Monday, May 09, 2005

Boston Globe on Kerry

Senator John F. Kerry addressed a crowd of about 150 last week at the Old State Capitol building in Baton Rouge, La., to push a bill that would ensure healthcare coverage for all children.

Kerry adopting the rhetoric of a D.C. outsider

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The Bruce Springsteen anthem, his theme song, was back -- ''No retreat, baby, no surrender" -- and people were on their feet before his speech began. Wading through the crowd as the music boomed, Senator John F. Kerry looked like a presidential candidate again: smiling, grasping for outstretched arms, and offering thumbs-up as he made his way to the stage.

But the attendance was a fraction of the mobs that the Massachusetts Democrat drew in his final campaign rallies last fall. Gone was his stump speech railing against President Bush's Iraq war policy, the sluggish economy, and the Republican agenda; even mentions of Kerry's Senate career and Vietnam War service had disappeared.

Instead, Kerry -- a veteran politician who has held office for 21 years -- took off his suit jacket and roamed a small stage in Louisiana's Old State Capitol to push a new message: Get angry at Washington.

''Washington seems more and more out of touch with the difficulties the average family is facing," Kerry told the crowd of about 150 last week in Baton Rouge. ''Go out of here, take some anger and a little bit of outrage at the fact that Washington is not dealing with the real concerns of our country."

Six months after his presidential bid ended in defeat, Kerry is on another cross-country campaign. This time, he is running against the political establishment.

It is a striking transformation for someone who has been identified with that establishment for so long, but a change he and his aides insist is sincere. And while Kerry has repeatedly pledged to remain relevant following his presidential campaign, the intensity of his efforts has been surprising, particularly because recent failed presidential nominees have entered reclusive periods after their campaigns ended.

In essence, Kerry is trying to reignite a fire that never quite raged for his presidential bid on behalf of a domestic agenda he is pushing in Congress. He is shooting regular e-mail updates to his network of 3 million supporters. His new political action committee bought a large ad in tomorrow's USA Today that accuses Bush and GOP leaders of ignoring soaring gas prices, children without health insurance, and the lack of quality jobs with good wages.

''They think it's all about them," the ad states above pictures of Bush, House majority leader Tom DeLay and Senate majority leader Bill Frist. ''Don't let them forget about what really matters to you. . . . Make Washington stand up for the needs and values of America's families."



Blogger Ron Chusid said...

Of course there is an obvious reason missed by the author of the Boston GLobe article as to why Kerry is now campaigning against Washington. As a Democrat it is perfectly understandable why he would be objecting to what is occuring in Washington with the Federal government under complete Republican control.

8:02 AM  

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