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November 17, 2004
Kerry Can't Stop Hoarding Money

The AP (in the Boston Herald) profiles John Kerry in today's edition in his return to the Senate after losing the presidential election two weeks ago. The story focuses on Kerry's equivocating on a possible Presidential run in 2008, but the real blockbuster isn't Kerry's unrealistic notions of a do-over but the $45 million he never spent during this last election cycle:

Sen. John Kerry, who has $45 million left from his record-breaking Democratic campaign, hinted on Tuesday that he may try again for the presidency.

On his first workday back in the Senate since losing his White House bid, Kerry remained far from the spotlight, granting interviews to hometown reporters and joining the depleted corps of Democrats as they elected the party's new Senate leaders.

The news of the $45M nest egg surely has to dismay his supporters, especially with the less-rational of them claiming that the race was so close. The money comes from his primary-season campaign fundraising, not the public money for the general election. That, supposedly, was money Kerry didn't have in June and July to get his message out, and by the time August rolled around (after the nomination), he couldn't legally spend it. How smart was that?

Democrats should ask for an accounting from the Kerry campaign. Even if Kerry couldn't spend the money, he could have transferred some or all of it to other Democratic campaigns around the country, most notably in the Senate. A few million dollars may have made a difference in places like South Dakota, where his own Minority Leader lost by just two percentage points over the GOP challenger. Other Senate races could have been rescued by some assistance from the Democratic frontrunner. Why didn't he use it instead of hoarding it?

Contrast that to the extensive party-building efforts of the GOP standardbearer; Kerry's selfish money handling guarantees that no one will trust him with the next nomination. His campaign rolled from one disaster to the next, and if he keeps talking about running again, four years is an awfully long time to get a Freedom of Information Act request processed for the rest of his military and FBI records. It also gives him another four years to add to his mountainous record of flip-flops. In fact, he already started in this interview (emphasis mine):

In his first extensive interview since his Nov. 2 defeat, Kerry was asked by the Fox News affiliate in Boston about running again in 2008 and reminded the questioner that Ohio is still counting votes from 2004.

He then said, "It is so premature to be thinking about something that far down the road. What I've said is I'm not opening any doors, I'm not shutting any doors." Kerry added, "If there's a next time, we'll do a better job. We'll see."

What is that supposed to mean? That he conceded before he didn't? Ohio announced yesterday that 81% of the 155,000 provisional ballots were valid, meaning that around 125,000 would be counted. Even if Kerry won every single one of them, he still loses by 11,000 votes. Casting doubt on the legitimacy of the election now does nothing but feed the conspiracy theorists and far-left lunatics that turned off half of America the first time around.

John Kerry should be satisfied to still have a Senate seat left and take some time to smell the Franklins. He earned it; he found a way to take it with him into political death.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 17, 2004 5:14 AM

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It appears that a hugely increased percentage of provisional ballots cast in Ohio are being declared valid - about 81% of those examined. That's way, way up from the norm of 25% previously reported. Should that be the case across the state (and it wo... [Read More]

Tracked on November 17, 2004 10:19 AM

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