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November 17, 2004
Democrats Tee Off On Kerry

Earlier today I wrote about the $45 million John Kerry left in his primary election fund instead of spending it on his election or other Democratic races. The AP now reports that Kerry also left an additional $15 million unspent from his federal general-election funds, and his fellow Democrats are now demanding to know why:

Democratic Party leaders said Wednesday they want to know why Sen. John Kerry ended his presidential campaign with more than $15 million in the bank, money that could have helped Democratic candidates across the country. ...

"Democrats are questioning why he sat on so much money that could have helped him defeat George Bush or helped down-ballot races, many of which could have gone our way with a few more million dollars," said Donna Brazile, campaign manager for Al Gore's 2000 presidential race.

Brazile is a member of the 400-plus member Democratic National Committee, which meets early next year to pick a new party chairman. One high-ranking member of the DNC, speaking on condition of anonymity, said word of Kerry's nest egg has stirred anger on the committee and could hurt his chances of putting an ally in the chairmanship.

After a record fundraising effort, Kerry left more than $60 million on the table, or roughly a dollar for every vote that George Bush won in the election. $45 million had to be spent before the convention, but Kerry could have passed it on to fellow Democrats, especially in Senate races. He had plenty of time in which to do that, as the books closed on primary funding at the end of July when he accepted the nomination. While his fellow Democrats struggled to raise funds -- in part because many donors focused on the presidential race -- Kerry kept it all to himself.

At least with the primary funds, he could claim the excuse that spending it on himself was illegal. The $15 million in federal funding represents 20% of the entire budget for the general election. How in the world could John Kerry leave 20% of his funds in the bank while he pulled advertising from state after state in the final days of the campaign? Democrats will demand answers from Kerry -- and they're unlikely to sit still for the kind of wishy-washy answers he gave the American electorate in the campaign.

Put frankly, Kerry's hoarding of the money makes him look like a selfish bastard, and a rather stupid one at that.

Kerry's Ebenezer Scrooge impersonation is not the only issue with which his fellow Democrats are dissatisfied. A Democratic activist that sank $6 million into efforts to turn out the Hispanic vote declared that Kerry never tried to help:

"John Kerry did not compete adequately for Hispanic votes, period," said Simon Rosenberg, founder and president of the centrist New Democrat Network, a political organization independent of the national Democratic Party. "If we don't reverse the gains that President Bush made, we can forget our hope of being a majority party again." ...

Among Rosenberg's complaints were the Kerry campaign and the DNC lacked a national strategy for Hispanics and did not spend enough money on advertising or enough time campaigning in Hispanic communities and did not employ enough people on the get-out-the-vote effort.

That understates the problem that Kerry presented for Hispanic voters. When Kerry affected their voting at all, he turned the heavily Catholic demographic off by claiming to believe in life at conception while explaining his support for partial-birth abortion. His wife, meanwhile, traveled to New Mexico and insulted the Hispanics whose families go back centuries by lumping them together with illegal immigrants. Perhaps Kerry tried a bit too hard for his own good. At any rate, Rosenberg managed to come up $6 million more than Kerry.

Kerry has made some noise about running for President again in 2008. I'd say he'll be lucky to run for re-election to the Senate.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 17, 2004 7:40 PM

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