Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Kerry and Electability

Yesterday we posted the AP article on Kerry as a potential 2008 candidate. Tracking down the liberal blogs which comment on this article is interesting. Those which openly object to Kerry running again all seem to come down to one thing--electability.

Beyond the poor logic in questioning the electability of a candidate who came so close to an incumbent in war time, primarily from people too young to recall McGovern vs. Nixon, I find this amusing for another reason. Back when Kerry began winning the primaries in 2004, supporters of other candidates frequently claimed (incorrectly) that people were only voting for Kerry because they thought he was the more electable candidate, and argued that such perceptions of electability was not a good way to chose a candidate.

So, back then electability was a poor argument to vote for Kerry, and now they cite electability as reason not to support another run by Kerry. Democrats should learn something from European opposition parties which often unite behind their most prominent member even if it takes a few election cycles to go from opposition to governing party. All Americans should learn something from European voters who value intelligent discussion of the issues over show-business style charisma.

I didn't decide whether to support Kerry in 2004 based upon "electability" and this is not my primary consideration in 2008. While winning is important, my primary focus is on what happens after the election. The simple fact of the matter was that, after examining the field, it became clear that there weren't any other candidates who came close to Kerry in experience, knowledge of the issues, and in the positions he took. (Perhaps it was because of this that his major opponent only appeared to have a chance by falsely claiming Kerry had supported the war to attempt to undermine his liberal support). It is also notable that, while most potential 2008 candidates have been running towards the middle, it is John Kerry who has stated the need to stick to liberal principles.

Of course, we cannot totally ignore electability either. That's why I'm sticking with the guy who thrashed all Democratic contenders as well as the GOP nominee in every debate he participated in, and who came from behind Al Sharpton in the polls to virtually sweep the Democratic primaries.


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