphere. Frankly, from what I’ve heard from some Democrat folks in the Midwest and West, Hillary would have great difficulty winning Dem leaning blue states like Oregon, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
    Kerry won handsomely among racial minorities and got 65% of union vote- the first to score this high since LBJ in 1964.
    Kerry also beat Bush among voters from households making less than $50,000 55%-44%- a higher percentage of this income group than Both Clinton or Gore ever did. Pretty good for an alleged “Boston Brahmin.”
    Folks can complain about Kerry’s winsdurfing, use of big words, his tendency to make long speeches, etc.. But in the end it doesn’t matter. The figures of Kerry’s totals among middle and lower income voters don’t lie. As former Dem Senator Daniel Moynihan used to say “people are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.”
    In 34 states Kerry won a majority of the under $50,000 vote. These households make up 56%-57% of households nationally, but only 45% of the voting electorate in 2004. Had these middle, working, and poor class voters made up even 47% of the electorate Kerry probably wins.
    Bottom line: Kerry was able to win majorities among real working and middle class voters- now Democrats just need to turn more of them out. Support for Labor Unions anybody?
    Kerry’s win of 49% of registered independents is a greater percentage than what any Democrat won among independents post-1964. It can’t hurt to have a guy who appeals to independents. For the record, Bush won 48% of independents-the same number he got in 2000.
    Kerry won the total popular vote in the blue states by about the same margin Bush won the red states total popular vote. More importantly, Kerry also won the popular vote in the battleground states-he just didn’t proportion them out correctly. It would’ve been better to have lost Florida by a wider margin and/or won Michigan by a smaller margin and transferred about 121,000 votes to say, Ohio?
    So how did Kerry lose the popular vote if he won blue states by the same margin Bush won red states and won the total popular vote in the battleground states? Simple, turnout!
    Total turnout in the blue states was up less than 1.5% in the blue states. In the most populous blue state of California turnout rates were actually LOWER than 2000. In red states by contrast, turnout was up bigtime. The most conservative estimates put turnout rates over 2000 by at least 6%, some put it as high as 10%!
    Bottom line: Too many New Yorkers, Marylanders, Calfornians, etc. stayed home while very few Texans, Georgians, Mississippians, etc. made sure they voted. Blue staters need to make sure they vote next time, no matter how sure they are Democrats will win the state they live in.
    As for the South all I can say is that other than Florida (and maybe Texas in a decade or so) the South is gone with the wind for Democrats. No Democrat has won over 45% of the white vote in the 12 southern states since the 1950s except for LBJ and Carter in 1976 who won 46%-47% of the southern white vote while losing the southern white vote to NON-Southern Republicans. Clinton only averaged 35% of the southern white vote in 1992 and 1996-just 3% more than what Mondale and Dukakis averaged in 1984-88.
    Yes Clinton won 5 southern states both times, but in only one southern state (Arkansas) did he win 50% or more of the vote. Of course Clinton-like FDR and LBJ before him- could’ve lost every southern state and still won both elections he ran in. If Ralph Nader had not cost Gore NH, Gore would’ve also won the electoral vote with no southern states (including Florida).
    Given the fact that
    a. Kerry won both the popular and electoral college vote in the West and Northeast/Mid-Atlantic
    b. Kerry only lost the popular vote in the Midwest by a couple of points and came within a whisker of winning the Midwest Electoral College vote-
    c. There are former GOP states all over the West and Midwest that have trended away from the GOP (e.g. Iowa, Ohio (slightly), Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, etc.)
    Doesn’t it make sense for Dems to hunt where the ducks are? Karl Rove doesn’t stay awake at night wondering how to win California, Washington, New York, Illinois, or Maryland. Why should any Dem worry about winning Virginia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, etc.?
    The only Northeast state the GOP regularly targets is Pennsylvania and maybe New Hampshire. Dems should repay the favor by targeting Florida. But other than that, why should Dems waste time in hostile territory?
    Any Dem who wins the 16 Northeast and Midewest states that Kerry, Gore and Clinton won in 1992-2004 (NH 2000 notwithstanding) wins 175 electoral votes. The 12 southern states (Old Confederacy plus Kentucky) only supply 161 EVs, 14 less than the Dem states in the Midwest and Northeast.
    Similarly, any Dem who wins Washington state, Oregon, Hawaii (which every Dem since Dukakais has done) and also wins California (which every Dem since 1992 has done) win 77! electoral votes. The 12 nonsouth GOP states of Indiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, the two Dakotas, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Arizona, and Alaska only account for 63 electoral votes. Again 14 EVs short. So the Dem states in the West more than checkmate the GOP nonsouth while the Democrat northeast and Midwest states more than checkmate the South (assuming the GOP wins Florida).
    Bush only won because he won the “big seven” swing states of Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, West. Va., Iowa, Missouri, and Ohio. Had Bush failed to win at least 5 of these states, he loses the EV.
    Finally, in all the 7 states-except for Iowa and West Virginia,-Kerry won a greater percent of the vote than any Dem nominee since at least 1976 and in some cases since 1964. Kerry’s 49.2% of the vote in New Mexico is the same amount Clinton got in 1996
    All these facts don’t allow Kerry to claim the 2008 nomination without a fight, but they do provide a bolster to Kerry’s candidacy should he announce.

  • Emma Wilson

    The TRUTH is this: John Kerry was and STILL IS an excellent candidate. In fact, I consider him the very best from ANY party. He brings to the table unquestioned integrity, which the Clintons lack. You won’t have to worry about Whitewater corruption scandals or affairs with interns with John Kerry. He’s ALL integrity.

    More important, is his domestic and foreign policies which would make him an excellent president. Kerry has laid out a clear exit strategy for Iraq. He has an excellent plan to secure the loose nuclear materials in the Soviet Union which Bush ignores and which is the real lethal threat to the world. He has an EXCELLENT and detailed energy policy which would eliminates our long term dependency on foreign oil. He is protective of the environment.

    Kerry also has a strong domestic agenda, which focuses on getting EVERY American insured. He has excellent fiscal policies which create new jobs in America. He OPPOSED the CAFTA agreement which encourages US corporations to outsource. He stands up for civil rights ALL of the time, not only when it’s fashionable like others. Meanwhile Hillary Lieberman sucks up to the GOP.

    How quickly you forgot Kerry’s inspirational convention speech. How Kerry flattened Bush in the debates which Gore was unable to do! How Bush shivered in fear when they shook hands prior to the first debate. How Bush was in tears at 5pm on November 2nd. Trust me, Bush feared Kerry and the GOP fears another Kerry run. He came within a hair against a wartime incumbent.

    Kerry brushed himself off and has been fighting 24 hrs a day every day for YOU and every other American since…unlike Al Gore who disappeared for four years. He’s got guts! John Kerry is helping democrats win in 2006 and then in 2008. America needs his leadership more than ever!!! He will have my unwavering support in 2008 because I want a better America!

  • Tim Alexander

    If you want to be boggedd down in Iraq for another 20 years as bad or worse than Vietnam, vote for John McCain.

    If you want a real exit strategy then vote for John Kerry. Kerry has a clear exit strategy for Iraq. He has an excellent plan to stop nuclear proliferation and a detailed energy policy which frees us from dependency on middle east oil.

    Wake up America! McCain is good, but he believes we should occupy Iraq until forever…That’s no good.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Kerry has already said repeatedly that he also would have gone to war in Iraq and that he would keep us there indefinitely.

    Dave

  • Sean Timmons

    I agree that the one scary thing McCain is he wants to increase troops in Iraq and seems to want to stay there indefinitely. That is not what we need.

    I’ve read about Kerry’s exit Iraq strategy and like it. He will not allow another Vietnam,whereas McCain will. On all other issues Kerry is better.

    I respect McCain as he’s a good republican, but we need a democrat who nows about the consequences fo war but will protect our country. . That’s Kerry. As for Hillary, she has no plan whatsoever regarding Iraq, and I do not trust her. It’s time to move away from family presdencies.