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February 20, 2005
Kerry Refuses To Leave The Party After It's Over

Anyone who holds dinner parties on a regular basis has experienced the phenomenon of the Guest Who Would Not Leave at least once. Long after all the other attendees have gone home, they continue to pontificate despite the hosts' desire to simply go to bed and start again fresh the next day. Hints don't help, and neither does feigning illness. Only a demonstration of direct will to remove the guest from the defunct event gets the hosts off the hook.

So it goes with John Kerry, the final guest to leave the 2004 election party, and the Democrats may have to gather the intestinal fortitude to explain to the Massachusetts Senator that he has to go:

Since losing in November, the Massachusetts Democrat has delivered a series of speeches on healthcare, electoral reform and military preparedness. He helped lead the unsuccessful opposition to Condoleezza Rice, President Bush's pick for secretary of State, and Alberto R. Gonzales, Bush's choice for attorney general.

Kerry has given more than $2 million in leftover campaign funds to various Democratic candidates and causes, and continues to tap his nationwide donor base to raise money for the party.

In short, the 61-year-old senator seems a lot more like a candidate preparing to seek the White House than one who just failed in his bid though he insists "it's too early to even be thinking about talking about those things."

It's no secret by now that Kerry thinks he can run again and win the presidency in 2008, although he won't discuss how he comes to that conclusion. He has taken a more active interest in legislation the past two months than he has in the previous 20 years, trying to negate a major problem for him this past campaign. Kerry has jumped in front of political battles such as the Rice and Gonzalez nominations, losing both and especially with the Rice nomination, looking again like a marginal extremist. He's actively building an e-mail list of supporters and forming new political-action groups.

All of this, as the Los Angeles Times points out, delights Republicans as much as it worries Democrats:

"They won't be able to get out of the wilderness until they move beyond the Dean and Kerry party," scoffed Matt Dowd, a senior strategist for Bush's reelection campaign, referring to newly elected Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. "I guess they have to get to the final stages of being sick before they get better." ...

"The question for Sen. Kerry that he has to answer is: Why would he win this time in 2008 when he wasn't able to pull it off in 2004?" said Gordon Fischer, the recently departed head of the Iowa Democratic Party, who is reserving judgment on a possible comeback try by Kerry.

Dick Harpootlian, a longtime party leader in South Carolina, was more blunt. "I think John Kerry is a decent, thoughtful, heroic American," Harpootlian said. "I do not think he can win the presidency."

That isn't going to be good enough to get the GWWNL out the door. It's not subtle enough to say, "I don't think you want to stay around for another cup of coffee" or "I'm sorry, but we're fresh out of dessert." Despite stirring up enormous amounts of hatred and vitriol for almost a full year against Kerry's opponent, the Democrats could not unseat George Bush with Kerry as their nominee, a testament to Kerry's unsuitability for the office more than any strategy or tactic the Democrats used for the campaign.

In the next campaign, Kerry will still be hounded by his past as an anti-war activist and by new pledges to sign off on his Form 180 to release all of his military records. Despite the supposed conventional wisdom espoused across the port side of the blogosphere, Kerry never did address any substance of the allegations made by his fellow Swift Boat veterans, and his and the DNC's aspersions on George Bush's record early in the campaign still makes that fair game for any new run. He will have the same record of standing on all sides of all issues. Kerry also will have his poor reaction to the Iraqi elections, now widely acknowledged as a huge success and a major step forward against Middle East oppression, as testimony to his lack of commitment to support of democracy as a policy.

Democrats who believe that Kerry will come to this conclusion himself and leave on his own underestimate the depths of his self-delusion and narcissism. Kerry will hang on until the dawn of the new election, and the Democratic Party will find itself with yet another major post-election hangover from the Guest Who Would Not Leave, this time by forcing a costly and divisive primary battle between the radical leftist elements that have cost them three elections so far and the DLC elements that want a return to centrism.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 20, 2005 8:03 AM

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» John Kerry will leave when the press actually cove from The Anchoress
Funny observations over at CQ about how John Kerry doesn't seem to understand the party's over and it's time to go home. [Read More]

Tracked on February 20, 2005 8:44 AM

» John Kerry Refuses to Fade Away from Scribe
It's better to burn out, than to fade away… John Kerry ran for President of the United States on one basic issue, he was a self-proclaimed "war hero" in Vietnam.  Now the failed presidential candidate, with his war hero status... [Read More]

Tracked on February 20, 2005 10:30 PM

» I Propose a Writing Exercise from The Coalition of the Swilling
The ninehundredpound brains at Powerline have linked to a hilarious scholarly piece by Thomas Lipscomb in Oregon Magazine. A sample: Drowning in Cambodia By Thomas Lipscomb It has been a rough ten days for Senator John Kerry. First Democratic Party... [Read More]

Tracked on February 20, 2005 10:42 PM

» I Propose a Writing Exercise from The Coalition of the Swilling
The ninehundredpound brains at Powerline have linked to a hilarious scholarly piece by Thomas Lipscomb in Oregon Magazine. A sample: Drowning in Cambodia By Thomas Lipscomb It has been a rough ten days for Senator John Kerry. First Democratic Party... [Read More]

Tracked on February 23, 2005 8:36 AM



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