A Question about John Kerry

Since I have the opportunity to blog here – to share thoughts with all of you – I thought I might just as well ask a question I wanted to ask progressives who supported Kerry so passionately as some of you (especially, of course, Pamela) did, what it is about Kerry that appealed (and probably continues to appeal) to you?

In other words: why did you support John Kerry? What issues matter most to you?

Secondly, who are you thinking about supporting this time around? Barack Obama? Hillary Clinton? John Edwards?

And: will you support another candidate actively (again, for some), or passively (= voting, perhaps endorsing that person online but that’s it)?

Let me also take the time to thank you all for the warm welcome I received yesterday: I greatly appreciate it.

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12 Responses to A Question about John Kerry

  1. John Granchie says:

    Very few candidates have what I call the “IT Factor”. They can raise the bar on all levels and move you to act because of there passion and ability to lead. John Kerry has the “IT FACTOR”. He has been there, he is smart and he is one hell of a leader. I dont think any of the candidates running have what JK has, they all have strong points and all would be good candidates, but none of them have the total JK package. I still find myself hoping that JK will jump in and save the day, I know this probably will not happen, so I will decide later this year who to back. I will not be as involved this election as I was with the last mostly because I dont see the “IT FACTOR” that JK has in any of these candidates. I Still got JK back and I always will!

  2. Ginny Cotts says:

    When you start combing through John Kerry’s background, record, speeches, etc. you begin to see a strong pattern of someone who thinks for himself, tries to do what is going to be best for the situation, will change his mind when he learns new information, does not need to always have the mike and the spotlight, and has a deep understanding on many issues. Vets, small business, foreign policy, the environment, and on and on. He is not afraid to get into the messes – BCCI, Iran/Contra, the missing Vietnam POWs and soldiers, etc. He exposed democrats in BCCI and seems to manage the political games of getting along enough to get things done- without getting committed to vote for someone elses pork. Various vote tracking organizations show a very strong consistency in his record.

    Going Upriver a documentary on Kerry’s childhood, Vietnam service and war protest provides an excellent insight into what drives him and how he works to get teamwork and make progress happen. Not being divisive, but having his facts, logic, etc well researched, integrated and developed.

    Obviously, a lot of people don’t agree with him and other legislation is often successful. That is inevitable for any candidate/legislator. I am not that impressed with his health care plan, except as a (necessary) duct tape solution. I also know that the dialogue on health care is going to explode at some point and Kerry will listen, will get a good team together, and we are more likely to have something reasonable and moderate than with anyone else. We have quite a few issues from the ’04 campaign and his career in the Senate that are good examples of Kerry having proposed a really good solution long before the lousy ones surfaced.

    Kerry seemed to me the candidate who could hit the ground running on Jan 21st. And, he would know which way to run. It isn’t just the obvious issues for me. Campaigns notoriously focus on stuff that gets overwhelmed by new circumstances and events after the election. So a record for me has to indicate the candidates knowledge base, thinking skills, priorities and people skills are exceptional.

    As far as the choices this time around. I refer you to Bob’s excellent post on Circus Maximus .

    I am clueless and not very hopeful. Clinton, Edwards, Gravel, Kucinich, Richardson and Biden have some major negatives for me. Dodd probably has no chance and I am not overly impressed. I’m waiting to see how Obama grows with the campaign and in the Senate. I would prefer more experience, I just don’t like the experience and records of the other candidates.

    So, despite the long odds, I am still hoping Kerry or Gore will see the light, catch the draft and run. (Or agree on who runs for the oval office and who becomes VP)

    I would work my heart, mind and body to the max for either of them.

    If I have to chose one of the others I will participate, it will not be a race to sit out. It just might not be on the front lines trying to convince individuals to vote for the candidate. There’s a lot of other stuff that has to be done.
    Election reform will be critical. I live 3.1 miles from the site of the ’08 Democratic Convention in Denver and plan to be involved in that.

    It’s a long ways to the Convention, let alone the vote. The chances of major issues and problems arising between now and then are high. How that plays out will change the whole scenario quite a lot.

  3. Darrell Prows says:

    Every Democrat is better than every Republican, but none of them have that much to offer for the future because of the compromises they have to make to get elected.

    If we did have a Constitutional Convention we could set a coherent philosophical approach to who we want to be as a society, and the role we would like to play in the future of the world. At that point it would be far more reasonable to hope that we could find a candidate whose words and deeds in office would actually match up with our needs.

  4. alrudder says:

    Intro- He has the profile of a mid-20th Century Democrat (when we were the majority); a broad global agenda, and bold domestic initiatives
    1) Personal relationships with world leaders and nuanced knowledge of global issues
    2) A domestic agenda that is grounded in market principles, but is designed for the public interest at large.
    3) A breadth of experience in two branches of government, at all levels of government, giving him insight into the mechanics on national policy making
    4) Moral and physical courage
    5) Lastly, vision. He was a war leader who led anti-war protests. He was a prosecutor who himself had an FBI file later exonerated a man from a murder rap. He started a business that he sold at a profit, and supports government policies to help the unfortunate.
    6) He really had it ALL. It just wasn’t packaged well and the GOP, to their credit, had a better GOTV operation. Howard Dean has solved the later problem, and we had hoped JK’s communication would have been better in ’08.
    I met Obama yesterday, I’m tilting between him and Hillary.

  5. Michaelvdg says:

    I thank you all for your answers. I have to say that it is refreshing to see that some people remain loyal to Kerry. I’m personally not a big fan (as you all might have guessed, see post below this one), but the way some people distanced themselves from Kerry after he lost (and only because he lost) was quite hypocritical, to say the least.

    alrudder: how should he have been ‘packaged’?

    Soemthing to consider: wouldn’t Edwards be the logical choice? That’s what I thought, I know see that I was quite mistaken in that.

    Al Gore: he should have won in 00, definitely.

  6. Michael

    Supporting Kerry in ’04 for me was a given. Not only because I had grown up in MA and watched his entire career with respect and admiration, but also because on the issues that mattered most to me, his stance was the closest to my own when compared to the other candidates.

    As a single mother, small business owner and environmentalist, I felt that Kerry had a grasp on issues that mattered in each of these areas and plans that would and could make a difference.

    As some one who was “inside” the campaign and had access to information at times that the average person did not, I have a perspective of the ’04 election that others do not. Kerry got a raw deal from the media, from how he was personified, to the numbers of people who turned out at his rallies. The media fudged with all of it and it was hard to combat that.

    Sometime in ’03 the WaPo did a series on each of the candidates and wrote that Kerry was an “idealist and a realist.” A phrase I can identify with, because I consider myself to be both.

    I’ve had the opportunity of course, more so since after the election, to see a side of John Kerry that the public rarely sees and the media never, ever acknowledges. He’s warm, funny, caring, compassionate, passionate, a good listener, and always thinking.

    I’ll never forget one cold, windy afternoon in NH a few days before the primary when after a rally with Ted K and others, more than 1 hour later people were still hanging on at the rope line waiting to speak with him, shake his hand, get his autograph, just touch him. They got it – he was a great man desitined to be our next president.

    I saw that many times after that event. As did many others involved with the campaign. Again the media never told us this.

    Even too after the election, people swarmed him when did events around the country and still today when I bring up his name, people tell me they wish he would run again.

    In a series of speeches last year (all of which are posted here), gearing up for another run, Kerry laid out a platform and proved that he was on the right on so many issues. He raised more money for candidates in ’06 than anyone in the party and then some in the party turned on him over the botched joke, which I will say, everyone in the room that day got. I was standing next to him after the event when he talked to briefly to members of the press and no one questioned what he said.

    I could of course go and on… but I’m not here right now…

    Edwards? Not a given by any means. If it’s because was the VP choice, it’s a non-starter in my book. I personally would have preferred JK made a different choice. Hindsight…

    A friend made this MP3 in the early days of the campaign: http://www.thedemocraticdaily.com/whatitsworth.mp3

    It’s an interesting compliation of Kerry soundbites combined with JFK, RFK and MLK soundbites. Worth listening to.

  7. alrudder says:

    “Packaging” is an all inclusive term for messaging, branding, and sloganeering (a much maligned word for the necessary step of setting vision statements).
    He surrounded himself with too many advisers who were not in touch with the zeitgeist of the country. I think seriously he should have consulted all living John F Kennedy advisers on how to promote an urbane tough guy.

  8. John Granchie says:

    Pamela you are as always right on the money.
    John Kerry if you read this blog-the hell with the media RUN SIR !!!Its not to late.

  9. Javelin says:

    For me, it was the debates that really got me revved up for JK. I thought “not only is this guy gonna be a good president, he is going to be a great president in a difficult time”. At the time I couldn’t understand how anyone else in this country could see it any differently.
    What’s really weird is that I have at least triple the respect for the Senator now than I did before the election loss. If you follow what he has done in the past, the 04 campaign, and currently it’s almost impossible to believe that one human being could have accomplished so much and yet still be in the position to do even greater things.

  10. Jav

    I owe you a call – have not forgotten!

  11. cadmium says:

    I will second the traits that John Kerry has that were mentioned above. The media really ignores just what a big deal BCCI was.

    His book the “New War” is a simple quick read and has not lost relevance. Check it out if you haven’t already.

    Here are few of my other reasons for liking John Kerry.

    1. He is thoroughly despised by the Bush loyalists

    2. When he first met our roommate Gil (an elderly man with mental retardation) he ignored two reporters, stepped out of a crowd to make sure our friend got a “FIrefighters for Kerry” tee shirt. He made that wonderful gesture with no calling of attention to himself. He has met Gil several times since and always engages with him and is never condescending.

    3. Genuinely honest politicians are rare. When you find one you really have someone special.

  12. Michael,

    For me, I come from a different place. I was not a Kerry backer, or a Democrat before. For the best description of how I ended up here, you can check this post out. http://blog.thedemocraticdaily.com/?p=5745

    Like many of the others, I cannot bring myself to choose any of the current crop right now.

    I guess the highest issue for me, would be bringing my brothers and sisters home from the debacle that is Iraq. That and keeping the spotlight on the continued fight to recover down here in the land of Katrina.