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June 24, 2007

Tell Me What You Think Of John Kerry

-- by Dave Johnson

I'd like to ask a question of my readers. What do you think about whether Senator John Kerry should run again? He has a primary challenger named Ed O'Reilly now, and I am wondering whether you think netroots types should support Kerry or the challenger? Is Kerry a good Senator - or bad enough that we should support a challenge?

Let me know by e-mail or by comments here. Thanks.

Posted by Dave Johnson at June 24, 2007 11:57 AM

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Comments

I don't think he should run for president again because his campaign was pretty inept last time, but he has been a good senator and should run for the senate again.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 24, 2007 1:52 PM

Kerry was a courageous kid who became a cowardly adult. Out with him. Maybe we can find a courageous kid. (Anyway, I always hope for turmoil among demos. So, support the insurgent!)

Posted by: richard [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 24, 2007 2:01 PM

I'm not sure what you mean by "netroots types". It seems a little silly to suggest that we should all decide in unison that we're either for John Kerry or against him, now doesn't it?

Here's a better question. What has O'Reilly done except complain about Kerry's IWR vote, which Kerry explained was the wrong vote and apologized for at least a dozen times since? Bush was going into Iraq with or without that vote, so if O'Reilly thinks Kerry's IWR vote is what got us into Iraq, he's just not smart enough to be a Senator. And how is he the "anti-war" candidate, as his website claims? What has he done to oppose the war in Iraq? From his website, the only thing he seems to be doing is bitching about Senator Kerry, while most of his Iraq plan sounds like it was taken from a John Kerry speech. What does O'Reilly plan to do, exactly? There's nothing on his page that suggests anything that hasn't already been proposed by Sen. Kerry and a dozen other Democrats except perhaps for "out today". Well, we all want "out today". Perhaps he has a plan to get the Senate to pass that one and have Bush sign it. If so, it'd be nice to see it on his site.

Who wrote the Kerry/Feingold legislation for withdrawal from Iraq last June, supported Ned Lamont's campaign, stood up for Jack Murtha, Harry Reid and every other Dem who's been villified by the right (and by some of the left)? Who raised more money for '06 Dems than any other Democrat,and just lead on getting an energy bill passed with the first increase in CAFE standards in 20 years? Who investigated Iran-Contra and BCCI, got more votes than any other Democrat in the history of Presidential elections in this country,and has been fighting for progressive causes in the Senate for over 20 years?

Did you look at O'Reilly's issues page on the environment? Sen. Kerry has an outstanding environmental record, going back to the 1970's and the first Earth Day. Kerry wrote a book. O'Reilly's got three empty paragraphs. What about veterans? Small business? What is O'Reilly's position on all of these issues where Kerry is leading in the Senate?

Why is this even a question? O'Reilly doesn't have a platform to run on except "I didn't vote for the IWR like Kerry did". Well, the view's pretty good from the cheap seats, isn't it, Ed? Where's his criticism of Clinton and Edwards and everyone else who voted for the IWR? There is none, because O'Reilly is an opportunist, who is running on empty rhetoric and recycled ideas. Just because Hillary threw John Kerry under the bus last fall and just because the right wing takes every opportunity to attack him is no reason for the rest of us to behave like lock step Republicans.

I can't come up with a single reason NOT to vote for John Kerry, and you only have to visit his Senate site for a very long list of reasons he should be re-elected.


Posted by: GV [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 24, 2007 4:18 PM

I will support Kerry with enthusiasm. He has been a great senator even if I have disagreed with some of his individual votes, and has been, for the last two or three years, one of the leading forces in the senate (with Feingold) to find an issue to the war in Iraq.

This said, there is a question that I would want to see answered by O'Reilly's supporters. Why should I support him? Right now, his only rational seems to be his IWR vote, vote I disagree with, but I know many, many people who disagreed with this vote and whom I would not support for senator. Why would he be a good and effective senator for MA? What has he done, apart from seating at the school board, that qualifies him for this seat? Because I do not see that at all on his website.

Posted by: FromMass [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 24, 2007 4:18 PM

I never got over Senator Kerry losing the presidency in 2004. However, there was a consolation prize -- that he was still in the Senate. I think that he has been and will continue to be one of the great liberal voices of the Senate. He has been a leader in ending the war in Iraq, when he teamed up with Russ Feingold to author the Kerry/Feingold amendment in June 2006, which set a timetable for withdrawal. It garnered 13 votes that year, and this year it got ... 51 votes. Obviously, his stance back in '06 was prescient.

Over his time in the Senate, Sen. Kerry has been a leader for environmental causes, and shepharded that Energy bill to passage this week (raising CAFE standards to 35 mph for all vehicles). The League of Conservation voters didn't endorse him during the primaries for nothing -- they knew nobody had a better environmental record in the Senate. He's also a champion for veterans issues, even recently making sure a woman whose husband is missing in Iraq would not be deported. That's in addition to his '05 pieces of legislation which raised death gratuities of fallen soldiers from $12K to $100K and allowing spouses of deceased soldiers to stay in military housing for up to a year, instead of being kicked out so quickly like they were before. And I'm only listing the tip of the iceberg of good things he's done for vets.

There's also the Boy Scout factor. Let's face it -- Washington can be a pretty corrupt place. Kerry isn't. He fought corruption with his investigations of BCCI, Iran/Contra, and CIA drugrunning. Nobody in the Senate has done anything like that.

We're going to need real leaders in the Congress, in addition to the White House (which will hopefully go Dem in '08) to clean up the mess Bush has made. I think there is still music left in Senator Kerry to do great things, and I think Massachusetts knows it, and will easily re-elect him.

O'Reilly may not even get on the ballot, and he is clearly not of the caliber of a senator, if what I have read of him (and by him) is any indication.

Posted by: beachmom [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 24, 2007 4:53 PM

Apparently Ed O'Reilly himself thought that John Kerry would make a fine president - he donated $2,000 to his campaign in February '04 - well after the IWR vote which is one of O'Reilly's supposed reasons for the challenge.
http://www.newsmeat.com/fec/bystate_detail.php?st=MA&last=O%27Reilly&first=Edward

IMO Mr. O'Reilly is nothing but an opportunist, and if he thinks he can do a better job of serving Massachusetts than Senator Kerry has done for the past 20+ years, he is also delusional.

Posted by: IslandBlue [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 24, 2007 5:42 PM

Decent senator, bad presidential candidate. I live in Massachusetts and agree 100% with richard above. Kerry's high point, it seems, was testifying to Congress against the Vietnam war. It has been pitiful and painful to watch his waffling and inability to speak his mind (or know his mind). I will give O'Reilly a look in the primary. With regard to the Iraq War and the totally corrupt Bush administration - the major issues of our time - Kerry has been unresolute (is that a word?) and has let us down too many times.

Posted by: hubspoke [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 24, 2007 8:08 PM

Senator Kerry is an honest, hardworking Dem. He has reached out and supported the "roots" many, many times and still posts, listens and responds to bloggers. I find it stunning that someone would even question the Senator's committment, convictions and efforts on behalf of us all. Yes, he deserves to be reelected to the Senate. Actually, he deserves to be President even more, but it would be this countries loss if he did not continue to be a great senator.

Posted by: secondedition [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 24, 2007 8:24 PM

John Kerry's days of being useful to the American people are behind us. He ought to retire and write a book about how and why he managed to fuck up his presidential campaign.

If there is one thing that the Democratic Party really needs, it's new blood.

Posted by: James E. Powell [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 24, 2007 11:55 PM

Don't be silly. The only important question is, "is he hurting the cause?" If the answer is no, then there's no need to spend a lot of money on a primary challenge. I just don't see Kerry hurting us. Sure, he occasionally makes gaffes, but then so do all the others, and besides, the press isn't really focusing on him much these days anyhow.


Posted by: Josh Yelon [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 25, 2007 12:15 AM

Mr. Johnson,

Last night I attempted to post a pro-John Kerry post, but it has yet to show up here. (Even though I posted it well before Mr. Powell posted his comment.) Exactly what are you afraid of Mr. Johnson? The truth perhaps?

Posted by: IslandBlue [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 25, 2007 9:40 AM

Mr. Johnson,

Last night I attempted to post a pro-John Kerry post, but it has yet to show up here. (Even though I posted it well before Mr. Powell posted his comment.) Exactly what are you afraid of Mr. Johnson? The truth perhaps?

Posted by: IslandBlue [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 25, 2007 9:40 AM

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