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Hillary Gets Major Boost---Kerry Endorses Obama
2008-01-11 22:59
by Scott Long

The Democrats have selected a lot of lousy candidates to represent the party for President during my lifetime. Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, and the guy Al Gore was pretending to be in 2000, but none were worse than John Kerry. I respect Kerry for serving his country in Viet Nam, but after joining the Senate, I can't tell you one more thing that particularly impressed me about him. Well, maybe dating Morgan Fairchild was kind of impressive, but she went out with Alan Cranston, so I have to temper that one a bit.

Kerry ran an awful campaign, losing against the worst President of my lifetime. He only won the Democratic primary because he was up against the weak field of a Governor from Vermont, an extremely dull man from Missouri, and a fairly unknown first term Senator from North Carolina. I would beg to have someone to tase me bro, instead of having to listen to Kerry give a speech. The top 6 Democratic candidates running for President in 2008 all are superior leaders to him. Now Kerry, who amazingly still seems pretty full of himself, bestowed the honor of endorsing Barack Obama on Thursday.

Sure Kerry has a rolodex of voters who gave to his ill-fated campaign, but don't think for a minute that most of them haven't already been identified by the top 3 Dems. Truthfully, if you are running on a message of change and hope, having the John Kerry endorsement ain't gonna help that cause. Considering that Kerry snubbed his former Vice Presidential running mate to endorse Obama doesn't speak much to his integrity. Add to this that no one helped him get out the vote in 2004 more than Bill Clinton and I just think he looks really bad by offering Obama his endorsment. Considering that Kerry generally comes off like a pompous ass to begin with, I don't think he needed to add to it.

If I'm Hillary Clinton I'm ecstatic that Kerry is putting his loser stamp on Obama, as adding an endorsement from an establishment candidate won't help her grow the idea that she has finally found her voice. I don't know who will win between Obama and Clinton, but I'm very confident that John Kerry will have nothing to do with who ends up being the nominee. I do think the stench that this robotic junior Senator from Massachusetts brings to any campaign could hurt Obama in the short-run. Now that the Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics look to be the best in their perspective sports, it's good to know that there is still one curse left in the state. John Kerry endorsing you for President is kind of like Yoko Ono endorsing your singing talents. Really, I mean it, tase me bro!

2008-01-12 12:19:33
1.   dzzrtRatt
For Obama, I'm sure this was like a dinner invitation from some guy who's worked at your office for a long time that you know you can't avoid because the guy will never stop asking until you finally have to admit you're really not busy every Friday and Saturday night until 2032. So you just go ahead say "yes" now, to get it out of the way.

If you're an Obama fan, however, the value in this endorsement is that it didn't go to HRC. It hurts her more than it helps him, so...I guess it helps him.

2008-01-12 12:55:51
2.   Vishal
oh come on. the idea that anyone is going to say, "well, i was thinking of voting for obama, but i dunno... i hear kerry endorsed him, so nevermind", is ridiculous.

kerry himself likely knows that his value is limited on the campaign trail, so the endorsement itself really just gives barack a and recognizable stamp of approval from a prominent establishment democrat, and one who knows clinton and edwards quite well and still chose to back obama.

i bet kerry will probably just lay low and let his donor list do the major work. i'm sure you won't see kerry and obama very much in the weeks and months to come. "loser stamp" is such a stretch of the imagination, scott. kerry and obama are nothing alike. there's no way it hurts obama.

2008-01-12 19:48:46
3.   Bluebleeder87
I tend to agree with Vishal on this one...
2008-01-12 20:24:03
4.   joejoejoe
About 20% of the available delegates in the Democratic primary are so-called 'superdelegates' -- party officials and elected leaders. All elected Democrats in Congress are superdelegates so Sen. Kerry counts in the Obama column and makes for one less available delegate for Clinton.

I don't think people follow endorsements much but the game is to 2,025 delegates. At the very least Kerry is one more delegate in the Obama column. Obama also get Sens. Tim Johnson (SD), Ben Nelson (NE), and Claire McCaskill (MO) this week -- so Obama won 4 delegates this week with no election being held.

2008-01-13 09:57:21
5.   Suffering Bruin
I think it is unconscionable that Kerry did not endorse Edwards. Yes, it was his choice and yes, there is precedent galore--Gore endorsed Dean rather than his running mate Lieberman. But the difference between Edwards and Lieberman is the difference between the Milky Way and the land of the Tribbles.

I fail to see what Obama offers that Edwards does not other than being a better bet to get the nomination. That tells me all I need to know about John Kerry in this campaign.

2008-01-13 14:02:09
6.   chris in illinois
Keep in mind these are polls, but polls have consistently shown that Obama would get more votes from independents and GOP-defectors than either Edwards or Clinton.

There's a lot of campaign left, so those could change, but I for one am glad some dems are looking at who can best win the freakin' election for a change. A Clinton nomination is perhaps the one thing that could energize the GOP again and Edwards has already lost one election...Obama has all of the intangibles on his side. I'm curious to see who would be in each of the candidates' cabinets...that is probably the biggest difference between the three politically.

An Obama/Webb ticket would be formidable.

2008-01-13 14:29:37
7.   Scott Long
First, I would agree that a Obama/Webb ticket sounds good, but it depends on who they ran against, as the question of lack of experience would be large. Obama looks good now, but most of these people in the poll know nothing about his views and even his past. People know everything about Hill and most things about Edwards. Not saying he isn't the most attractive candidate, but the drug issues in Obama's past hasn't been attacked by Dems, as they know most dem primary voters are liberal on this issue. Not so for Independent voters.

In regards to Edwards losing an election, I don't agree. Kerry and Bob Shrum lost that election. Shrum is the biggest politico a-hole I can think outside of the King Sphincter, Dick Morris. Shrum wrote a book trashing him, because Edwards had disagreed with Shrum's strategy. Edwards is done at this point, though, as he needed Hill to lose in New Hampshire and continue her slide, so he could be the alternative to Obama.

I think Kerry's endorsement takes a little away from Obama's main point of being for change. It would be a negative for Hillary is she would have gotten his support.

I think dzzrtRatt's description is perfect.
Suffering Bruin is on the same wave length on me about the person that John Kerry is. Between him and his wife, I have started to buy catsup over ketchup.

2008-01-13 16:42:18
8.   chris in illinois
Come on Scott, drug issues didn't hurt W or Bill...Americans who were 20 in 1968 are now 60---things are changing.

Who is the GOP candidate that has experience?? McCain? An abundance of senatorial experience didn't help Kerry...

I'm biased for Obama, so I might have blinders on here as he is the one candidate I've ever talked to any case this should be interesting.

2008-01-13 17:03:14
9.   Scott Long
I don't want to be the one slinging mud on Obama, as I could care less what a guy did 20 years ago, but there are questions about not only what drugs he used, but even more troubling rumors on the subject that I think would keep him from winning.

2008-01-13 20:29:32
10.   Hugh Jorgan
myself and millions of other people hope you are way off the mark here about Obama. As we watch the primaries unfold from overseas and hope the American public has finally tired of the same old formula and chooses to elect a candidate who represents something fresh.

This idea of experience is a joke. I have alot of experience with women but that doesn't necessarily make me great in bed.
Why would you want to endorse a candidate who's experience is part of the problem anyway and represents the same old pile of dung you've all been smelling for a generation anyway?

America, get off your high, evangelical, conservative arse and try something new in politics where stiff, bouffant hair is not a requirement to get elected.

2008-01-13 20:56:18
11.   Scott Long
I'm willing to go along with Obama, as long as I know what his change will entail. I hear very little detail from the guy during his speeches or debates. Hillary was the same way until New Hampshire, where she was forced to address the voters on a more specific level. I realize that just by electing Obama it will impact the world as no Major Western power that I know of has elected a person who wasn't a pale face. I just need more than that.

Change is obviously a powerful word, but the type of platitudes that he spouts make me go the opposite direction than what a lot of sheep typically embrace. I do not underestimate the importance of a President needing to be charismatic and physically attractive. It is a PR job many days, as you are the representative of the US and in the global economic and political culture we live in, these are powerful elements in being an effective leader. I don't want you to be a WONK 100% of the time, but I do need more than I will bring change to Washington and Hope to our citizens. Edwards has been very clear in what he will do from the beginning of his campaign. Hillary has started to be more specific in what she will do since her Iowa caucus debacle. I'm waiting for Obama to explain how he will institute the change he promises. Better for him to be tested early in the process, while he's still facing somewhat friendly fire than for him to first experience real opposition when he goes up against the Republican machine.

2008-01-13 21:06:01
12.   Scott Long
When I spoke about experience being important I was speaking more to the notion of a Obama/Webb ticket. I think Obama will need to find someone who balances him a little more than a Senator who was elected in 2006. I like Webb a lot, but to me he is more the Sec. of Defense type than VP type. Now when you don't have much experience and not much of a record, I think where you stand on the major issues is something you need to spend a lot more time discussing. Obama might be politically savvy in his vague approach to what he would do, but it doesn't work well for me. This is where my mistrust and disappointment in his campaign comes from.
2008-01-13 21:38:54
13.   chris in illinois

RE: Webb. I'm not sure what VP material is, but I'd be in favor of a less 'hands-on' type than Dick 'shoot-em-in-the-face' has been. Webb worked for Reagen which will again help sway a few voters Obama's way---maybe even win Virginia and help win Ohio. At this point I don't care really if it's Obama, Hillary or Edwards---I prefer Obama---but any Democrat will do just so long as we can get the spend-happy GOP out of office and start to balance the budget again a la Bill Clinton.

Regarding Obama's vagueness: I still think there are no adequate forums for candidates to discuss policies in an in depth manner in the campaign as it stands now. Anyone who appears to have answers to the issues of terrorism or social security either haven't thought them through well enough or are hopelessly unrealistic---either way I feel it's more important who a candidate brings with him to office than what he says on the campaign trail.

2008-01-13 22:03:10
14.   Scott Long
I agree with almost everything you wrote Chris, but I do think Obama's stump speech is the most vague democratic presidential candidate presentation I've ever heard. There is a fine line between being too vague and too wonky. Obviously, it's hard to argue with the Obama campaign strategy, though, so this is more of an individual beef.

Actually Iowa and New Hampshire gave forums for more in depth politicking to their residents, but is mainly in the rear view mirror now. Since money and power were more than 10 to 1 apiece in favor for Clinton and Obama, Edwards had no chance to truly compete unless these 2 chosen frontrunner's made major mistakes. It didn't happen, but since Obama is more charismatic and likable, it forced Hillary to change her vague ways in New Hampshire and start doing townhall style campaigning answering audiences questions. While one of the most superficial questions she received caused the biggest stir, her accessibility might have just saved her campaign.

2008-01-14 07:43:02
15.   joejoejoe
9 Scott - The Clinton advisor who made that claim about Obama resigned from her campaign and Sen. Clinton apologized to Sen. Obama.

I can't say what will and won't be an issue but Barack Obama was candid about his teenage drug use in his first book 'Dreams of My Father'.

2008-01-14 08:02:40
16.   Penarol1916
That drug stuff about Obama was just speculation by some guy being paranoid. The real issue with Obama that has not been properly vetted so far in this primary is the fact that he came from Chicago, and no matter how clean you are, coming up in politics there, you are bound to get some sludge on you. So far, he's tied to one of Mayer Daly's political cronies how is under indictment and without whom Obama would not have been able to afford his current home. It caused a very minor scandal in Chicago last year when this fellow was indicted, but could blow up much more. He also endorsed a fellow in the Illinois Treasurers race who turned out to have loaned a substantial amount of money to a number of mob-connected companies and individuals while an officer at his family's bank.

These are relatively minor things, but given who sleazy and corrupt politics is in this city, who knows what other people he's come up with that could blow up at some point.

2008-01-14 09:55:58
17.   Scott Long
Just look at the google ad above done by some conservative sleaze organization if you don't believe the attacks are on their way. I don't think the minor corruption charge will stick, as voters aren't titillated by that type of stuff. I do think the drug thing has some legs, unfortunately. This wasn't some type of bogus "he didn't inhale" stunt, as he used a lot of drugs. As I have stated many times, I could care less, but he will have to do a real sit-down interview with someone to try to quell the questions that will come out. Pot is one thing, but I think a lot of undecided independents would really have to think hard about electing a guy who has admitted that he has used harder drugs. Also, the rumors are out there on bigger drug issues, so he will have to shut those down or they will hang over his head.

I am a legalization guy on drugs, but I think a large part of the over 60 crowd will have a hard time voting for Obama for president to begin with and when you throw in the drug use thing, well I think his time has come argument might be 4 to 8 years ahead of schedule. I hope I'm wrong on that one.

Let me finally offer, I have not been a Hillary supporter, so this isn't me attacking the guy for that reason. I'm just concerned about down the road and believe that it is better for this issue to be dealt with before getting into the general.

2008-01-15 10:46:05
18.   jgpyke
16. Let me say this about proper vetting. A guy with bimbo eruptions married to a lady who turned pennies into millions in a realty scheme--you're telling me that THIS was full vetting? C'mon, man. It is laughable that Bill Clinton even tried to bring up this issue of proper vetting.

Obama may be our only shot for a GenX president, so let's take what we can get, people! I will only vote for someone who hates the Eagles.

I do agree that he needs a good running mate. Someone older. Some heavyweight from Clinton's first term, perhaps. Basically, a Democratic Cheney. (I know, I know, everyone here prolly hates the guy, but you know what I'm saying. Someone who is a solid, old time insider.)

2008-01-15 11:15:08
19.   Scott Long
The Clinton's were investigated more than Barry Bonds, so I don't think your reasoning holds up. Shit did come out on them, but I don't think there is anything new that can effect Hillary in a negative way at this point. Most people in this country have no idea about Obama's drug use, but they will learn plenty about it when he runs against the Republicans. I think it is way better for to get everything out on the table now, while Dems can decide if he is the best candidate to win in the General. I just worry that if there is an October Surprise, (a major problem with Iraq/Iran/South Korea, etc.) that change won't be the most important issue, but experience and being confident in what the next Prez will do will trump everything else.

I repeat, I just want Obama to have to explain his policies more than just the same old mantra of I will bring change. I don't personally care if he sold drugs, but I do think it would kill his chances in the general if it there was a question if he did.

It should be noted that I like 10 Eagles songs. I hate Glen Frey, but I do like New Kid in Town. Here are the other 9. I am younger than Obama, but maybe admitting this keeps me from voting for him. I will say the Eagles, Barack Obama, and Scott Long have one thing in common. We all used cocaine in our twenties.

Victim of Love
Life in the Fast Lane
Hotel California
Wasted Time
Witchy Woman
Take It to the Limit
I Can't Tell You Why
In the City

2008-01-15 13:27:02
20.   jgpyke
The Whitewater mess didn't break until March of 1992, after Bill Clinton had already sewn up the nomination. Also, Paula Jones didn't say squat until 1994.

My point was, Obama is no less "properly vetted" before he ran than Bill Clinton was. Yes, the Clintons were investigated, but after the fact. Just like Obama will be. ("Draft dodger." "Didn't inhale." Remember all that xit? After the nomination. Not before. Bill Clinton is making up new criteria that favor his wife.)

In this day and age, vetting having shit thrown at you by media and fellow pols. Obama has had plenty and will get more. Running for president IS vetting. Ask Gary Hart. Or Ed Muskie. Or Howard Dean.


2008-01-15 17:08:51
21.   Scott Long
But this isn't 1992. Hillary is running now and that is what is relevant. I don't suspect any surprises on Hillary and just want to make sure everything else on the table by the time the general happens. This isn't the Illinois Senate race anymore, despite it featuring a Senator from Illinois and native of Illinois.

As some brilliant poet once put it...Life in the Fast Lane, surely gonna lose mind.

2008-01-16 20:10:57
22.   El Lay Dave
19 Does "In the City" really count since it was a Joe Walsh solo tune on "The Warriors" soundtrack first? In addition to your choices, I also like "Bitter Creek", "My Man", "After the Thrill is Gone" and "One of These Nights". The backing vocals on the last one feature some of the highest penis-pincher notes I've ever heard on record.

"Turn up the Eagles, the neighbors are listening."

2008-01-16 20:15:27
23.   El Lay Dave
The last seated U.S. Senator to be elected president was JFK, which will be 48 years ago. Amongst the front-runners, the only candidates who are not U.S. Senators are Romney, Huckabee and Giuliani, all Republicans. Where are the attractive Democrats with state executive experience?
2008-01-17 08:42:37
24.   chris in illinois
23 That's true, but 'running' a state doesn't necessarily mean you can run the country (see Bush, George W.). It would be unusual for a Senator to win, but each of those GOP candidates have such glaring flaws that I can't imagine anyone of them winning. The only way the GOP wins---outside of the traditional October Surprise---is if Hillary wins the nomination and it unites the tatters of the Republican party with their hatred of her.

In other words, I'd be surprised if a GOP candidate wins on their own merit, but they might be able to win for not being Hillary.

2008-01-18 17:15:56
25.   Tom
Hey, who got the second most votes for President ever?

John Kerry.

You can say what you want about Kerry (and you did), but getting the second most votes in U.S. history against a sitting, war time president, after the swift boat smear is an accomplishment.

And he was on Cheers.

2008-01-18 19:11:45
26.   jgpyke
He got second place...nuff said. Your lame attempt to spin it as positive aside, it ain't exactly brag-worthy.

Time to scrape that Kedwards "for a stronger America" (coff) bumper sticker off your Subaru, Tom.

2008-01-19 13:57:55
27.   El Lay Dave
24 Agreed, see also Carter, Harding, etc. In my head, but not in my post, I wrote that that seems to be something the people like to see, not that I personally think it is necessary nor sufficient. Any of those three Republicans, if nominated, will be quick to tout his executive experience against a Democratic senator. (Giuliani will point out that NYC has a population that is about the same as the 10th and 11th most populous states.) I can't imagine those GOP candidates winning either, but in Jan. 2004 I couldn't imagine W winning either.
2008-01-19 14:38:28
28.   Tom
No, not 'nuff said. (Time to scrape the Enuff Z'nuff sticker off your Chevette).

It's not positive spin. It's a fact that more people voted for him than for everyone in history (except his opponent). That's more votes than Bush the first, Clinton, Gore or W in 2000.

I don't know how you can say someone is a weak candidate when that's true. He was one state away from being President.

I think it's revisionist to somehow pretend the '04 election was hopelessly boggled because of something wrong with Kerry. It was going to be a very hard election for the Democrats to win.

Time will tell, but it's even possible that Kerry will have gotten more votes than whoever wins in '08. I doubt it, but it's certainly in play.

2008-01-19 16:39:19
29.   Scott Long
I'm typing this in a mall. Music playing in the background is Glass Tiger. God do I hate it.

This year's election will have a much bigger turnout, because the candidates are better. Not hard to do when you consider how bad bush/kerry were. Since many of you believe I'm some crazy liberal, let me offer that I would have voted for 41 or bob dole over Kerry in 2004. I'm still concerned about obama's lack of specifics, but he is way better than kerry.

Finally I voted for kerry in 2004 because bush is a disaster. I would like to ask some of the nitwits who supported him in 2000 and 2004 is that going for you now?

2008-01-19 19:33:28
30.   jgpyke
Sorry, Tom. I just don't get the "second place [out of two] is impressive" rationale. I think 2004 was the Dem's to lose, and they assured it by nominating Kerry. This isn't revisionist. Kerry ran a shitty campaign, which was based solely on an "I'm not W" theme. Sorry, but that doesn't win elections.

I think you're confusing anti-Bush votes with pro-Kerry votes.

2008-01-19 19:42:40
31.   jgpyke
BTW, yours is a silly argument.

"Say what you want about Charles E. Hughes, but he got the second most votes ever. That's an accomplishment."

Never heard of him, huh? In a few generations, neither will anyone much have heard of John Kerry. It's a fact.

(Hughes lost to Wilson in 1916. Second most votes ever at the time.)

Adlai Stevenson got more votes in '52 than Truman did in '48 or FDR in '44, and he's still little more than a trivia question.

Give it up. We ain't buying your "Kerry is awesome" krep.

2008-01-20 08:34:54
32.   Tom
Of course I've heard of Charles Evans Hughes. I took American history. Adlai Stevenson is more than a trivia question, too. Yeah, and I know all about the Hayes-Tilden compromise.

Let's not dumb down the discourse any more than it already is. If you don't know American history, most politicians who aren't the President are going to seem obscure.

Is there a reason why you chose to go back more than 50 years for your examples? Well, of course there is.

I don't know who taught you how to form an argument, but repeatedly saying "give it up" never, ever works. Either is describing my argument as silly. It's bullying, and you're not going to bully me.

Listen, I never said Kerry was awesome, but he ran a campaign that got a huge number of people to turn out and vote for him.

If the position is that Kerry was an idiot that ran a bad campaign, your going to have to explain why he got 59 million votes, and was one state away from being president.

Now, you can prove your a smart person, and respond to that question, or you can continue trying to be dismissive. Your choice.

2008-01-20 09:02:03
33.   Tom
No, there's more to say about this.

Charles Evans Hughes lost to Woodrow Wilson 91 years ago! How many politicians can you name from 91 years ago? Personally, I can't name many, but there are a lot of them who were very important to American history. My ignorance does not erase their importance.

He was also Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (which is why the name stood out to me).

If a guy who was the runner up to the Presidency and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court isn't important to the history of the United States, we're a nation of short-sighted idiots.

Your argument (that I've never heard of Charles Evans Hughes) was 1) incorrect and 2) trying to make a point that my ignorance would erase someone's importance from U.S. history. That's truly galling.

2008-01-20 10:20:53
34.   Tom
My final point:

More people voted for W in 2004 than ever voted for anyone in U.S. history. It's very hard (nigh impossible) to maintain that this was the Democrat's race to lose when Bush broke the record.

A lot of people liked George W. Bush. He may be the "worst president of your lifetime," but he got an incredible amount of votes in 2004.

Let's say that Bush actually got fewer votes in 2004 than he did in 2000 and still won. Now, your hatred of John Kerry is justified. But, as we know, that is not how it happened.

It's entirely possible Hillary or Barack won't win in 2008. Do you know what the pundits are going to say the day after the election? "I can't believe the Democrats ran a black man/woman when it was their race to lose."

(apologies for my typos, which are probably many).

2008-01-20 11:28:58
35.   Scott Long
Here are the 2 reasons for Kerry getting so many votes.

1) Increase in population.

2) (and most importantly) Bush was such a devisive candidate that voters came out to vote against him.

The past 2 elections I rarely met a Dem who was enthusiastic about their candidate. To varying degrees, I think any of the 3 running that are still left would bring that passion back for Democratic voters. They will need it because it is more than an election of voting against someone. Republicans learned this the hard way when running against Will Jeff.

I would agree that if Clinton/Obama lose it will be stated that it is because of gender/race. I believe Obama will have to run a fairly perfect campaign to win, as his youth and race will work against him with many older voters. I don't think gender will hurt Hillary, but the hatred by many right-wingers of the Clinton's will create a lot of energy for her challenger.

If the Republicans had a candidate who was strong against immigration and well-connected with the religious right, I think that candidate would win. Since there isn't one of those, I think the Dems will win, unless a major national security issue comes up close to the election and America will vote for the Daddy party again.

2008-01-21 12:58:14
36.   jgpyke
Tom, I'm sorry. I just don't get the "losing is awesome" argument. Kerry was the loser. End of story. The number of votes he got really doesn't tell a story at all. Wishing it were so, doesn't make it true.

I think Al Gore, if he ran the right campaign, could have won in 2004.

2008-01-21 18:45:46
37.   jgpyke
BTW, great use of the liberal playbook. Call me a dolt and a bully, and then play the victim.
2008-01-22 07:21:33
38.   JasonO
For God's sake Long: Post another topic about music or comedians or anything.
2008-01-22 20:22:45
39.   Suffering Bruin
38 Ditto, my good man.

Lord knows, Scott, you have many irons in the fire but a yearning public awaits further topics and prose from our favorite midwestern comic/sports commentator/music critic.

How about this: Panda Bear's "Person Pitch." Did they produce an innovative sound leading to the one of the best albums of the year? Or are they just the Beach Boys singing in a cathedral?


2008-01-23 12:25:48
40.   Scott Long
I know most critics were very enthusiastic about Panda Bear, but I was lukewarm. Liked a couple songs, but I just look at them as another indie band who will fall by the wayside in about 5 years. We will see.

I'm incredibly busy right now, as I'm consulting on a few sketches which air during the super bowl pregame. I also am doing a lot of standup at night and getting the house ready for...well I'll get into that later.

I have created a new section for everyone to rant on. Feel free.

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