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whometense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 06:47 PM
Original message
A personal rant, for what it's worth.
I've said this to Senator Kerry himself, and I firmly believe it - that though Obama's an immensely talented politician, his campaign rests firmly on the very broad shoulders of Kerry's 2004 campaign. Without the foundation Kerry laid last time, Obama would be in the same place Kerry was when he, with ZERO help from the democratic party had to build a campaign structure for the 21st century from scratch, and all on his own.

I see no point whatsoever in revisiting any aspect of Kerry's 2004 campaign four years after the fact except to admire what he was able to accomplish. Who the hell cares what the dead-enders who can't let go have to say? What possible relevance do they have, looking steadily backwards only to carp and blame?

Anyone who at this late date is still blaming 2004 on Kerry or on the very admirable even though imperfect campaign he ran is living in the past and does not merit being listened to any more. They've had 3+ long years to whine, and their time is up. And I refuse to hear any more of it.

If you say you admire Kerry, take a page from his playbook. Look to the future, where we can actually hope to make a difference. Do whatever you can do to move things forward. Ignore whiners. Don't get mad, get even.

Sorry for the rant, but some of the stuff I've been reading in this forum has my blood at a slow boil. It's depressing and demoralizing to dwell on the past, especially when there is so much work to be done right now.
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politicasista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. I know this rant
Edited on Sat Mar-15-08 07:51 PM by politicasista
is mostly directed at what I have said, then forget I even said anything.


My apologies if my comments came out as 100% Kerry bashing. And apologies to the group for bringing it all or anything else up. I won't say no more because it may get twisted as bashing Kerry and/or defending others. It's bad enough when you get treated mean just for bringing up anything now.


Again, apologies.
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ladym55 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
2. Trust me, I've noticed
Kerry's campaign where I live in Ohio was staffed by people from places like New Jersey and Michigan ... and the local party folks were largely invisible. However, 100's showed up each fall weekend to help, and many (like me) had never done work like this before. I liked working on the campaign because it was very positive and forward-looking. It was clear to us that we weren't to go down in the muck with the Republicans.

The local folks who volunteered for Kerry developed local grassroots action and have done well. However, now it seems that we are divided between Hillary and Obama. Hillary has the support of all the local Dems who made themselves scarce at Kerry headquarters 4 years ago, so during the primary, she had many resources Obama didn't have. Still Obama used many of the same methods Kerry used and chopped Hillary's 20-point lead in half.

I troubled by the fact that many of the people who worked so hard for Kerry in 2004 now support Hillary because "she's a fighter." She's not my kind of fighter. It was during the primary campaign for Ohio that Hillary went from second choice to eww, yuck. (and no, I will in NO way vote for an old man with an anger management problem in November)

I am tired of everyone blaming Kerry for 2004. I still think the party should have looked at how WELL he did and built on that for 2008. In the end, I think it was the similarities to Kerry's campaign that drew me toward Obama. I have liked his forward view.
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MarjorieG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Movements and structure build. Why the scarcity of Dems last time?
Why was the shell of a party throughout the country still not showing up?

Kerry has resilience and he's a grown-up. Obama is showing maturity as well. Is the country ready to vote for a cerebral orator, who likes diplomacy?

When pundits say Obama needs to relate his oratory to blue collar needs, maybe discussing more policy, how is he not already doing that?
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whometense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I think it's more a matter of the times catching up.
In 2004 Kerry's message was a bit ahead of where the majority of people were; you only have to look at the moron-in-chief's approval ratings to see that things have changed.

After a while people catch on to what's going on, even those who aren't paying obsessive attention. They are sick of scare tactics. They are sick of being lied to. And they're ready for things to change. JK paved the way for this to happen, and for the ground-up campaign Obama is running, and Obama is talented and smart enough to enlist JK's help and also to take advantage of the groundwork he laid.

At this point I don't see - I really, really don't - what is to be gained by continuing to pick apart the bones of 2004. If there are some who haven't those lessons by now, they're not ever going to learn them. We need to leave them behind, and not waste what energy we have to give arguing old arguments.
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louloulou Donating Member (24 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Two things
We were early adapters, as you've said. Kerry people got there months before the rest of the country. And that will more than likely always be true.

Also, Kerry's nomination and campaign gave the dems national security cred. Everyone knows the swiftboating for what it was now, and they know we are serious about national security. Without Kerry, there could be no Obama.

...but I'm a little biased. :hippie:
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 02:06 AM
Response to Reply #8
21. On terrorism - Kerry was not just months ahead, but nearly 2 years ahead!
You are right Kerry provided the Democrats with their national security cred and a large part of their foreign policy cred.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #21
35. Kerry was two DECADES ahead. IranContra and BCCI were basically about the funding
of terrorism through illegal operations sanctioned by official governments.
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Inuca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 06:58 AM
Response to Reply #8
22. I am a little biased too, but
I truly believe that, as you said, "Without Kerry, there could be no Obama".
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ladym55 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #4
39. Obama IS doing that
I heard him speak here in Ohio. He spoke for close to an hour and discussed the needs of the blue collar workers, NAFTA, jobs, and education.

Too bad pundits are so busy listening to themselves that they don't listen to what is going on.
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ginnyinWI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. our county Dems didn't even have an office prior to 04!
But the campaign got enough money and mobilization to get it done. We got a new Dem mayor for the county seat after that, and slowly are making our mark in this highly red county (Sensenbrenner's 5th district is partly here!)
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whometense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. Is he retiring?
Or did I only dream that he was? ;)
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ginnyinWI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 12:57 AM
Response to Reply #14
18. hah
Last I heard two guys were going to run against him, one from each party as a unity ticket. Then one of them gave up. What we've ended up with is a fizzle.

One can always dream he'll find being in the minority so boring that he'll find a reason to get out. He's a rich enough fat cat.
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MBS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 08:37 PM
Response to Original message
3. hooray!
A big :thumbsup:
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whometense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Thanks -
;-)

Here's to everyone who's looking ahead.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 10:59 PM
Response to Original message
7. Pretty much how I feel - anyone who doesn't GET by now what really happened
in 2004, doesn't want to at this point.
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ginnyinWI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 11:38 PM
Response to Original message
9. Exactly so, whome
Once again I agree with every word. Kerry did a lot to advance the party in '04, and Dean took it from there and has been building with his 50-state strategy. All of this helps Obama do what he needs to do this year. He's much more into the 50 state thing than HRC, apparently--and he's right. This will be healthy for down ticket races as well as the Presidential race.

Obama, were he in Kerry's place in 2004, would not have had as much success. But now he seems to be the right candidate for this time. We know this is only part of it--you have to be talented and qualified in many areas to succeed. But a stronger party doesn't hurt a bit. JK didn't have such a strong party last time, or I believe he'd be President right now.

Plus Obama's got some old Kerry advisers on board who have learned a few lessons in the school of hard knocks.

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whometense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 12:02 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. I'm really glad you mentioned Dean,
and I'm sorry I forgot to.

I think Dean's 50-state strategy is a huge part of Obama's success this year (credit Obama for being smart enough to figure out how to use it to his advantage - AND to the party's advantage as well. And the ground-up campaign comes from Dean's own campaign as well - credit Kerry for figuring out how to make it his own, too.

I was reading at The Field tonight and came across this: http://ruralvotes.com/thefield/?p=898#comment-9118

#
Josselyn in NY, on March 15th, 2008 at 6:01 pm Said:

Anybody want to weigh in on this off DailyKos?

The Clinton/McAuliffe wing of the party would like nothing more than to see Dean removed from the DNC, and frankly I see them using the fight over the seating of Michigan and FL delegates to be part of their attempt to bring him down in an fight about whose really has the power to make the rules in the Democratic Party.

http://dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/3/15/8222/89130/817/...


I believe this is true, and if it is true, it explains a lot.
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Luftmensch067 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 01:41 AM
Response to Reply #13
19. This is, I believe, the key
There is a war within the Democratic Party and it's been going on for some time, possibly long before 2004? I think and hope that this, from the Field, is true:

Todays advance by the Obama campaign in Iowas county conventions - the Obama camp claims a gain of 7 Democratic National Convention delegates, while the Clinton camp claims Obama gained only three - confirm a trend that is the media is slow to acknowledge:

Democratic Party leaders (including those formerly supporting John Edwards) are coalescing overwhelmingly behind Obama. The same trend is evident in how superdelegates nationwide have been breaking throughout the past six weeks toward Obama at a rate of five-to-one.


(Thanks to MBS for posting that over at the Obama forum!)

I know the Clinton/McAuliffe wing will fight 'til the death to hold on to their power, but with the hard work of Kerry, Dean and Obama, backed up by non-Beltway Democrats who see a bigger national picture, maybe their stranglehold is finally loosening...
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #19
27. I heard this nearly ten years ago - the struggle was the Clinton wing v Kennedy wing
of the party.

The Clinton wing would have viewed a Kerry win as a win of the Kennedy wing of the party and as a permanent loss of grip on the overall party.
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Luftmensch067 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 01:41 AM
Response to Reply #13
20. Accidentally posted comment twice! n/t
Edited on Sun Mar-16-08 01:43 AM by Luftmensch067
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MBS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #13
25. I also am certain that this is true
Yeah, it totally fits.
The Clintonistas seem to work to find ways to diss Dean whenever they can (those gratuitous parenthetical remarks, so reminiscent of similar statements about JK in certain circles. .), and fanning discontent about and/or disobedience to, the negotiated DNC plan for discipline on primary dates (which HRC AGREED TO originally) is all part of the deal.
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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #9
16. Good points. I especially liked your comments about the 50 state strategy helping down ticket races.
This is just as important as winning the top spot.
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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 11:38 PM
Response to Original message
10. I agree.
It is better to look to the future especially when the past is so painful.
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politicasista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 11:50 PM
Response to Original message
12. After re-reading the post and comments
Edited on Sun Mar-16-08 12:01 AM by politicasista
I agree with you. I understand it's important to look ahead and not look back. I am all for that, but I don't see anything wrong with setting the record straight about some things. There still is some things out there that some believe about the good senator. Why not prove them wrong? If someone says, "I am glad to be supporting _______, in 2004 I felt like I was voting for the lesser of two evils" Do you just let that slide or try to refute that?

And I never attacked or bashed Kerry at all. I don't see why I am being attacked here for just posting how I feel about all this.

I don't understand why people think I am putting Kerry down, when I am not.
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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. I would just tell them you disagree with them and leave it at that.
People like this are expecting people to agree with them.
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politicasista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 12:43 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. Yes. No need to add fuel to the fire
Anyway, I will just keep my opinions about 04 and everything else to myself from now on so I won't rock the boat.
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whometense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #17
23. This isn't about "rocking the boat"
We're not delicate flowers who can't bear to hear an opinion that differs from ours. If we were that weak we wouldn't still be fervent Kerry supporters, would we?

I think the point is to post items that are forward-thinking and useful. Or just supportive or interesting. We all know well at this late date how many people out there refuse to hear the truth about JK, and refuse to give him any credit. If that was new news, fine. But bringing up the same old thing again and again and again is pointless, exhausting and demoralizing.
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Luftmensch067 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. For me, that is indeed the point
Edited on Sun Mar-16-08 09:31 AM by Luftmensch067
There's nothing wrong with questions and analyses, per se, but every time I see a post in here that rehashes 2004, I do consider it a waste of energy, definitely "exhausting and demoralizing." I've always assumed that when Politicasista posts that kind of thing, she's reacting to what she's perceiving either in the AA community or in her own family, and that it might be a form of venting -- this being a "safe" place where a lot of us feel like we can come and talk about how it has sometimes been painful to hear the doubts and ignorance about JK and 2004 with people who understand that pain. It's also seemed like she considers it her duty to alert us to negative comment on JK in her community.

To a point, I think this has been useful -- we all need a haven sometimes and it has been useful, speaking for myself, to hear about AA views that I would otherwise have missed.

The reaction over the last couple of days speaks to an evolution in this forum's collective attitude. It doesn't seem to me to be any kind of "personal" attack on Politicasista or an assumption that she doesn't support JK, but rather a collective expression that we know there is negativity out there about JK and this forum is ALSO a haven from that. At this point, such posts no longer serve the positive purpose they did in the past.

Most importantly, JK has absolutely moved on and is working for the future and in a new presidential campaign, even if it's not his own. Kerry supporters are strong and positive and indefatigable, but part of that, in my view, is the kind of optimism and faith and determination we relate to in Kerry himself. That's the strength we call on to keep fighting and doubt and worry is an energy drain as we fight.

Polticasista, I consider you and your posts a vital part of this forum -- please hear the comments in these threads as a confirmation of what we all, including you, share in our support for JK. We can give each other strength as we follow JK in fighting for progress.
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politicasista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. And I appreciate and respect that
Edited on Sun Mar-16-08 04:00 PM by politicasista
and appreciate and respect that the good senator has moved on to do good things, even if he doesn't get credit or recognition for it. I respect that. And I have no problem with that.

What I have a problem with is that every time I have brought up something about Kerry of late, it has been taken out of context or twisted as bashing or attacking Kerry, while defending other Democrats. I have never bashed or attacked the senator for anything in this forum, and am beginning to feel like I can't say anything without being dumped on. It's bad enough when you get accused by a fellow political blogging friend (the HRC supporter I posted about a while back) as being a part of the "Anti-Clinton brigade" (i.e. bringing up stabbing Kerry in the back and other things) when I have never said anything bad about HRC ever.

If I am going to be treated like "crap" or some outsider from GDP for posting something that people may not like or from the other side, then I will just keep my comments to myself and not post them anymore.
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Luftmensch067 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. Politicasista, I was hoping to make clear my perception
That despite vehemence of tone, no one here (as far as I can see) is trying to bash you personally or treat you like crap. Your comments are valued. You're part of this group and I don't think anyone is taking your remarks out of context, just noting that rehashing 2004 can be an energy drain. I think everyone here knows you are a JK supporter; now it is up to you not to take offence, but to try to get what people are saying. Which, from what you wrote in your first paragraph, you already have. As someone noted, this is a difficult time and we're all on edge. Just as you would like others to take it on faith that you support JK and would never "bash" or "attack" him, please try to take it on faith that you're among friends here, even when tempers fray! :grouphug:
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politicasista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. I enjoy being friends among here
Thanks. :grouphug: :hi:


I will just take a break for a while to regain some political perpective (or find a fresh one).

And apologies to everyone for posting anything out of the ordinary.
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politicasista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #23
30. No, we wouldn't
Maybe I am listening to the wrong people or getting wrong news from somewhere. I understand this is a losing argument here and I agree with your rant.

Check your pm. :hi:
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
26. A few points:
Edited on Sun Mar-16-08 11:11 AM by beachmom
First, I agree with you Whometense on how Kerry laid the foundation for Obama. However, most people just don't know this, and frankly, most will not believe us. Dean has been labelled the grassroots guy who reinvigorated the party. Kerry has alternately been labelled the "loser" (just like Gore) or sometimes, when a journalist does the research, that Kerry had the right ideas, i.e. he was the Idea Man.

A lot of people are still not over 2004, and are still resentful. The truth is Kerry DID make mistakes, and had one gaffe "I voted for it before I voted against it", which was very unfortunate and really hurt him because the GOP had already branded him a "flip flopper". If you want to convince people with the other arguments, it helps to come across as intellectually honest and acknowledge his mistakes. Same with the IWR vote. Just the other day, I said he was wrong to vote that way, that it regrettably might have been a decision made with presidential politics in mind, BUT .... then I said all the positive things he has done. The person who was naysaying Kerry responded simply, "I agree". That's how you get people on your side.

As you know, life is more nuanced than how most people talk in the political arena. I admire Kerry just as much for his human failings, as for his triumphs. It's the fact that he can get up in the morning and keep fighting in spite of mistakes he made (including the self inflicted wound of voting for the Iraq War, which will never heal) or injustices bestowed on him. He is a real person who is unique because of his never ending belief that as a leader in this country he can "make the world a better place" (a job description I saw when he was hiring internet people). Humility can go a long way, so don't forget to factor that in when making your arguments.

I just wanted to add that Obama has two things that Kerry didn't: a record of opposing the Iraq War in no uncertain terms and an incredible speaking gift. Kerry is a fantastic speaker when he's on, but Obama is the most talented speaker in a generation.
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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #26
32. I won't disagree with most of what you said, however, I personally do not think the IWR
vote was done with politics in mind. I do not come to that conclusion at all knowing what I do about Senator Kerry and the difficult time he had making this decision to vote yes. He did as much research as he could, asked the right people about the situation and wrote those well thought out and painful words that he presented in his floor speech. I just think to suggest to people that he played politics with this decision is wrong. I would never suggest that to people. My comments always refer to his wanting to do what he thought best to insure our country's safety.
And, I have said it before, Obama may have been consistent with his war votes, but he never had to make a decision on the one that counted the most- the IWR. And, he voted against the Kerry-Feingold bill calling it precipitous withdraw. This doesn't mean I will not vote for him, it just means his record on the war is being distorted and many think he actually voted no on the important IWR.
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. Well, I believe the account in the BG that said there were presidential politics involved.
Edited on Sun Mar-16-08 06:30 PM by beachmom
However, I respect you coming at it from a different POV.

Edit: agreed that Obama didn't have to vote on it, and that should be taken into consideration. Still, given the way Michael Moore was treated, protesting the war at the Academy Awards in 2003 (he was booed by HOLLYWOOD), I think it took guts to speak out against it, when clearly, Obama had long term political ambitions.

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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 10:56 PM
Response to Reply #33
38. That is a good point , Senator Obama did take a risk opposing the IWR in 2002.
His opinion definitely was not the popular one back then.
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MBS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. thank you n/t
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ray of light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #26
36. agree with some of what you say except the biggest thing Obama has had that Kerry hasn't had
Edited on Sun Mar-16-08 08:46 PM by ray of light
is threefold.

1. He's got John Kerry and his team providing a solid infrastructure that Kerry didn't receive from the Clinton/Gore people.

2. He's had better timing overall. By that I mean, in 2004, people were not ready for a progressive President. They also hadn't seen the Katrina failures; they hadn't suffered this HORRIBLE economy! (My 401k is 1/3 less than it was just 6 months ago!!!). The job loss in those 'swing states' is much much worse than in 04. And they didn't have the info on the DOJ, illegal spying, Libby charge and verdict and commutation of his crimes, and so on.

I disagree with you that the IWR was a factor in 04. I won't add anymore about the Kerry/Feingold vote because I don't want to give the other side ammo. However, the IRW=Kerry/Feingold 2005 and 2006. For Hillary it might be those votes as well as the Kyle-LIEberman vote on Iran.

3. The only thing that Obama has that Kerry doesn't is tremendous oratory skills and even now, it's clear that if there was an Achilles heel about Kerry, it was how he looked uncomfortable and stiff on the screen.
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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. You are correct on Hillary's votes. The vote on Iran has me real concerned.
The Republicans have not had much to say about Hillary of late all their attacks have been directed at Obama. Now, that just might be because he is leading, but it could be the Republican would rather face Hillary in the fall. They figure if she wins she will be close to their feeling on Iran and who knows- even the Iraq War. I have never bought her about face position on the Iraq War. I don't feel as though she can be trusted to do what she says. On the other hand, Senator Obama seems to be a man of his word.
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 08:05 AM
Response to Reply #36
40. I agree with you that voting for the IWR as far as the general electorate was concerned
wasn't a deal breaker. What I am speaking of is that it wasn't a vote that fit Kerry, and that he had trouble explaining his vote. Consequently, that made people more conducive to believing he was a flip flopper, just a politician, or not strong enough in his convictions. The irony is that his lack of being able to "bullshit" about the vote showed how strong his convictions were.

I think it is possible that Kerry could have still lost even if he had made less mistakes, or even if he had voted no to the IWR. 2004 was not a cycle going in the Democrats' direction. I remember being horrified by the Beslan School Massacre; that alone could have swung the "soccer Mom" vote to Bush, simply under the notion of not changing horses in the middle of a frightening time in our country.
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ginnyinWI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #36
41. All very good points. Oratory skill has become so important.

I think there's room to respect and admire both men for their great talents. I agree that Obama is particularly gifted as a speaker. Kerry is very good now, better than he was when he first ran during his primary season, but he had to grow into it over the course of the campaign. At first he was quite stiff and his vocabulary way too high for general consumption--he was using his Senate way of speaking but it was lost on most people. By the end he was a lot better, but a lot of time had been lost. People like us loved his speeches and hung on every word, but for many they sailed right over their heads--too wonky. The average factory worker just couldn't absorb it, so they couldn't identify with Kerry as easily as they might have.

By contrast, Obama has been like a natural right out of the starting gate. I read something about how after one of his earliest state campaigns that he lost, he realized that it was partly because his speech wasn't accessible to most people, and he changed and simplified it. So he's had that straightened out from the start of this campaign.

As an example, I just want to mention last night's RTWH on C-span. Michelle was shown somewhere in PA giving her stump speech. She's inspiring and full of strong convictions and really appeals to the best in us when she talks about the kind of America Barack wants--his vision. I can listen to her give that speech over and over. Then Bill Clinton came next with a speech he gave this week. It was more of a "talk"--a very wonky talk--one of those standard Dem laundry list of ills spoken in rapid-fire style, rattling of one social or economic or foreign policy ill after another and why it needs to be addressed. Not inspiring but more depressing or anxiety-causing. Very boring, and compared to Michelle he came off as arrogant--like, "you'd better listen to me because if you don't we're all going to be in serious trouble". Simply a big turn-off, which is what I did after FF'ding through a bit of it to see if it would get any better--and it didn't.

Kerry did some of this laundry-list kind of speaking too, in 2004, and I can remember being impatient with it. It seemed like he was trying to pack too many points into one speech, and the message got diluted. But he doesn't do this anymore, and his speeches have become very inspirational! The latest one where he endorsed Obama was simply dynamite. Some of them learn, and some of them really don't--I'm shocked that Bill, who is supposed to be such a great politician, hasn't adapted. This is Old-Style Dem Politics, and we don't need this now. We need a speaker who can uplift us and unify us with--yes I'll say the cliched word--Hope.
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MBS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #41
42. thanks for speaking up (so to speak : )) for JK's speaking style
It really has improved since the 2004 campaign . Actually, his speaking improved DURING the 2004 campaign. This is one of the several things about JK that's so inspiring to me: he keeps growing!
And, whatever you might think about speaking style, Sen. Kerry ALWAYS has been a better debater than any of the 2008 candidates.
Personally, I also think that he's better on TV interviews and informal town-hall-type conversations than Obama has been so far. That's one reason why he's such an effective surrogate and supporter for him.
Absolutely, Obama is an inspirational speaker, and -- the deal maker for me -- he seems to appeal to our better angels. (I'll leave you to infer the contrast with others. . ).
But Kerry's no slouch in this department himself. As you said, his formal endorsement speech in South Carolina was fantastic. And he's been consistently funny, insightful, passionate, and focused, both in his speeches for Obama and on recent TV interviews, time after time. When I see Kerry lately, I see a man on a mission, a man comfortable with himself, a man who is happy. A man who continues to work hard to make our country a better place -- and actually making progress!I just get happy thinking about how happy he looks these days.
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
43. I have been out of the system for a few days for personal matters, but I have to say that this
thread confirms to me that I have to stay out of politics. Not because of you whometense, as I agree totally with you. Kerry is the ultimate early adopter and his 2004 campaign has pretty much set the agenda for the next 10 years in Democratic politics. Many of what Obama has adopted, including bringing people together, were already there and it is not a stretch to say that Obama would not be where he was if Kerry had not given him this huge opportunity, and in my opinion, he was right in that too. And, I agree, it is time to move on with the 04 campaign.

However, this thread around the oratory skills of Obama and Kerry bothered me and made me somewhat mad. First, I have to say that I find Deval Patrick's oratory skills a lot better than Obama. Second, I think Kerry was right the other day when he said a MSNBC person that the media do not want people to speak. Sorry, rehashing whether Obama has better oratory skills than Kerry is a loss of time and energy, just as it would be a loss of time to insist that Kerry has debater skills that are better than Obama. Both are irrelevant. Few people do see these speeches, just as few people saw the 04 Kerry speeches. What should be relevant is to know what type of a president Obama would be, and honestly, I would prefer that he fleshes a little more his speeches, truth be told.

So, I will probably stay away from this forum for a while, because it is getting tiring to see some of these threads.
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beachmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #43
44. Re: speeches, that is just not true. I will use my mother as an example.
She is not into politics like I am, and she largely gets her news from her local newspaper, NBC News, and Time magazine -- about as mainstream and filtered as you are going to get. Well, it also happens to be the case that Obama's speeches following primary victories were broadcast IN FULL on cable TV. Someone told my Mom that she had to watch a speech by him, so she made it a point to do so after he won Wisconsin. She just LOVED it.

Debating skills matter.

Speaking skills matter.

How the campaign deals with the news cycle matters.

How the candidate interacts with the press matters.

How the candidate does in TV interviews matters.

It's a whole package that equals The Candidate.

As Gore said in his book "The Assault on Reason", most people get their politics from TV; it mostly amounts to "gasbags" (credit: Digby) opining, but the fact is Obama's speeches have been featured on TV, not just c-span. And it's not just his speaking ability but what he is saying in them.

But thanks for telling me that my discussion of this is "irrelevant". I guarantee you that it IS relevant to swing voters, who voted for Bush last time, but are going to vote for Obama this time.
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ginnyinWI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #44
46. and besides that
it's always fun to talk about John Kerry! :loveya:
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MBS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-17-08 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #43
45. gosh, please don't stay away
Edited on Mon Mar-17-08 12:46 PM by MBS
For one thing I agree 1000% with your statements:
Kerry is the ultimate early adopter and his 2004 campaign has pretty much set the agenda for the next 10 years in Democratic politics. . . it is not a stretch to say that Obama would not be where he was if Kerry had not given him this huge opportunity
and this
Kerry was right the other day when he said a MSNBC person that the media do not want people to speak


I think that the ugliness of this primary is taking a toll on us: certainly my nervous system will be better when this entire election is over. .
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