Why John Kerry Lost

Open Left provides direct evidence of why John Kerry is a loser. From Meet the Press:

MR. BROKAW: We're going to get to all those issues, but I also want to raise what a surrogate for Senator Obama had to say to my friend Bob Schieffer on "Face the Nation." This is former General Wesley Clark talking about John McCain. He said, "I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president." He described him as untested and untried. With all due respect, Senator Kerry, he could have been talking about your qualifications. You're a Vietnam veteran...

SEN. KERRY: Yeah, I, I don't agree. I don't agree with Wes Clark's comment. I think it was entirely inappropriate. I have nothing but enormous respect for John McCain's service. . . . I have awe for John McCain's experience as a prisoner of war, and he, and he does understand duty and service. . . .

(Emphasis supplied.) John Kerry embodies the loser wing of the Democratic Party. He is a terrible surrogate in all circumstances, and was particularly bad today. Why the Obama camp continues to trot him out is beyond comprehension.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    You would think (5.00 / 6) (#1)
    by cmugirl on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:50:28 PM EST
    The Obama camp would trot out Democratic winners of past presidential elections.

    Oh, wait....

    Seriously, I thought John Kerry was painful to watch and listen to when I supported him.  This is not a good way to get people to like you - trot out one Senator, whom many people thought elitist, and have him talk about another Senator whom many people think is an elitist.

    Kerry wants to be remembered as a kingmaker (none / 0) (#93)
    by prittfumes on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 09:14:03 PM EST
    after Obama wins the presidency.

    The price of loyalty. (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by andgarden on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:51:13 PM EST

    Don't follow (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:54:00 PM EST
    When camp obama chooses surrogates (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:55:29 PM EST
    who were loyal from the beginning, instead of just good, they get this.

    Ahh (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:57:59 PM EST
    I dunno.

    Kerry has been an awful surrogate forever. Heck, he was an awful candidate mostly.

    No need to trot him out on Meet the Press at all.


    Indeed (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:00:48 PM EST
    And yet he almost won.

    How much is the Party and how much is Kerry (none / 0) (#53)
    by Valhalla on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:38:51 PM EST
    trying to make himself relevant, or voguing for a cabinet position?

    I always thought is was half and half during the primaries.

    Agree he's a poor surrogate, though.


    Um, the real question is why Democrats (5.00 / 7) (#4)
    by MarkL on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:53:44 PM EST
    chose the candidate that John Kerry, Dick Durbin and Tom Daschle trotted out for us.
    Shouldn't the enthusiastic endorsement of the worst losers of recent years set off alarm bells?

    kerry lost? (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by sancho on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:29:21 PM EST
    omg. kerry lost against bush? your kidding? no way the dems could lose in 2004.

    oh yeah, now i remember, he did lose. and now that i think about it, so did mcgovern, carter ('80), mondale, dukakis, gore (sort of), but, gee, i know a dem won sometime since 1976. who was it? what was that name?

    anyway, surely mccain cant win, can he? not after bush's two terms. surely the dems can nominate anyone--i bet even someone who says he has a funny name--and the dems will win.

    now, just a second, i'm going to see if i can find out which dem it was that won not that long ago. i know some dem did in the last thirty years. wasnt it jefferson something?



    Wasn't it Ronald Reagan? I think I (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by MarkL on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:30:57 PM EST
    read that over on Obama's website.

    "Winners" and "Losers" (2.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Politalkix on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 06:45:52 PM EST
    Clinton supporters make too much out of the fact the Clintons are "winners" and candidates like Gore and Kerry and Obama are "losers". Despite all his brilliance, Bill Clinton never touched the 50% popular vote mark, this is a fact that often gets overlooked. In 1992, he won the election with just 43% of the vote. Gore and Kerry, each, won more votes than Clinton ever did (ofcourse with increase in population, that is natural). One should also bear in mind that Clinton benefitted from the presence of Ross Perot while Gore was hurt by Ralph Nader. Clinton, Gore, Kerry and Obama were/are better than their Republican counterparts on the issues that are important to the majority of voters, I wish people would focus more on substance and less on labels like "winners" and "losers" and other fluff. To praise the Clintons, one really does not need to knock down every other democrat!
    On a related note, people keep asking repeatedly on this forum why Obama is not leading McCain by double digit margins. Well, if an incumbent popular President, Bill Clinton, could not defeat Bob Dole by more than 9 percentage points in the popular vote in 1996, aren't the expectations from Obama bordering on the unreal?

    Clinton received 49.25% in 1996 (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 07:24:37 PM EST
    of the vote.  That's just about 50%.

    Perot ran again that year and received 8% of the vote.

    The Democrat in 2008 is running after one of the most unpopular presidents in US history, during the time of a very, very unpopular war. You can hardly compare the current situation with Clinton in 1996.  Or I guess you can, but it's silly.


    Note (none / 0) (#86)
    by Politalkix on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 07:58:14 PM EST
    Perot took away a lot more votes from Senior Bush and Dole than from Clinton. You are therefore supporting the point I made. In 1992, the economy was in recession, Senior Bush seemed out of touch and the conservatives were not enthusiastic about him. He was too moderate for their tastes. Neither Senior Bush nor Bob Dole were good campaigners. Junior Bush and McCain have more ruthless campaign strategies and organizations than Senior Bush or Dole ever did.

    But in fact (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by Steve M on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 08:01:52 PM EST
    every single study of the 1992 election has concluded that Perot took votes equally from Bush and Clinton, so basically you're just making stuff up.

    Perot was in, then out, then in again (none / 0) (#103)
    by MKS on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 10:52:11 PM EST
    The polling showed Bill up by (approx) 12 before Perot got back in the race for the last time.....So, without Perot, Bill would still have comfortably won.

    The better argument regarding Perot is that he was like a good break in a game of pool--he destabilized everything in June and July and got people comfortable with the idea of getting rid of Bush I.  That allowed Bill & Al the opening.


    Clinton (none / 0) (#105)
    by Politalkix on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 11:08:56 PM EST
    would have comfortably won in 1996 even if  Perot had not contested, not so sure about 1992!

    A link? (none / 0) (#97)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 09:27:51 PM EST
    where it states that Perot took votes away from Dole and not Clinton?

    Perot link (none / 0) (#99)
    by Politalkix on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 09:55:21 PM EST
    Here is one link. Second sentence reads "Perot makes Republican candidates cringe when he threatens to "do whatever I have to do to get our goals accomplished in the most intelligent way." They fear a repeat of the damage Perot inflicted on George Bush in 1992"

    Are you f**king kidding me??? (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by MarkL on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 10:01:08 PM EST
    That is not evidence in any way, shape or form.

    This is dated (none / 0) (#100)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 09:57:02 PM EST
    March of 1995.  Says nothing about what Perot actually took from each candidate.  I'm looking for actuals, not maybes speculated a year and a half before elections.

    The following link (none / 0) (#101)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 09:59:14 PM EST
    shows Perot getting approximately the same percentage of Democrats as Republicans.



    Independents! (none / 0) (#104)
    by Politalkix on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 11:01:31 PM EST
    Perot got a sizeable chunk of the Republican leaning and anti-incumbent independent vote. Maybe Dole and Clinton's campaign knew a little more than TL commentators, that is why the Republicans were continuously discouraging Perot to run while Clinton's campaign was thrilled with Perot's participation! Independents decide elections.

    Or maybe (none / 0) (#107)
    by Steve M on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 11:30:48 PM EST
    studies of what voters actually did on Election Day are more important than what the campaigns might have predicted earlier in the process, mmm?

    The exit polls are pretty darn conclusive on this issue.  You are making yourself look foolish by continuing to contest the point.


    The exit polls (none / 0) (#109)
    by Politalkix on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 12:46:34 AM EST
    do show a high % of independent support for Perot; nothing conclusive about that. Those who followed the elections know very well that the independents who voted for Perot were mostly Republican leaning ones or anti-incumbent voters whose vote could have gone to Dole if Perot did not run. It would not have changed the final outcome of the 1996 elections as I have said before; however it is wrong to say that Perot voters affected Clinton and Dole votes in equal measure.

    Well (none / 0) (#111)
    by Steve M on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 01:08:47 AM EST
    Since nobody claimed that, you can have fun rebutting it if you like.  But the studies have definitely concluded that Perot took equal numbers of votes away from Bush and Clinton in 1992.

    Man (none / 0) (#78)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 07:28:35 PM EST
    Some folks are interested in proving themselves not smart today I see.

    it is true (none / 0) (#88)
    by sancho on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 08:03:08 PM EST
    that b. clinton benefitted from perot (and carter from watergate). i think the real trend is that since 1964 and the Civil Rights and Voting Acts, that is, since the realignment of the two parties over race, the dems have had a hard time winning any presidential election. arguably, an obama victory would signal a new era--the end to the years in the wilderness LBJ predicted for the dems after his alliance with MLK. i dont see it though. to me, it seems that the corporations have won and the old dem interest groups of the fdr-lbj alliance no longer matter. obama (FISA!) clinches that trend like no previous dem candidate.

    we'll see what happens, though.

    i do think hillary would beat mccain. i hope obama does--or anyway i hope mccain loses and obama surprises me.

    but dont devalue the clintons' accomplishments. when you look at what has happened in presidential elections since 1964, they certainly stand out.


    Not true that Perot elected Clinton (none / 0) (#91)
    by StatMan89 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 08:55:31 PM EST
    This was just a theme pushed by the Republicans to undercut Bill Clinton's legitimacy and it's been swallowed by almost everyone. The polls of the time showed that Clinton and Bush Sr would have split the vote almost evenly had Perot not been in the race. Plus, how could Perot's vote have come exclusively from conservatives since he was strongly pro-choice?

    to back up your point, (none / 0) (#95)
    by sancho on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 09:19:30 PM EST
    i asked my then 90 yr. texas grandfather how he voted in the '92 election. he said, in his thick drawl, "why, i've never voted for a republican in my life" before adding "and I damned sure didnt vote for clinton." clinton was close in texas thanks to perot and anyway my larger point is that kerry and possibly obama is the latest in long line of dem losers since 1964--except for clinton and carter (sort of). i agree that clinton's success has been purposely downgraded by repubs and dems--many of whom are not happy to bring us obama. any why kerry gets to have a say is beyond me.

    Yes the Clinton's stand out (none / 0) (#106)
    by Politalkix on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 11:18:38 PM EST
    but a little objectivity from Clinton supporters would be appreciated. This Clintons are "winners" and everybody else in the Democratic party are "losers" line of arguments are quite misguided and does not do anyone much favor.

    so tell me how many dems have been president (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by sancho on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 12:46:58 AM EST
    since lbj. no fair counting jimmy carter more than once.

    I am becoming so discouraged (none / 0) (#113)
    by weltec2 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 04:19:00 AM EST
    by US elections. Gore won in 2000 but lost anyway. Corruption was rife in the 2004 election in Ohio and Florida more votes coming from a numbefr of towns than there were residents (See, Countdown on that election). And in the 2008 election... Chuck Schumer and DiFi have already made sure there will be no paper trail so if the vote is at all close and the Repugs decide that they can actually tell the difference between Obama and McSame -- I personally cannot -- then Diebold will be the Decider.

    The Losing Part (none / 0) (#118)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Aug 07, 2008 at 10:18:18 AM EST
    of the Dem 2000 and 2004 campaigns was in not anticipating the shenanigans and planning for them; in addition, imo, Gore over-reacted to Lewinsky when he avoided all connection between himself and Clinton in campaigning. To me at the time it was obvious to the voting public that Gore had no involvement and was a different kind of guy. If anyone remembers Clinton's speech at the convention, he laid out a stunningly well-argued, persuasive case as to why voters should pick Gore, the accomplishments of Clinton-Gore, and Gore's role in those accomplishments. The speech was ignored by the press and the candidate.

    Your comment is an illustration (1.00 / 1) (#38)
    by beachmom on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:40:32 PM EST
    to why Democrats do lose.  You obviously failed to back Kerry up in '04, and now you are backing the bus over him again because he lost and backed the opponent of your primary candidate.

    Your comment has two flaws: (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by MarkL on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:01:49 PM EST
    first, an erroneous assumption, and second, it makes no sense whatsoever.
    OBVIOUSLY Kerry was a weak candidate---he LOST.
    I want WINNERS, not LOSERS, and I don't want the LOSERS picking the nominee, as they did with Obama (Kerry, Durbin and Daschle encouraged him to run and set him up with the big money donors).
    I could just as easily respond to you that you must be a closet Republican, because you don't want the Democrats to choose a winner.

    Heh (5.00 / 4) (#51)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:33:22 PM EST
    A Kerry Cult exists? Who knew?

    It was a small cult. (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by Grace on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 08:08:37 PM EST
    They were all windsurfers.  They were hard to spot because they spent so much time alone, floating above the ground.  

    Maybe there's a cult... (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by EL seattle on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 09:50:51 PM EST
    ... formed whenever someone feels that they're being ridiculed for a past vote.  It's a human defensive trait, I guess.  Kerry lost for whatever reason, and those who voted for him "move on" over time.  But when they hear Kerry called "a loser"... them's fightin' words.  It's a natural human response.  (And a little cult is born for a minute and a little devil gets his leathery wings.)

    I think this is important to remember for any democrats are interested in trying to woo some of the millions of folks who voted for Dubya last time.  If they're approached with a "have you stopped being an idiot yet?" atttitude, they might not follow the desired direction.


    You need to analyze their (none / 0) (#52)
    by MarkL on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:37:04 PM EST
    demographics, BTD!

    As always (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by Steve M on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:59:14 PM EST
    it's enjoyable to be a Democrat, because you make one bold statement, and then watch the media force every other Democrat to denounce you for it.

    In the future, everyone will get to throw Gen. Clark under the bus for 15 minutes.

    He wasn't already there? (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by cmugirl on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:01:05 PM EST
    I thought Clark got thrown under the bus last month?

    Every once in a while (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Steve M on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:08:29 PM EST
    they poke their head out so they can get run over by one of the wheels all over again.

    Surely you do not need me to tell you what it is like in the land of the busunders.


    I'm in the middle of the bus (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by cmugirl on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:10:23 PM EST
    I never get to see daylight.

    That's okay (none / 0) (#74)
    by chrisvee on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 07:01:14 PM EST
    I'll have a martini ready for Wes whenever he returns.  I'm stationed right near the luggage compartment.

    Ha ha (5.00 / 5) (#55)
    by Valhalla on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:41:41 PM EST
    Clark is a fighting Dem, so he keeps managing to escape.  Then they have to re-enact 'The Fugitive' and stick him back under.

    We've learned not be alarmed by his occasional absences, we know he'll be back sooner or later.


    heh (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by andgarden on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:02:10 PM EST
    More's the pity. (none / 0) (#40)
    by Xanthe on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:57:21 PM EST
    Talk about cruel and unusual (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:04:35 PM EST
    punishment...Joe LIEberman and John Kerry on the same segment...UGH!!

    Did you watch? How did it go? (none / 0) (#18)
    by MarkL on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:07:42 PM EST
    I'll put it this way (none / 0) (#28)
    by ruffian on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:00:10 PM EST
    Lieberman is a better surrogate.  Doesn't mean I like his candidate, but he does stick up for him well - without apologizing for other surrogates.

    Well, Lieberman is finally free to be (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by bridget on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 09:15:43 PM EST
    a Republican and enjoying it - and Republicans don't apologize While the Dems try to please ....

    (didn't see the show btw. just can't bring myself to look at these folks but I still have a chance and could tape a repeat around midnight ... but the chan ces are slim ;-)

    The Vice Pres of 2000 and Dem candidate from 2004 is now supporting the Rep candiate for Pres. I knew there was something wrong with Saint Lieber when he jumped onto the Senate floor and denounced Bill Clinton while in a foreign country. This earned him  the VP spot from Gore. I didn't watch him then, I can't watch him now.


    ooh ooh, I know, I know (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by DandyTIger on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:16:39 PM EST
    You asked why they keep bringing someone out from the losing wing of the dem party. I know. Um, because they're also from the losing wing of the dem party. snark. sort of. :-)

    John Kerry, what a joke. (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by LatinoVoter on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:45:38 PM EST
    I loved it when he said Barack was right on Iraq and had the right judgment to be president. I've never seen anyone throw themselves under a bus, it was mighty impressive.

    B-b-but...Hillary! (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Fabian on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:22:27 PM EST
    Sometimes I just want to break out in guffaws.  We are going to see people do similar things that Hillary Clinton was savaged for, and hardly a peep of protest will be heard.  

    Except for the handful of people who don't jump in the tank for anyone, of course.  It keeps my blog list small and manageable.  I should be grateful that so many new and old media folks outed themselves in the primary season as untrustworthy hacks.

    Kerry was horrible on MTP (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by wasabi on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:59:55 PM EST
    The man just doesn't know how to throw an elbow.  Joe Lieberman walked all over Kerry and he let him get away with it.  Please have the Dems get someone else as a surrogate.  I think just about anyone would have been better.
    Clark, Webb, Rendell, anyone...

    can't do it! they're all under the bus. (none / 0) (#83)
    by hellothere on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 07:41:14 PM EST
    Which Obama supporter was extolling (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by MarkL on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:05:27 PM EST
    the brilliance of choosing Kerry as a surrogate, saying that he would be especially good at getting McCain's goat---even suggesting that Kerry could use his former friendship with McCain to get under his skin.
    I think it was a diarist at DK, but it might have been a long comment here.
    Anyway.. "heh, indeedy".

    This exchange really shows the (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by MarkL on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:27:42 PM EST
    folly--the utter idiocy--of Kerry's "reporting for duty" skit in yet another light.

    they are still making fun of that "reporting (none / 0) (#79)
    by hellothere on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 07:29:11 PM EST
    for duty" line sad to say. democrats do shoot themselves in the foot and why i don't know.

    On the money. (5.00 / 4) (#50)
    by oldpro on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:32:35 PM EST
    I missed that half of the program, thank gawd, but didn't have to see it to know what a horrible mess this campaign has become, trotting out Kerry and Daschle as spokesmen.

    BTW...how does this fit with 'the new politics' theme, hence the rejection of Hillary...and Bill?  Mystifying.  

    I know of no one who thinks Daschle and Kerry will bring any change to the way things are done in DC!  Talk about a mixed message.

    Kerry vs. Liberman raises all kinds of other issues in convoluted Democratic politcs:  John Kerry having considered John McCain as a running mate (!) and Liberman, the Democratic nominee for veep in 2000, now speaking for McCain and being considered by him as a running mate according to some!

    We are definitely down the rabbit hole, people.

    If this were a movie, no one would believe it.

    BTD is right.  Unarguable.

    Swallow hard.  More to come...and it's gonna be worse.

    Oh...and Kerry trashing Clark is just the final straw if anyone needed one.  That should make things interesting on the new 'Draft Clark for VP' site!

    Hee (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by lilburro on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:56:39 PM EST
    BROKAW:  "...what a surrogate for Senator Obama had to say to my friend Bob Schieffer on "Face the Nation."

    KERRY:  I'm so sorry Clark hurt your friend.  My condolences.

    BROKAW:  Thank you for not aggravating me and causing more pain to my family.  Apology momentarily accepted.

    This is pathetic n/t (none / 0) (#96)
    by bridget on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 09:20:14 PM EST
    I think I may move to Connecticut (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 06:22:54 PM EST
    so that I can do whatever I can to fire Joe Lieberman.

    What an atrocious shill he has become.  

    ...become? (none / 0) (#85)
    by Fabian on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 07:56:45 PM EST
    Well, I guess "shill" is different from "backstabbing Democrat".  

    MSGOP is so pre-Obama. (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Teresa on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 06:28:15 PM EST

    Compare (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by chrisvee on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 06:55:45 PM EST
    Kerry to Lieberman.  Right at the start, Brokaw showed the clip of McCain stating he wanted a respectful campaign, then Brokaw went straight at the issue of whether the Hilton/Spears ad was 'respectful'.  Lieberman didn't flinch and said, 'yes' -- and then proceeded to mention The One and the scene with Moses!

    Never admit fault.  When will Dems learn?

    so true! sad but true! (none / 0) (#84)
    by hellothere on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 07:41:51 PM EST
    It's obvious. (5.00 / 3) (#73)
    by lentinel on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 06:56:36 PM EST
    You ask why the Obama campaign trots Kerry out. You say it is beyond your comprehension.

    That is because you are under the illusion that Kerry's position is different than Obama's.

    This is the quote from Obama spokesman Bill Burton: "As he's said many times before, Senator Obama honors and respects Senator McCain's service, and of course he rejects yesterday's statement by General Clark."

    It's exhausting.

    My compliments to Kerry (1.00 / 1) (#54)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:39:41 PM EST
    I didn't think he had it in him.

    Dead horse lives to (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:52:02 PM EST
    run another contest.  

    But, was Wesley Clark speaking as a surrogate of Sen. Obama?  

    No (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Donna Z on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:07:00 PM EST
    When Schieffer invited Clark the subject was to be international affairs.

    Clark made it very clear that he was not speaking as a surrogate. He also issued a statement that he will continue to voice his opinions and he doesn't need anyone's permission. Clark called it as he sees it: John McCain's experience, while honorable, does not include special advantages in the fight over who has national security/foreign policy. He has never formulated policy nor has he known high command. Make no mistake that the reason McCain polls well on these issues is because that is what he is hawking. Apparently, the Dems are happy sending Obama surrogates to do infomercials for McCain. Kerry might have been working for the republicans this morning.


    Wow! (none / 0) (#7)
    by GOPmurderedconscience on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:57:37 PM EST
    Kerry ran right into the trap.

    The MSM have such an easy time browbeating these guys into whatever apology and outrage they manufacture.

    Kerry is not particularly quick on his feet, courageous or particularly intelligent.

    This is the guy who never to came out to fight for his honor when people was running around deriding his accomplishments in Viet Nam.

    Not fair (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by cmugirl on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:00:16 PM EST
    I think John Kerry is highly intelligent.  He just doesn't communicate well.

    But he is boring and loves to bloviate, which is one reason Bush beat him - better soundbites, more "regular guy" stuff.


    I've already stated (none / 0) (#14)
    by angie on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:02:36 PM EST
    that I thought it was a bad move for Clark to let himself say this specific comment because it creates a "sound bite" that is easily manipulated out of context in a way that sounds dismissive of McCain's military service that overshadows the real point Clark was making in that interview -- and I raised the ire of BTD by doing so. Unfortunately, subsequent events have proved my fears right. The obvious answer when this unfortunate sound bite is brought up is: "Taking Gen. Clark's comment out of context like this unfairly distorts the point he was making, which is that while McCain's military service is admirable, it is not in and off itself, a qualification to be President. And I agree wholeheartedly with that." That should be the line the campaign takes when this comment is brought up, and Kerry is a moron for not saying that, but considering that Obama himself took the same tack, I'm not surprised that Kerry did the same.

    Actually it would have been a (none / 0) (#15)
    by MarkL on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:03:17 PM EST
    devastating sound bite, if other Democrats had agreed with him.

    Wouldda, shouldda, couldda (none / 0) (#70)
    by angie on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 06:46:59 PM EST
    Other Dems did not do that & the line they are taking (i.e., "Clark was wrong"; "what a terrible thing to say") only makes it worse. So, I was, unfortunately, proven right.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:13:07 PM EST
    We read you before on this. You are still wrong.

    No need to rehash why you are wrong.

    The posts and threads exist.


    Actually they don't (none / 0) (#71)
    by angie on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 06:49:27 PM EST
    Most of the exchange has been deleted from the thread. Too heated, I suppose.  
    And, in case you didn't notice, what I feared would happen (other Dems running away from the one sound bite because of the way it "sounds" and NOT standing up & insisting that what Gen. Clark said be taken in context) is exactly what you are complaining about from Kerry).

    For the sake of argument, I still think Clark's (none / 0) (#17)
    by rjarnold on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:05:17 PM EST
    statement was dumb. Bob Somerby has a good explanation why.

    clark was probably a little over the top. (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by hellothere on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 07:36:05 PM EST
    but it was wrong to just turn on him. repubs often defend their own right or wrong. it may not be right, but they are more disciplined as a general rule.

    Bob was wrong (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:09:45 PM EST
    I posted on why when it happened.

    Bob sounds like John Kerry in those posts. Really stupid stuff from the normally astute Somerby.


    A painful reminder of the first Bush/ (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:08:07 PM EST
    Kerry debate.

    For Bush supporters, I guess. (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by beachmom on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:30:59 PM EST
    Kerry destroyed Bush in the first debate.  Even Bush admits it.

    But he lost the election. (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:35:18 PM EST
    Clinton destroyed Obama in the debates.  So what.  I was referring to Kerry's extreme reluctance on the issue of the Iraq war to take a firm stand.

    Well your analogy still makes no sense to me. nt (none / 0) (#37)
    by beachmom on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:38:46 PM EST
    Larry? (none / 0) (#39)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:43:53 PM EST
    Really? (none / 0) (#42)
    by squeaky on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:01:41 PM EST
    I like Hillary too but I think that you are exaggerating here.

    What? Not everone agrees with me? (none / 0) (#67)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 06:26:31 PM EST
    Wow. Are you going to post (none / 0) (#76)
    by tree on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 07:16:14 PM EST
    a link to all the idiot reports that Bush won the debates with Gore in 2000, too? They have as about as much weight as your link here.

    No (none / 0) (#90)
    by squeaky on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 08:46:09 PM EST
    Clinton destroyed Obama in the debates.

    I believe that this statement is an exaggeration. Sorry that you do not share my opinion, even is we agreed that Hillary won.


    And you chose to use the same kind of (none / 0) (#108)
    by tree on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 11:49:24 PM EST
    sources that touted Bush "winning" the debates with Gore in 2000 to "prove" your point. THAT was my point. I didn't object to you having an opinion, regardless of whether I agreed with it or not. I just thought your "proof" was rather funny and pathetic.

    Simple Google Search (none / 0) (#115)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 01:34:52 PM EST
    My point exactly. (none / 0) (#117)
    by tree on Thu Aug 07, 2008 at 09:46:52 AM EST
    A simple google search would have pointed out myriad sources that claimed that Gore lost the debates because he sighed too much, or he physically intimidated Bush, or he was too much the know-it-all. This does not "prove" that saying Gore won the debates with Bush on the merits was an exaggeration.

    Actually, I liked Kerry (none / 0) (#114)
    by weltec2 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 04:26:15 AM EST
    until he ran for president. I don't think he should have done it.

    He did and he didn't.. (none / 0) (#112)
    by daria g on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 01:29:41 AM EST
    Kerry certainly would have won on points if it had been a debate contest, and Bush looked extremely foolish.  But then, what struck me was that Kerry's demeanor and style made it seem like the stakes were simply whether or not he could defeat Bush in a debate contest. Just an observation.

    I actually think Kerry won OH. (none / 0) (#25)
    by masslib on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:21:38 PM EST

    I suspect (none / 0) (#26)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:29:24 PM EST
    that Obama doesn't have a choice in the matter.  Kerry is running vicariously through Obama, and there's nothing Obama could do to shut him up.

    it just might be that obama owes kerry big time. (none / 0) (#81)
    by hellothere on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 07:37:14 PM EST
    as he has to do payback and let them have face time.

    I always thought the Media had direct (none / 0) (#29)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:03:48 PM EST
    lines to the politicians and they chose who would appear on their programming.

    If the democrats are assigning their members to represent them on these programs, I don't honestly think they watch enough of it to know how good or bad any of them perform.

    They sure weren't paying attention to anything the candidates were saying during the primary, or since.

    I'll stick up for Kerry on one point (none / 0) (#30)
    by ruffian on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:06:30 PM EST
    He was good at nailing McCain on the 'Anbar awakening predates the surge' talking point.  He has that one down cold with no extra bloviating or hemming and hawing.  But even so, Lieberman had good comebacks.

    I wish Lieberman had been that feisty debating Cheney.

    How sad you can't recognize grace. (none / 0) (#32)
    by beachmom on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:28:10 PM EST
    What a sad, sad post.  So expressing your admiration for someone who went through years of torture and imprisonment and endured it, while just as forcefully saying their politics are dead wrong is now considered being a bad surrogate?

    So if it were up to you, our surrogates should be attacking McCain's service, eh?  Let's become just like Rove, eh?

    Well, you never liked Kerry so this post shouldn't surprise me.  That doesn't make it right.

    Well (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by Steve M on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:37:21 PM EST
    I think we all recognize that you are John Kerry's #1 supporter, but still, you shouldn't have to rewrite BTD's post in order to criticize it.  Do you honestly think BTD is arguing that Democrats should be attacking McCain's service?

    The point is that lauding McCain's service in this particular context equates to an admission that Wes Clark attacked McCain's service.  Kerry is saying "I disagree with Wes Clark, I respect McCain's service."  That's just a miserable way to go about it.

    I do, personally, wonder why Democrats are so insistent on falling over themselves to praise McCain's service even as McCain himself goes around saying that Obama wants the US to lose the war, Obama is the candidate of Hamas, etc., but maybe that's just me.  Personally, I do not think we would be "attacking McCain's service" if we broke the habit of starting every sentence by saying what a great American he is.


    Qualification. (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by lentinel on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 07:03:27 PM EST
    It seem evident to me that Clark was saying that being a good or great soldier does not qualify someone for the presidency.
    Seems like a no-brainer. There are thousands of brave soldiers out there. Does Brokaw and the other dumbbells think they are all qualified?

    And what exactly does Obama and Kerry think is so wrong about what Clark said?

    Or are they just right-wingers in liberal-sheep clothing?


    well it seems to be that senators sometimes (none / 0) (#82)
    by hellothere on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 07:39:25 PM EST
    think they are still in the senate even on a sunday pundit show.

    Bt the way, here is the headline on the WP blog (none / 0) (#35)
    by beachmom on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:35:37 PM EST
    Kerry Accuses GOP of 'Character Assassination'

    Now that is the kind of headline the Obama campaign wants.  Whoops, looks like it is you who are wrong, BTD, and Kerry is Obama's top surrogate, unlike Clark who created a big mess forcing the Obama campaign to go into damage control and go off message for days.


    Forced them off message? (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by ruffian on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 06:04:26 PM EST
    Clark's point should be part of the message. If they had backed him up they would have helped themselves.

    Making my point (none / 0) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:31:38 PM EST

    Kerry is said to be defaming McCain, even though he said "he was in awe" of him.

    What a pathetic pol Kerry is.

    A loser.


    I have to agree (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Jjc2008 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 06:20:30 PM EST
    I lost all respect for Kerry when he wouldn't stand up to the Swift Boaters strongly and make sure the public knew they were a**h*le liars and cheats.

    He was never my first choice because imo he is a terribly boring speaker.   But I supported him when he won the nom.  I think he resents the Clintons and is intimidated by Hillary.  

    But most of all he and Ted Kennedy betrayed the voters of their state.  MA was for Senator Clinton and instead of representing their state they came out for Obama.  WHY?  Because these too old style dems are afraid they cannot control Hillary like they can Obama.  IMO they had no right to do that....as delegates they should be representing their state not putting their own issues with women ahead of the voters.


    um...where was the corporate media in 04? (none / 0) (#116)
    by cougar on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 01:39:18 PM EST
    oH yeh..in the RNC's pocket.

    And where was the DNC?  Oh yeh...playing hide-n-go seek.

    I have no respect for people who don't comprehend the fact that THE CORPORATE MEDIA'S INFRASTRUCTURE and the WHOLE REPUBULICAN party stood against ONE CANDIDATE and yet the DNC sat on their collective asses and let only five people defend Kerry/Edwards:

    1. Kerry/Edwards
    2. Clarke
    3. Dean
    4. Max Clellan

    What an ingrate (none / 0) (#120)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Aug 07, 2008 at 10:23:27 AM EST
    Bill Clinton got out of his hospital bed against Drs' advice to campaign in person for Kerry in Philadelphia; the Clintons supported Kerry all the way; most of us did, because no rules were bent or broken by Kerry in clinching the nomination.

    WTF? McCain IS in the business (none / 0) (#56)
    by beachmom on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:42:13 PM EST
    of character assassination.  It's a good headline, because it's the truth.  It is hard hitting.

    I'm beginning to understand the (none / 0) (#57)
    by MarkL on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:44:00 PM EST
    mindset and vocabulary of the Kerry Cargo Cultists.
    "Hard Hitting" is what the rest of us call piteous whingeing.

    So right (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by ruffian on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:59:02 PM EST
    I was going to rewrite the headline as to what people hear when the read "Dems accuse character assassination".  They hear "Dems whine pitifully'.

    Yes (none / 0) (#92)
    by bridget on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 08:57:07 PM EST
    Wow -- Kerry Just Nailed (none / 0) (#59)
    by Edgar08 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:54:56 PM EST
    The Obama campaign....

    "They've decided they can't win on the issues, so they've decided to try to destroy her character,"

    Help (none / 0) (#121)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Aug 07, 2008 at 10:25:09 AM EST
    I don't understand what you're referring to -- could you provide some context?  Thanks.

    I'm afraid to look (none / 0) (#64)
    by ruffian on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 06:07:12 PM EST
    Does Kerry demand an apology too?

    That is always a strong position to take.


    Clark also campaigned tirelessly (none / 0) (#119)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Aug 07, 2008 at 10:20:04 AM EST
    for John Kerry. The least Kerry could have done was to have said that he also respects Clark but did not agree with Clark's opinion on the applicability of McCain's service to being CIC.