More headlines: John Kerry on Principles & Values

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Voted with Democratic Party 93.5% of 306 votes

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), was scored by the Washington Post on the percentage of votes on which a lawmaker agrees with the position taken by a majority of his or her party members. The scores do not include missed votes. Their summary:
Voted with Democratic Party 93.5% of 306 votes.
Overall, Democrats voted with their party 88.4% of the time, and Republicans voted with their party 81.7% of the time (votes Jan. 8 through Sept. 8, 2007).
Source: Washington Post, “US Congress Votes Database” Sep 8, 2007

Kerry’s PAC gave $8.5 million to 250 candidates in 43 states

Through Keeping America’s Promise, no one did more than John Kerry and the community to help elect Democratic candidates for local, state and federal offices in 2005 and 2006. Just look at what we did together: $8.5 million helped raised or directly donated. 250 candidates and committees. 43 states all across the country. And these candidates, like Jim Webb, Sheldon Whitehouse, Joe Sestak, and Patrick Murphy, will bring much-needed change to Washington.
Source: PAC website, Nov 17, 2006

Last nominee to get 2nd chance was Adlai Stevenson in 1956

Should Kerry commence another national campaign, something considered all but a foregone conclusion, Kerry will be running against party history. Adlai Stevenson, who lost two races to Dwight Eisenhower (in 1952 and 1956), was the last Democratic nominee to secure his party’s nod a second time.

Doubts about Kerry lurk just beneath professions of respect. Some Democrats [at a recent party event] wonder how a nominee, particularly one who had warned opponents not to question his patriotism, could have been caught so flat-footed when the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth attacked his military record. Although most said they weren’t ruling Kerry out, they also stressed that 2008 is a whole new race, and said they planned on giving all the candidates a hard look before making any decisions.

Source: 2008 Speculation op-ed by Scot Lehigh, Boston Globe Oct 17, 2006

Rejected challenging Ohio irregularities as too “personal”

[The day after the 2004 election] Kerry was up at 7AM. He had decisions to makeKerry could fly to Ohio with a press entourage and stand with a whole bunch of people who had been disenfranchised, and cal for a re-vote. But the biggest impact on Kerry was the number of provision votes. There just weren’t enough.

Kerry decided to accept the result. “To do otherwise,” he said later, “would have personal. It would have been venal. As strongly as I feel that it is flawed, deeply flawed, it would have been the wrong thing to do, to prolong the agony.”

Source: State of Denial, by Bob Woodward, p.350 Oct 1, 2006

Against Bush, did poorly with married women & older voters

George Bush beat John Kerry by a margin of somewhere between eleven and fifteen points among married women. The numbers for white married women were obviously higher. The DNC Women's Vote Center report concluded that "the biggest drop in Democratic votes between 2000 and 2004 was among white married working women."

Kerry also did poorly among older voters. A majority of older voters are women; wives outlive their husbands. Beyond social security, their largest concern is health care.

Source: The Case for Hillary Clinton, by Susan Estrich, p. 92-93 Oct 17, 2005

Ended 2004 campaign with $14M in campaign funds

Kerry, for his part, does not seem to realize that he lost the election. Nearly six months after the election, he was quoted by Time as claiming that “we actually won in the battleground states.” Oh really? What about OH, WV, KY, MO, FL, NM, NV and IA, all of which went for Bush?

Kerry blames his defeat on the fact that the Republican team had “six years to develop its electoral strategy,” while he had only eight months. Time suggests that Kerry sees Nov. 2, 2004, as “merely a detour on his road to the White House.“

Incredible as it sounds, Kerry has $14 million left over from his defeat. (What does it say about a candidate that he would lose an election while still holding funds in the bank?) Kerry is now handing out his money to other Democrats, trying to curry favor for his next bid.

Steve Grossman, a former chair of the DNC put it best: ”It has been a long time since the Democratic Party gave somebody a second chance. That’s a big challenge to overcome.“

Source: Condi vs. Hillary, by Dick Morris, p.224-225 Oct 11, 2005

FactCheck: No, Kerry is 11th most liberal, not 1st in Senate

BUSH_CHENEY CLAIM: “The nonpartisan National Journal magazine ranks Kerry the most liberal member of the Senate-more liberal than Hillary Clinton or Ted Kennedy.”

CNN FACT CHECK:National Journal’s Feb. 2004 rankings did list Kerry as the most liberal member of the Senate in 2003, but the result was based only on his votes in the year 2003, and may have been artificially inflated by Kerry’s unusually high absentee rate last year. National Journal based its ratings on 62 key Senate votes cast in 2003 in three issue areas: economic policy, social policy and foreign policy. Kerry’s rating was based only on the 20 votes he cast in the economic policy area. His votes in social and foreign policy were not counted because he missed more than half of the votes in those categories. Had he missed four more economic votes, Kerry would not have been included in the 2003 ratings at all. Kerry’s lifetime liberal rating is 85.7 out of 100, making him the Senate’s 11th most liberal senator.

Source: CNN FactCheck on 2004 statements by Bush and Kerry Oct 29, 2004

Late Night: “Top 10 Bush Tax Proposals”

Source: Late Night with David Letterman, “Top 10” Sep 20, 2004

Bush & Cheney unfit to serve because they misled us into war

We all saw the anger and distortion of the Republican Convention. For the past week, they attacked my patriotism and my fitness to serve as commander in chief. Well, here’s my answer.

The vice president even called me unfit for office last night. I guess I’ll leave it up to the voters whether five deferments makes someone more qualified to defend this nation than two tours of duty.

Let me tell you what I think makes someone unfit for duty. Misleading our nation into war in Iraq makes you unfit to lead this nation. Doing nothing while this nation loses millions of jobs makes you unfit to lead this nation. Letting 45 million Americans go without health care makes you unfit to lead this nation. Letting the Saudi royal family control our energy costs makes you unfit to lead this nation. Handing out billions of government contracts to Halliburton while you’re still on their payroll makes you unfit. That’s the record of George Bush and Dick Cheney. And it’s not going to change.

Source: Midnight response to 2004 Republican Convention Speeches Sep 2, 2004

Will lead an America where all are in the same boat

I learned a lot about these values on that gunboat patrolling the Mekong Delta with young Americans who came from places as different as Iowa and Oregon, Arkansas, Florida and California. No one cared where we went to school. No one cared about our race or our backgrounds. We were literally all in the same boat. We looked out, one for the other - and we still do. That is the kind of America I will lead as President - an America where we are all in the same boat.
Source: Acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention Jul 29, 2004

Urban Legend: Kerry did not disparage Reagan at funeral

From the Urban Legends and Folklore section:
“This moment in Simi Valley is a moment of truth,” Kerry said. “Not just for my campaign, but for the future of my party as well. For some of us, this may be our only chance to confirm the demise of the man who is solely responsible for turning the American people away from liberal philosophy. As Democrats, we need to put small differences aside and be certain that this man is truly gone. Next, we must reclaim our country from the church-goers, the middle America folks and the uneducated conservative masses.“
Comments: False. The above quote, currently circulating via email, was excised from its original context in a satirical ”press release“ published June 9, 2004 on the John F’n Kerry Website. The disclaimer at the bottom of that page clearly states: ”The John F’n Kerry Website is a parody Website, intended for entertainment purposes only.“
Source: Ad-Watch by Jul 28, 2004

Clear separation of church and state

Kerry says, ‘I believe in the separation [of church and state].
Source: Complete Biography By The Boston Globe, p.293 Apr 27, 2004

Revoke every Bush order that favors special interests

From the moment I take office, I will stand up to special interests and stand with hardworking families. In my first 100 days as President, I will revoke every Bush executive order that favors polluters and the special interests.

My first major bill to Congress will be national health care reform, taking on the insurance industry to hold down costs and cover all Americans. I will repeal Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy so we can invest in education and health care. I will take on the oil industry and make energy independence a national priority while creating 500,000 new jobs. I will attack corporate corruption and end the special interest feeding frenzy in Washington. And I will declare an end to the Bush policy of unilateralism and pre-emptive war.

I have spent my entire career standing up to special interests and fighting for the American people. I am running for president because we need a President who is ready and willing on day one to make tough stands and fight the hard battles.

Source: 2004 Senate campaign website,, “Issues” Mar 21, 2004

Not yet ready to consider a Kerry-Edwards ticket

Q: Have you heard anything that either one has said that would make it impossible for you to run together as a ticket if it came to that? Would you run with John Kerry?

EDWARDS: I think an Edwards-Kerry ticket would be powerful.

Q: Are you saying that if you get this nomination, you will ask him to join you?

EDWARDS: He certainly should be considered. He’s a very, very good friend.

Q: And where does Edwards stand in your thinking?

KERRY: I want to thank him for the consideration. I appreciate it.

Q: Is he on your list?

KERRY: I don’t have a list. I’m running for the nomination.

Q: But do you see any view that would make it impossible?

KERRY: I take nothing for granted in this effort. And if I win the nomination, then I’ll sit down and think about who I ought to run with.

Q: What quality-and his hair and smile don’t count-does Edwards possess that you wish you had?

KERRY: I think he’s a great communicator. He’s a charming guy. He’s a good friend of mine.

Source: [Xref Edwards] Democratic 2004 primary debate at USC Feb 26, 2004

Despite Zell Miller, Dem Party does speak to southerners

Q: How you would respond to Sen. Zell Miller’s (D, GA) claim that the Democratic party is no longer a national party -- especially that it no longer speaks for the interests of those below the Mason-Dixon line?

A: I disagree with Senator Miller. I respect him but I disagree with him. People below the Mason Dixon line don’t have adequate health care, their water is polluted and they are losing their jobs overseas under this administration. Every time I’ve been down there -- people have responded very positively. I think everyday Americans understand that I will be the president to stand up to special interests and fight for them. And last time I saw Zell, he told me that he liked my speech and that what I was saying would resonate in Georgia.

Source: Concord Monitor / on-line Q&A Nov 7, 2003

Bush broke his three biggest campaign promises

My case is based on 3 big promises Bush made in 2000, then subsequently abandoned.
Source: A Call to Service, by John Kerry, p. 10-13 Oct 1, 2003

Contest between common sense values and extreme ideologues

This is not the normal contest of Democrats versus Republicans. This is a contest between common sense American values and extreme ideologues whose agenda is to dismantle 50 years of Democratic achievement and we’re not going to let them do it. Some people [say] that they can’t tell the difference between us and them. Well, the differences could not be more clear - the agenda could not be more compelling - and the stakes could not be higher. Our agenda is as clear as it is different and fairer.
Source: Keynote Speech to Massachusetts Democratic Issues Convention Jun 7, 2003

I’m talking about things that matter to people

Q: The rap on you is that you’re just too aloof, that you don’t have the common touch it takes to win.

KERRY: Well, probably I ought to just disappear and contemplate that by myself.

You know, I’ve heard that for a long time, but I’m attracting support all across the country and it’s because I’m talking about things that matter to people. I’m the only person running for this job who’s actually fought in a war.

I believe I bring strength to this ticket: strength about how we maintain a military that is strong, but make ourselves stronger in the world. And I think I know what our vision is for this country at home: health care, really leaving on child behind, putting people back to work and I have a proven record of fighting the tough fights that will give people trust that I will do that for America.

Source: Democratic Debate in Columbia SC May 3, 2003

I’m a good person to be in the foxhole with

I’m very well aware that when God made me one of the debits he gave me was sort of an over level of intensity, maybe an over level of earnestness, or whatever you want to call it. On the other hand, what I do know about myself is that when you have a fight, I’m a good person to be in the foxhole with, and I know that we’re in a fight right now.
Source: KERRY/WELD: DEAD HEAT, Sep 19, 1996

Saw the fear in the eyes of people who were not free

My father was in the State Department, stationed in Berlin when it and the world were divided between democracy & communism. I have unforgettable memories of being a kid mesmerized by the British, French, and American troops, each guarding their own part of the city. Russians standing guard on the stark line separating East from West. What I learned has stayed with me for a lifetime. I saw how different life was on different sides of the same city. I saw the fear in the eyes of people who were not free.
Source: Acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention Jul 29, 2004

Attended boarding school in Europe; fluent in French

Having a mother who grew up in Europe and a father who worked to reshape it, going to school abroad and learning French, Italian and German meant that Kerry developed a comfort with other cultures and other points of view that abides to this day. He’s an affirmed multilateralist and proud regular at the yearly World Economic Forum in Davos, and he is married to a woman - Teresa - who speaks even more languages than he does. When he and his brother are on a conference call and want to talk privately, they have been known to break into French. But when he tried to flaunt his credentials as a favorite of foreign leaders and a better bet to navigate the now hostile waters of world opinion, the Republicans pounced, suggesting that he is some kind of Eurosnob - forcing Kerry, a Vietnam veteran, to remind people that he had fought for his country and has served it as a public official for most of his adult life.
Source: Time Magazine, “The Making Of John Kerry” Jul 6, 2004

Despite aristocratic roots, a Catholic outsider at schools

While his pedigree was plenty aristocratic [at his boarding school in N.H.], Kerry didn’t have the money to go with it. He didn’t fly the private jet to Paris for a long weekend. In fact, he worked summers loading trucks as a Teamster at First National Stores, then one of the Northeast’s leading grocery chains. “You have to understand that atmosphere,” a [boarding school classmate] says. “These were kids who were raised to believe that they came from the ruling class. But John was Catholic. He was also not from wealth. He never had money in his pocket. I joke that he still owes me money. He never had cash, and that was a very unusual thing for a student at [the boarding school]. He also had a European kind of flair. He dressed a little differently, liked to wear French cuffs. He was a very hard worker at everything. He played sports hard. He was very competitive, and it wasn’t a cool thing to be competitive. You didn’t have to be competitive - you had a birthright.“
Source: Time Magazine, “The Making Of John Kerry” Jul 6, 2004

Raised Catholic, but family history includes Jews

As fate would have it, I learned a new personal lesson about diversity and the American mosaic late last year. Anticipating my candidacy, the Boston Globe looked into my family history. Among other things, the paper discovered one hundred years ago, my paternal grandfather was an American Jew named Fritz Kohn, who changed his name to Kerry and converted to Catholicism shortly before immigrating to Massachusetts. I didn’t know this because my grandfather died when my father was just five years old-a reminder of how much so much of America’s history is buried.

One thing that hasn’t changed for me as a result of this revelation is my Catholic heritage. I am a believing and practicing Catholic. And being an American Catholic at this particular moment in history has three particular implications for my own point of view as a candidate for the presidency.

Source: A Call to Service, by John Kerry, p. 23-4 Oct 1, 2003

Favorite song: Bruce Springsteen, “No Surrender.”

Source: Congressional Black Caucus Institute debate Sep 9, 2003

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