The Berkshire County Republican Association has asked me to briefly comment on John Kerry pulling out of the race for the White House in 2008. They probably don’t understand that I am not a republican, but I think anyone who opposes the Democratic agenda is welcome in the BCRA in Berkshire County (the population is over 85% Blue). Here is the short piece. Below is the text in full.
John Kerry prudently pulled out of what is shaping up to be an exciting race for the Presidency in 2008.
He and his supporters claim that the move enables him to spend the remaining two years of President Bush’s administration making up for the fact that he voted the wrong way on Iraq in 2002. Don’t expect a flip-flop on this pronouncement any time soon.
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Senator Kerry is merely covering up several inconvenient truths about his political situation. First is that, fair or not, he simply does not have the star power to compete with the heavy hitters that have thrown their hat in the ring for 2008. When have we seen the popular power, the historical significance, or the money in either the Democratic primary (Obama and Hillary) or the general election (Rudy Guiliani, Michael Bloomberg, John McCain).
Second, focusing on a low-probability presidential run would leave him without a job come 2009, being that his Senate seat is up for grabs in 2008 – a race he is likely to struggle to win anyway.
Third, even if Senator Kerry’s popularity were higher within the Democratic Party, the huge issue in the 2008 election outside of the Iraq war is sure to be health care. Given that Former Governor Romney will be running on the implementation of the Massachusetts health plan (destined to suffer the same ill fate as TennCare), which Kerry had little involvement with, and that Kerry’s catastrophic reinsurance health plan from the 2004 election (which happens to have a legitimate place in the debate) was wildly unpopular, any current position of his on health care would garner little traction in a Democratic Party enamored with “universal health care.”
Finally, Senator Kerry wants to preserve his legacy. With the well-oiled Bill and Hillary machine ready to rumble, Obamania in full swing, and most of the Democratic candidates staking out their place in the upcoming campaign, Kerry’s weak 2004 showing and lack of significant policy vision is likely to be replayed time and again in the caucuses, and more importantly in the press. Or worse, he may simply be forgotten. Neither he, nor his supporters within the Democratic Party wish to see that outcome.