John Kerry rated most vain member of the Senate
Kerry tried to get McCain on his ticket
Kerry's vote for war
Greg Pierce Washington Times - Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, voted for the Iraq war resolution in 2002 after weighing the political ramifications and being told by his future campaign manager that he would never be elected president in 2004 unless he sided with President Bush on the issue, according to a forthcoming book by Mr. Kerry's former strategist. . . [Robert Shrum] writes that Mr. Kerry telephoned him on the eve of the Oct. 11, 2002, vote. Mr. Shrum said that Mr. Kerry was skeptical of Mr. Bush's claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that he "didn't trust Bush to give the diplomatic route a real chance." Nonetheless, Mr. Kerry asked Mr. Shrum whether he would "be a viable general election candidate if he was in the small minority of senators who voted no." Mr. Shrum wrote that he told Mr. Kerry that it was "impossible to predict the political fallout if we went to war." But he wrote that Jim Jordan, Mr. Kerry's former Senate press secretary and future campaign manager, "was insisting that he had to vote with Bush." Mr. Shrum wrote that Mr. Jordan had "hammered" Mr. Kerry with a warning: "Go ahead and vote against it if you want, but you'll never be president of the United States." Mr. Kerry voted for the war resolution, and Mr. Jordan became Mr. Kerry's campaign manager three months later.
Follow the bouncing Kerry
[Collected by James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal]
We cannot have it both ways in the war in Iraq. - June 2006
Yea. - vote on authorizing military force to liberate Iraq, Oct. 12, 2002
Even having botched the diplomacy, it is the duty of any president, in the final analysis, to defend this nation and dispel the security threat. . . . Saddam Hussein has brought military action upon himself by refusing for 12 years to comply with the mandates of the United Nations. - March 18, 2003
I voted to authorize. It was the right vote, and the reason I mentioned the threat is that we gave the--we had to give life to the threat. If there wasn't a legitimate threat, Saddam Hussein was not going to allow inspectors in. Now, let me make two points if I may. Ed [Gordon] questioned my answer. The reason I can't tell you to a certainty whether the president misled us is because I don't have any clue what he really knew about it, or whether he was just reading what was put in front of him. And I have no knowledge whether or not this president was in depth--I just don't know that. And that's an honest answer, and there are serious suspicions about the level to which this president really was involved in asking the questions that he should've. With respect to the question of, you know, the vote--let's remember where we were. If there hadn't been a vote, we would never have had inspectors. And if we hadn't voted the way we voted, we would not have been able to have a chance of going to the United Nations and stopping the president, in effect, who already had the votes, and who was obviously asking serious questions about whether or not the Congress was going to be there to enforce the effort to create a threat. So I think we did the right thing. I'm convinced we did. -Sept. 9, 2003
Nay - vote on $87 billion to fund operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, Oct. 17, 2003
I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it. - March 16, 2004
The president made a mistake in invading Iraq. - Sept. 30, 2004
No. - answer to Jim Lehrer's question "Are Americans now dying in Iraq for a mistake?," Sept. 30, 2004
I was wrong to vote for that Iraqi resolution. - June 13, 2006
Alexander Cockburn, Counterpunch - In the early days of his Senate career Kerry made headlines with hearings on contra-CIA drug smuggling and on BCCI, the crooked Pakistani bank linked to the CIA. Some of the Senate elders must have told him to mind his manners. The watchdog's barks died abruptly.
Kerry offers himself up mainly as a more competent manager of the Bush agenda, a steadier hand on the helm of the Empire. His pedigree is immaculate. He was a founder-member of the Democratic Leadership Council, the claque of neo-liberals that has sought to reshape it as a hawkish and pro-business party with a soft spot for abortion-essentially a stingier version of the Rockefeller Republicans. Kerry enthusiastically backed both of Bush's wars, and in June of 2004, at the very moment Bush signaled a desire to retreat, the senator called for 25,000 new troops to be sent to Iraq, with a plan for the US military to remain entrenched there for at least the next four years.
Kerry supported the Patriot Act without reservation or even much contemplation. Lest you conclude that this was a momentary aberration sparked by the post-9/11 hysteria, consider the fact that Kerry also voted for the two Clinton-era predecessors to the Patriot Act, the 1994 Crime Bill and the 1996 Counter-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act.
Although, once his nomination was assured he regularly hammed it up in photo-ops with the barons of big labor, Kerry voted for NAFTA, the WTO and virtually every other job-slashing trade pact that came before the Senate. He courted and won the endorsement of nearly every police association in the nation, regularly calling for another 100,000 cops on the streets and even tougher criminal sanctions against victimless crimes. He refused to reconsider his fervid support for the insane war on drug users, which has destroyed families and clogged our prisons with more than 2 million people, many of them young black men, whom the draconian drug laws specifically target without mercy. Kerry backed the racist death penalty and minimum mandatory sentences.
Like Joe Lieberman, Kerry marketed himself as a cultural prude, regularly chiding teens about the kind of clothes they wear, the music they listen to and the movies they watch. But even Lieberman didn't go so far as to support the Communications Decency Act. Kerry did.
Kerry the jock
Mark Steyn, London Telegraph - I find it hard to believe that getting to know John F Kerry can possibly work to his advantage. He was in Wisconsin the other day, pretending to be a regular guy, and was asked what kind of hunting he preferred. "I'd have to say deer," said the senator. "I go out with my trusty 12-gauge double-barrel, crawl around on my stomach... That's hunting."
This caused huge hilarity among my New Hampshire neighbors. None of us has ever heard of anybody deer hunting by crawling around on his stomach, even in Massachusetts. The trick is to blend in with the woods and, given that John Kerry already looks like a forlorn tree in late fall, it's hard to see why he'd give up his natural advantage in order to hunt horizontally. Possibly his weird Vietnam nostalgia is getting out of control. Still, if I come across a guy in the woods in deer season inching through the undergrowth with a mouthful of bear scat, at least I'll know who it is. Conversely, if you're a 14-point buck and get shot in the toe this autumn, you'll know who to sue.
Greg Pierce, Washington Times - Sportswriter Peter Gammons, in a column last week on ESPN's Web site, took Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry to task for pretending to be a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan. "So who puts the bug in candidates' ears about seeming what they are not?" Mr. Gammons asked. "John Kerry last week professed to be a big fan of 'Manny Ortez,' then re-emphasized the phoofery by correcting it to 'David Ortez.' No, that was Dave (Baby) Cortez and 'The Happy Organ.' A few years back Kerry went on a Boston station with Eddie Andelman and said 'my favorite Red Sox player of all time is The Walking Man, Eddie Yost,' who never played for the Red Sox."
Cost of John Kerry's Ottrott bicycle: $8,000
How to get a lot of nuance
Jonathan Weisman, Washington Post - From a tight knit group of experienced advisers, John F. Kerry's presidential campaign has grown exponentially in recent months to include a cast literally of thousands, making it difficult to manage an increasingly unwieldy policy apparatus. The campaign now includes 37 separate domestic policy councils and 27 foreign policy groups, each with scores of members. The justice policy task force alone includes 195 members. The environmental group is roughly the same size, as is the agriculture and rural development council. Kerry counts more than 200 economists as his advisers.
Wonkette - A Wonkette campaign trail operative gives us an observation about Kerry's attempts to ape W.'s regular-guy demeanor with the press corps: "He wants come over and kind of punch you in the shoulder in a friendly way, but when he does it, he really punches you. It hurts." And, added our operative, "He doesn't actually talk to you. He just punches you in the shoulder."