Monday, March 14, 2005

Kerry Sticks to Liberal Values at Kennedy Library Foundation Award

There's been new interest in John Kerry's reception of the Distinguished American Award at the Kennedy Library Foundation. An account was posted in February on Light Up the Darkness, but I didn't have the opportunity to see this until it was broadcast on C-SPAN yesterday.

Kerry's description of George Bush's budget has been the most frequently quoted aspect of the talk and subsequent question and answer session:
"There is nothing in the presidents budget that is either truthful or makes sense. Nothing. The war is not included in the President's budget, the social security fix is not included in the President's budget..."
When asked about foreign policy, Kerry stated he is presenting his views in an upcoming book. Hopefully this will demonstrate his expertise in foreign affairs to a larger audience, and correct some of the misconceptions on his views from the smears of the Bush reelection campaign and right wing media.

I found Kerry's discussion of politics to be the most interesting aspect. Unlike other Democrats who are talking about needing to change our values, Kerry showed once again that he is the last man to flip flop. Kerry argued we should stick to our values. Most people voted against him not because of disagreement with his positions, but because of distortions from the Bush campaign and media. He noted that 77% of those voting for Bush held misconceptions such as that Saddam was responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks or that Saddam had WMD. What we need to do is not change values, but to find ways to get out the truth about what is going on.

Unlike Al Gore, John Kerry is remaining active following his loss to George Bush. He realizes the need to wage a continuing campaign and to start now to define his positions should he run again in 2008. When this is delayed until after a primary battle, it makes it easy for the right to run their typical smear campaign to redefine the Democratic candidate, as I discussed previously.


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