Monday, March 07, 2005

Kennedy Backs Kerry in 2004

Ted K `respects' Hillary, but Kerry gets his vote
By Andrew Miga
Monday, March 7, 2005

ASHINGTON - Sen. Edward M. Kennedy [related, bio] said yesterday that while Sen. Hillary Clinton may be the early 2008 Democratic presidential front-runner, he's still backing Sen. John Kerry [related, bio].
``Oh yes,'' Kennedy replied when asked if he is sticking with Kerry despite Clinton's popularity surge. ``And I have enormous respect for Sen. Clinton. I admire and respect her. She's qualified for the job, but my man is John Kerry.''
Kennedy, appearing on ABC-TV's ``This Week'' program, said that he expects Kerry, who lost by three percentage points to President Bush [related, bio] in November, will make another run for the presidency in 2008.
``I'm from Massachusetts, and we have a candidate, I think, probably up there as well,'' said Kennedy, who campaigned extensively and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Kerry in 2004.
A recent Zogby poll put Clinton out front with 32 percent, double what Kerry received. Kerry, meanwhile, has positioned himself for a potential 2008 run, working to keep his core supporters in place.
The defeated 2004 Democratic nominee tonight will host an organizational meeting for ``Keeping America's Promise,'' his political action committee, at his Georgetown mansion. Aides said it would be a ``conversation'' about the leadership role Kerry should play in the Democratic Party.
Last week, Kerry was the keynote speaker at a fund-raiser for Clinton at a private Washington home that raised $180,000. Kerry will host another Clinton fund-raising event in Boston this May.
Kennedy, meanwhile, strongly disagreed with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent statement that his religious faith has no bearing on his politics. Schwarzenegger is married to Kennedy's niece, Maria Shriver.
``The most important influences are my family and my faith,'' Kennedy told ABC. ``All of the members of my family, we're very, very spiritual. It's been a very central part of my life. In my faith, resurrection is the spirit of hope, it's the spirit of optimism.''


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