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November 6, 2004
AP Analyzes Kerry's Prospects

The AP's Lolita Baldor and Jennifer Peter analyze the future prospects of John Kerry now that his bid for the presidency has ended, and they see big things ahead for the Massachusetts Senator:

Like many presidential candidates before him, John Kerry must now decide what to do with the rest of his political life. While he relaxed at his Boston home on Friday, elsewhere friends, colleagues and presidential historians said they didn't see the Democrat fading into political obscurity like the last Massachusetts politician who ran and lost, Michael Dukakis in 1988.

Instead, they said he would probably take the road less traveled by recent senators who tried and failed to take the White House, and remain a strong voice in Congress on issues he cared about.

Like what? The AP continues its ignorance of Kerry's Senate record even past the election. In 20 years as a senator, Kerry got six bills passed. Six. In. Twenty. Years. I have no intention of riding Kerry into the dust here, but Baldor and Peter have the credulity of three-year-olds if they accept this notion of Kerry as an activist member of the Senate from "friends and colleagues". Kerry's pathetically thin Senate record was one of the reasons his campaign decided to focus instead on his four-month combat record in Vietnam.

I wish John Kerry the best of luck now that the election is over. Running for President is a grueling, grinding task that few can withstand with any grace, and yet it is absolutely necessary that people do so in order to give American voters a choice every four years. But let's not kid ourselves about Kerry's record or the likelihood that he will transform himself into any kind of legislative force now that his life's ambition has gone unrealized. Unless he's planning on running again in 2008, which seems unlikely in the extreme given the campaign he ran this time around, then he hasn't got much use for the Senate any more. Certainly, if he had the predilection for legislating, that would have been apparent in the previous twenty years.

Kerry's term runs to 2008, and I expect that he will complete it, especially since a resignation allows Republican Governor Mitt Romney to appoint a replacement. After 2008, when Kerry will be in his mid-sixties, I expect Kerry to retire and enjoy the last years of his life with the vast resources at hand to do so. And I wouldn't blame him a bit.

UPDATE: Jaws, in the comments below, reminds me that the Massachusetts legislature changed the law so that they select a replacement Senator and not the Governor. Perhaps Kerry will leave even sooner than 2008.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 6, 2004 9:55 AM

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