January 22, 2005


For Kerry, a Strategic Return to the Limelight (SHERYL GAY STOLBERG, 1/23/05, NY Times)

Like an actress arriving fashionably late for the Academy Awards, Mr. Kerry's return to the Senate - two weeks after the new Congress got underway - seemed intended to make a splash, as well as meet the delicate problem of how to re-enter the same political theater as the president he fought so hard to unseat.

The last losing presidential contender to return to a prominent job in Washington was George McGovern, the Democratic senator who lost to Richard Nixon in 1972. Defeated presidents and vice presidents - Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush and Al Gore among them - quietly retreated to private life. Bob Dole, the Republican former senator who lost to President Clinton in 1996, became a pitchman for Viagra and Pepsi. Michael Dukakis, who lost to the first George Bush in 1988, went back to being governor of Massachusetts and wound up a pariah in his own party.

That is a fate Mr. Kerry wants to avoid. So he is reintroducing himself to Americans in a way calculated to keep his political fortunes alive.

He criticized the war while on Iraqi soil, visited Syria and France, complained that votes were stolen, and then voted against Condo Rice with only Barbara Boxer by his side--that's a reintroduction?

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 22, 2005 11:35 PM

Winter book vs Hillary H6 K1. Dumped by Ketchup lady
yes 4 no 1

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at January 23, 2005 1:08 AM

It's definitely more than he did the previous 20 years in the Senate.

Posted by: Peter at January 23, 2005 6:21 AM

He's a failed lawyer. What else can he do?

Posted by: Bartman at January 23, 2005 8:48 AM

Kerry is merely reverting to form. His intention is to push the Hildebeest to the center and run a campaign targetted at party activists. The apparent victory of Dean for DNC chair helps him. In a two-way race against Hillary, it is unclear that she would get the free pass that her career has received from the MSM thusfar. Certainly, the leftie bloggers will be out in force.

Posted by: Bart at January 23, 2005 9:54 AM

"Defeated presidents and vice presidents - Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush and Al Gore among them - quietly retreated to private life."

If Carter and Gore have been "quiet," I'd hate to see noisy.

Posted by: AC at January 23, 2005 10:17 AM

The far left will convince themselves that Hillary's move toward the center is a 4 year long head-fake to fool the centerists into voting for her. They won't be willing to believe she isn't one of their own, or perhaps they will feel she is their only hope in '08, but I can't see Kerry challenging for the '08 nomination. The "L" on his forhead will only grow over the next 4 years.

Posted by: Pat H at January 23, 2005 11:18 AM

PS, when Ketchup Lady dumps Cabana Boy his odds against Hillary drop into Sharpton/Kucinich territory.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at January 23, 2005 4:55 PM