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May 9, 2005
Inside Out, The (New) John Kerry Story

The Boston Globe reports that John Kerry has transformed himself into that most hackneyed of political clichs, the "outsider" candidate, despite having spent the last twenty years in Washington DC. Using the hilarious notion of turning a twenty-year career in the Senate into outsider street cred, Kerry insists on firing up crowds by talking about how Washington ignores the little people:

Gone was his stump speech railing against President Bush's Iraq war policy, the sluggish economy, and the Republican agenda; even mentions of Kerry's Senate career and Vietnam War service had disappeared.

Instead, Kerry -- a veteran politician who has held office for 21 years -- took off his suit jacket and roamed a small stage in Louisiana's Old State Capitol to push a new message: Get angry at Washington.

''Washington seems more and more out of touch with the difficulties the average family is facing," Kerry told the crowd of about 150 last week in Baton Rouge. ''Go out of here, take some anger and a little bit of outrage at the fact that Washington is not dealing with the real concerns of our country."

Six months after his presidential bid ended in defeat, Kerry is on another cross-country campaign. This time, he is running against the political establishment.

Who's he trying to kid? He is the political establishment, and an embodiment of the lackadaisical effort that so many like to lampoon about DC politicians. Prior to the presidential campaign, the longtime protege of the most powerful political family in American history could count his legislative victories on one hand and still stick a pinky finger out from his silver cup at afternoon tea. It's not that Kerry's voice has been lost in the wilderness, either. If Kerry counted the entire list of legislation he'd written and submitted for consideration to the Senate, all he'd need to do would be to pull that pinky back in. For a 20-year career, that shows little evidence of being in touch with anyone's concerns except those of John Kerry.

He's trying to make up for lost time now, primarily by this silly sleight-of-hand of fomenting anger at the Establishment while denying his long and undistinguished membership in it. He also wants to escape responsibility for the terrible campaign he waged and lost against a polarizing George Bush by telling people that he didn't lose the last election -- it was stolen from him:

Although Kerry said he was not in Louisiana to talk about his loss to Bush, the senator was clearly still smarting from the 2004 campaign. He proudly noted that he received 10 million more votes than President Clinton did during his 1996 reelection campaign and suggested that terrorism warnings sounded in the midst of the last campaign may have been exaggerated to help Bush.

''Fight back against the lies, fight back against the distortions," Kerry implored the crowd. ''In the last campaign, there was an unbelievable amount of fear put out there -- 'war on terror, war on terror, war on terror.' How many alerts have we had since the election?"

Kerry insists that he is campaigning only to pass the Kids First bill, not to advance his political career.

Uh-huh.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 9, 2005 7:51 AM

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