Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Case for Kerry 2008

David Yepsin discusses Kerry’s visit to Iowa, and provides reasons for a repeat run in 2008:

What’s the case for another Kerry run?

• He came close, oh so close, in 2004. Bush got 51 percent. Kerry got 48 percent. Only 120,000 more votes in Ohio, and you wouldn’t be reading this column.

Kerry reminded his Des Moines audience of his strong showing by saying: “Remember, we won 10 million more votes than we’ve ever won in a presidential race in the history of the country. We actually exceeded our targets in every single precinct. Trouble is, they learned how to get out the vote, too, which means we just have to get out and find more votes.”

Considering Kerry was running against a wartime president, someone Americans are always reluctant to boot from office, he didn’t do that poorly.

• Kerry’s been vetted. He’s been through the crucible once, and the lessons he learned would be useful again.

Media people, opponents and voters have all had a chance to study the man. Many saw him as presidential material. He did well in the debates. The smear attacks on him in 2004 will be old news in 2008. And considering how poorly Bush has been doing of late, Kerry looks better by the day.

• He was a classy loser. Unlike Al Gore, who skulked off to grow a beard, Kerry withdrew quickly and honorably. He set about tending his duties in the U.S. Senate, giving speeches and trying to help fellow Democrats win elections in 2006, which is shaping up to be a good year for them.

• Kerry understands why he lost. Strategists in his camp say if he does run again, the campaign will be more nimble in responding to attacks than it was in 2004. He won’t be isolated from key Democrats seeking to offer advice.

Also, Democrats hindered Kerry by nominating him a month before Republicans re-nominated Bush. That made Kerry the official candidate of his party before Bush became the official candidate of his, which limited Kerry’s ability to spend money to respond to the attacks coming from the other side. It’s a mistake Democrats won’t repeat.


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