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January 10, 2008

The Kerry Kiss Of Death

Does a John Kerry endorsement help or hurt? I'd say the latter, especially given the surprising decision to endorse Barack Obama. The previous Democratic nominee will give Obama his blessing later today at a South Carolina rally:

Barack Obama has won the presidential endorsement of Sen. John Kerry, the Democrats' 2004 nominee who lost to George W. Bush.

Kerry, a senator from Massachusetts, plans to announce his support Thursday at a rally at the College of Charleston, said a Democrat familiar with Kerry's decision. The 2004 nominee will argue that Obama can best unite the country and has the potential to create transformational change, the person said.

This seems strange on a couple of different levels. Kerry hardly ran as the insurgent candidate in 2004; that was Howard Dean. Kerry represents the Establishment in the Democratic Party, a quasi-Brahmin who has remained in the Senate largely through the offices of Ted Kennedy instead of any legislative accomplishments of his own. The man who authored six whole bills in twenty years hardly qualifies to speak about transformational change. What has he ever done to affect it himself?

Kerry seems a much better fit for the Clinton team. They're both Establishment, and both equally accomplished in Congress. He's somewhat more liberal than Hillary, but his platform on the Iraq war in 2004 comes closer to her position than Obama's. Hillary campaigned for him in 2004 with much more effect than Obama did, even if she didn't seem terribly enthusiastic about it at the time.

And why announce this in South Carolina, of all places? Wouldn't this have helped more three days ago in Manchester, New Hampshire? If Kerry had done it there and then, it would have had much more influence on his neighboring state than a Yankee coming to Charleston. This seems like vintage Kerry -- a day late and a dollar short.

Barack Obama may appreciate the sentiment, but he's not likely to get much of a boost from this endorsement. Considering the stink still coming from his 2004 campaign, it's more likely to repel voters than to attract them. (via Michelle Malkin)


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(2008-01-10) — Sen. Barack Obama today declined the endorsement of Sen. John Kerry, saying his presidential campaign is about “hope and change”, and he doesn’t want to “send mixed messages.” Sticking with his new st... [Read More]

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