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Reply #49: You misunderstand - it is true he campaigned, but there were other things he did pre- and post heart [View All]

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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-17-08 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #14
49. You misunderstand - it is true he campaigned, but there were other things he did pre- and post heart
surgery that hurt Kerry. They are harder to see than the appearance in Philadelphia - but they were real - and the same type of passive/aggressive things he did with Gore.

You make the issue campaigning in fall 2004. The lack of support that I and many others have spoken of - with no Kerry quotes to back us up - are based on our observations of negative things he and his allies did - not anything not done. Some are:

1) Releasing his autobiography in July 2004. Bill Clinton is reputed to be the sharpest politician of our generation - any high school kid could see why this is a bad idea in the run up to the election. As it was, June was a month when Kerry could get little coverage - as it was solid Reagan coverage for at least 3 weeks. Then Bill Clinton took a fair part of July - and all of us were treated to learning that the reason for Monica was "because I could". Now, frankly I could have happily lived my whole life not knowing that. This was a repeat of Bill Clinton having a confessional interview about getting his family back after Monica in the week before Gore's convention. You need to either challenge his political acumen or accept in both cases he had some need to fight off Gore or Kerry becoming the head of the party and President.

2) In the book, he has 2 strange pages where he writes of the 1996 MA Senate race. Kerry was the nominee almost 2 months before he finished editing his book - so you know that he reviewed this knowing Kerry was our candidate. The overall impression was that he liked Kerry's competitor more but wanted Kerry to win because of his knowledge on the environment and technology. He also mentioned Kerry's long term work with disadvantaged youth, noting there were no votes in it. Now, none of these 3 were big 2004 issues. Not mentioned were most of Kerry's strongest issues - foreign policy, terrorism (BCCI was already shut down), and healthcare, where Kerry had just written,with Kennedy, the precursor bill to S-CHIP based on the plan that had just passed in MA over Weld's veto! In the sections on Vietnam reconciliation, Clinton extends a huge amount of praise to McCain, nearly ignoring that our nominee was the chair of the committee and, per all accounts of those on the committee, did an incredible job and was the one person most responsible for its success. Now, I think most people, unlike me, looked up "Lewinsky" not "Kerry" in the index - but for people who read that nearly 1,000 page book those pages played into the Republican theme that he didn't accomplish much in the Senate.

3) There were Clinton and Clinton ally generated stories all through the period he was convalescing that Kerry's campaign was poorly run and that he was not listening to Clinton's advice. In fact, Kerry numbers went up when he concentrated on Iraq and the War on terror, rather than the economy as Clinton advised. These stories hurt.

4) In the wake of defeat, is when Clinton was the worst. That he praised Rove on the campaign he ran and made a point of saying he liked both Kerry and Bush within a week or two of the election hurt. Then there was the whisper campaign generated by Clinton allies that Kerry was not taking a place as just 1 of the 100 Senators and implying that he was at odds with Reid. (Note that Clinton allies feel she deserves VP, Majority Leader or even Supreme Court Justice as a consolation price for coming far less far - Kerry won the nomination overwhelmingly as voted by Democrats in the primary.)

The fact is that Kerry, by virtue of being the nominee, was a party leader - not the party leader, but a party leader - a status that the Clinton allies were denying. Clinton also had a conflict of interest as the last former President and the husband of HRC. This showed most when in 2005, he spoke of Kerry, a Democrat with far more national security credentials than almost any other Democrat, as weak on defense - rather than embracing Kerry's position on the war on terror. With the specter of Kerry running, he likely didn't want to hand that to Kerry. However, had the Democrats continued to keep that as their policy, the reaction of people like George Will that Kerry was right would have positioned us as best on national security. The fact is that contrary to the list in BC's book, there was no Senator who understood more about the threat of non-state terrorists than the guy who wrote "The New War". The constant belittling Kerry and blaming Kerry for the SBVT by all the Clinton people was painful - and that did color my picture of the Clintons for the worse.

As to the campaigning, the question I would ask is who called whom. I seriously doubt the Kerry campaign begged him to campaign. By the time Clinton campaigned, Kerry alone had already had huge rallies - that broke all previous records. He STILL holds the record for largest crowd getting 80,000 in Madison WI. Here's a snippet of a MN rally on Oct 21, slightly before the Clinton one. It shows the huge crowd and the excitement.

Of course Bill Clinton was a draw - but I seriously doubt the attendance had it just been Kerry would have been much less. I saw the entire thing on CSPAN and it was emotional - as the first time Clinton was out and he was good - but Kerry's speech was equally well received - judging from the applause. The media reports all spoke mostly of Clinton, because his being out was the news. In fact, either CNN or MSNBC cut away as soon as Clinton ended. So, newswise - I would guess it helped Kerry less than the local coverage of a just Kerry rally would have.

Now, I've seen people post that Kerry would not have won PA without that rally. This is extremely unlikely - this was downtown Philadelphia - an area that ALWAYS is very Democratic. The African American turn out across the country was record breaking - even where Bill Clinton didn't go and Kerry got a higher percent of their vote than Bill Clinton in 1992. There is no reason to think Philadelpia would be different. In Pittsburgh, it wasn't Clinton but THK who made a difference. I suspect that was the case in the affluent Philadelphia suburbs - as there were likely many independents that remembered her as their Senator's wife and as one ex-PA Republican in my area (NJ) accepted Kerry as good because otherwise she wouldn't have married him.
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