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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 08:04 PM
Original message
Conversation with John Kerry

Conversation with John Kerry

by: Charley on the MTA
Tue Oct 24, 2006 at 14:48:43 PM EDT

(Bumped -- updated. - promoted by Charley on the MTA)

This afternoon, after speaking with Deval Patrick at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Sen. Kerry was very kind to talk to RevDeb and me for a few minutes. (David couldn't make it.) We talked about campaign money, the future Congress, and the relationship between Congress and bloggers. I'm working on putting together an audio clip of the whole thing, which I'll post in its entirety. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Here's the file, all 11MB of it.

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RiffRandell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thank you for this.
Awesome job.
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Democrafty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
2. Transcript:
Charley on the MTA: The first question, I know you answered it outside, is about the campaign funds and Barney Frank gave up his 30% and Marty Meehan obviously has not yet, Ed Markey has not yet, so -

JK: Well, I've been, I've done more than 30<%>. I've raised more money than I have, and given it away. Other people have been out raising money for themselves. I'm not raising money for myself. I've only raised money for other candidates. I've spent down on the money that we have in order to have the staff to go out to help other people. I mean, we've been exclusively in the business of trying to help people around the country - I might add, 180 candidates in states most of which have nothing to do with presidential politics 'cause they're not on the calender. So I'm not, you know, I've nothing to be sort of second-guessing here. I'm proud of what we have done. I gave, you know, up front, early. A million dollars we wrote to the DSCC. A million dollars to the DNC. I gave 500 000 to the DCCC. I put 250 000 into the state of Washington to help Christine Gregoire have a recount when it mattered. And so, we're raising money, we've continued to raise money, we've written checks, we've helped people, and we continue to do that.

Charley: And yet, I mean, of course -

JK: Well, some of the money -

Charley: people see that pot of money and they think, Well, gosh...

JK: But we don't have that pot of money. Because we've been spending down on that to be able to help people. That's number one. Number two, we also have an audit going on, which is a traditional part of any presidential race. We have exposure to, you know, whatever that audit decides. And you can't, you know, be reckless and stupid about giving it away. So we did the next best thing, which is put all of our energy into helping people around the country. I raised a quarter of Tammy Duckworth's money for her primary campaign. I raised the entire Get Out the Vote money for Jim Webb to help win the primary. I mean, we've been out there fighting, I think, you know, as effectively as anybody, and I'm not going to, you know, be somehow put on the defensive about an effort we made that I think has been second to nobody in the history of the party.

RevDeb: I wouldn't presume to put you on the defensive. I think the reason that the netroots are really excited about this is the fact that there are so many races now in play that weren't before, and we're trying to find out how anybody can come to the fore and chip in and get us over that hump.

JK: That's exactly what I'm doing. Today we went out and, to back it up, Teresa and I are personally putting thousands of dollars of personal money in to help people. So we're backing it up.

RevDeb. Okay. This is an opportunity we may not ever see again, at least not in my lifetime.

JK: Well, don't be pessimistic. On the contrary. We're going to see it, because these guys are wrong. Because they're taking the country in the wrong direction. And we're going to continue to fight and be in their face on this stuff. I'm very confident we're going to see big changes coming up. Timing is everything. We were a little ahead of the curve in '04. You know, you were one year out from the election, it was hard incumbent president in a time of war. But I think, now, people see the war was a lie. Now people see they lied about social security. Now they see that they lied about North Korea. I mean, everything! And therefore, it's bubbling up. And I think it's going to continue, because these guys have mismanaged America for six years.

Charley: What are you looking forward to doing if the Democrats get ahold of the Senate?

JK: Well, I think any number of things. I mean, one of the first things we ought to do is make sure everybody can vote properly, so that in '08 there are no problems, period. And I think that would be one of the top priorities we ought to address. Obviously we ought to address the minimum wage. We ought to address health care, we ought to address, you know, try to fix No Child Left Behind, fund it properly. Fix the budget. I mean, there's a lot. I don't think there's one choice these guys have made either the House or the Senate, because, sometimes, there's been a slight difference in them where there isn't just a profound difference between us about what the priorities of the country are. I mean, you look at what they did on immigration in the House, you look at what they've done on the tax breaks they gave away, what they did to the energy bill, the drug bill, the bankruptcy bill....

RevDeb: Across the board.

JK: Across the board. Every choice, we have a better choice. And if we take over one house or the other, both houses will be empowered by that, because nothing can happen without the consent of that one house. All of a sudden, you have a negotiation you didn't have before.

RevDeb: The message that I got from John is that you were interested in hearing from us, and I'm kind of curious about that. Why were we called to say, Please come and see us.

JK: Because you guys are, I think, very important to the communication structure of America now. I think you're on a cutting edge communications transformation that's taking place. And I think, for those of us in public life, if we're going to be effective, as well as knowledgeable, we'd better listen, and we'd better be in touch.

RevDeb: So what do you want?

JK: Well, I want to know what you're feeling, what you're thinking. What's the, you know, where do you find the most effective portals for reaching people at this point in time? Because they're shifting, in a way. I mean, I noticed that, you know, television news is down.

RevDeb: Olbermann's going up.

JK: Thank God. I'm glad to see him going up. I think he's going up because he's saying something. But I think that where people are getting their news is changing. Am I wrong?

RevDeb: I don't know. I know that there -

Charly: We don't know what we're doing, is the thing. I think that's the thing people don't understand about bloggers, and about the relationship with politicians and the press, is that actually, we're just throwing this stuff out there and seeing if it sticks. So, I, I mean, we've been asked, we've gotten some press attention. People ask us, Well, what kind of effect are you having?

RevDeb: We don't know.

Charley: The fact is, we don't know.

JK: Well, I think you are having an effect. I mean, I'll tell you from my point of view, I think that, whenever anybody's able to communicate with people, and it has some kind of networking impact, I think it's positive. I mean, I've always believed in that. That's the way we tried to do the grassroots movements of the 1960s. It was networking communications. But we had more limited means of reaching people than we do today. Now you have this spontaneous combustion that's very exciting, I think.

RevDeb: How do you see our relationship going forward?

JK: That's up to you folks, I guess. Probably not dissimilar to the relationship we have with the mainstream media. We sit and we talk, we work, we try to get information to you, we try to give you a point of view that, hopefully, you'll reflect, because it's based on the truth. I mean, it seems to me that truth is the real foundation of any kind of communication. And so, if we're standing for it and fighting for it, we hope you'll help us get it out there. If we're not, than you should kick us.

RevDeb: We're trying like hell to get the information out about the Lieberman campaign. And -

JK: I'm going down there. Tomorrow.

RevDeb: I know you are, and I'm really glad you're doing that. I'm really, I cannot for the life of me understand how there's a cluster of Democrats that are sitting this one out, Democratic Senators. Or, that are backing Lieberman, because, in my from what I see, we have one of your colleagues who's going to hold the rest of you hostage for the forseeable future. And it just seems like an untenable position to me.

JK: Uh...

RevDeb: Being bold here, as long as I've got this moment.

JK: I think it's, it potentially could be very difficult, depending on what the overall makeup of the Senate is. If it were 50-50 you hit the nail on the head. If it's not 50-50, if it's less than that...

RevDeb: If it's 51-49, including Lieberman on the D side, and he gets an appointment....

JK: Who knows what happens? I can't predict -

RevDeb: I know.

JK: Yeah. I just can't even speculate on that kind of stuff. I think that... let's wait and see what happens on November 7. I just don't even want to go down the road of speculation. I just don't think it takes you anywhere.

RevDeb: Well, we're working as hard as we can and I just -

JK: I think the key is for people to understand the stakes.

RevDeb: We do.

JK: To me, the war is front and center. The - what is happening is unconscionable, what is happening is still a slide-off; they're sort of playing a game with this, you know, We've given up the phrase 'stay the course.' I mean, what are they, what is this?

RevDeb: They said they never used it.

JK: That's bunk. I get angry about that.

Charley: How does the Senate get accountability from the administration? I mean, the fact is, even if the Democrats take the Senate, even if the Democrats take the House, Bush is still the Commander in chief for another two years. So what happens? What measures of accountability can you foresee?

JK: Well, you have enormous ability to begin the process of accountability through hearings. Obviously through funding. And you have an ability to really push the policy. And at that point, you can legislate. The President can veto, but you can legislate. But it becomes a very if you're going to have a bipartisan policy in the best interests of the nation, they're going to have to stop and listen. And it really changes the dynamics. We'll just have to wait and see where we come out. I mean, I - we've got a lot of close races.

RevDeb: Yeah.

JK: And we're working them hard. As I just said, I'm going out today. We're trying to raise money for those four key Senate races right now, and I hope we'll be successful. And, you know, we're concerned about it enough that Teresa and I are going to contribute personal money, and we're going to put every effort we can into winning. In fact, I'm going today. I'm leaving for New Jersey after today. Tomorrow I got to New Jersey to help Bob Menendez. I'm going to Connecticut for Ned Lamont. I then go to, you know, a number of other states -

RevDeb: Virginia. Tennessee.

JK: Yeah. I'm just, I'm doing a lot. But, you know, this you folks are a new part of the media, like it or not. You may not want to call yourselves that, but you're media. And, as such, you earn a spot at the table where people are going to, you know, want to try to make sure that you're understanding what we're fighting for. And what our point of view is about those fights, so that you reflect them, hopefully at least, dealing with knowledge.

RevDeb: Well, we hope that you'll be hearing where we're coming from, too. We'd like for this to be a two-way thing.

JK: It's got to be. I understand. But we're open. I mean, this is a beginning, just to sit down and have a discussion, and I'm happy you know, you want to call, contact us? We're here.

RevDeb: We know, John.

JK: We're in the business of trying to get the message out. That's our business. So -

RevDeb: Thank you.

JK: You know, we want to continue that. Alright?

RevDeb: I'd love to get our whole group to meet with you.

JK: Let's do it.

RevDeb: Ok.

JK: We'll do it. We'll do it after the --

Rev Deb: After the election.
JK: Happy to do it. After the election, I'm pretty much flying out the next ten days, then I'm back here. Then I'm back here for several days, right?

JK Staffer: Yeah, you're back.

JK: I'm winding up with Deval and Teddy and doing the stuff back -

RevDeb: Go Deval!

JK: Ok? Nice to see you. Thank you. Thanks for your, you know, thanks for caring enough to get involved like this. It's important.

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Awesome! Thanks Democrafty! n/t
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Democrafty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. np n/t
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Thx for the transcript!
Great job!
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Democrafty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Np.
I sent it to BMG, so hopefully they will add it to their post.
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Democrafty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. And so they did.
The BMG site has been updated.
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kerrygoddess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 01:27 AM
Response to Reply #2
14. You rock Democrafty! n/t
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Democrafty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Thanks, KG! n/t
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Democrafty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
3. Wonderful pix, btw.
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
7. You know, we grow good Democrats in Massachusetts.
When Deval Patrick wins, then something like 88% of all elected offices in MAssachusetts will be held by Democrats.

My Blue Heaven.
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Lucky you.
Thankfully we'll be a little bluer in PA after Nov 7.
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dwahzon Donating Member (338 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 08:52 PM
Response to Original message
8. Kicked and recommended
Great pictures.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 10:22 PM
Response to Original message
11. K&N! I still love Senator Kerry, and thanks for this. nt
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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 10:58 PM
Response to Original message
12. Nice! n/t
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