The closer we get to the Magic Text Message from The One, the more frenzied the Democratic running-mate speculation gets. Today’s humorous suggestion comes from Massachusetts television station WBZ, where Jon Keller thinks that John Kerry might have an inside track. Oh, sorry … Keller’s actually serious:
Kerry brings more money and name recognition to the table than any other name on the Obama list so far. Americans do tend to love a comeback kid and this would be the most amazing political comeback since Richard Nixon came back from the dead forty years ago. …
Polls show many voters question Obama’s foreign policy credentials to be a wartime president. As a decorated veteran and longtime member of the senate foreign relations committee, Kerry could fill that gap.
Obama suffers from being a new face on the political scene, but Kerry – warts and all – is well known to the voters, and in 2004, he did draw more votes than any democrat ever has.
And judging from a new anti-smear web site funded by Kerry’s political action committee, Kerry would eagerly assume the role of attack dog… Allowing a nominee who prefers to float above the fray to minimize the amount of political hardball he has to play.
Keller says not to laugh, and that “some political insiders” tell him an Obama-Kerry ticket may well happen. If so, Republicans across the country can rejoice. The only Democrat who could possibly have lost to George W. Bush in 2004 will bring his special mediocrity to the 2008 ticket.
Let’s take his supporting assumptions one at a time. Kerry’s actual work in the Senate by 2004 became a subject of much derision. In 20 years, he authored a grand total of six bills. His work on the Foreign Relations Committee was similarly non-descript. He was seen, rather accurately, as little more than a dilettante — a conclusion one can reach about Obama as well.
Keller notes that Kerry is a combat veteran, which has its own long history of controversy. What isn’t in doubt was Kerry’s smear of Vietnam veterans after his own service ended. He took part in the Winter Soldier smear job, and told Congress that his fellow veterans resembled the army of Genghis Khan rather than honorable men. The entire Winter Soldier project has been long debunked, but Kerry stands by his smear campaign, intentionally undertaken to start his political career.
And as an attack dog, even Democrats found Kerry sadly wanting in 2004. Not only couldn’t he effectively rebut the testimony of 250 fellow Swift Boat veterans, he failed at painting Bush as a coward. In this, Kerry even had the brief assistance of CBS News and 60 Minutes II, until the blogosphere exposed them as liars peddling obvious forgeries.
Besides, what would Kerry bring to the ticket? Latté liberals and Massachusetts. If Obama needs to shore up those constituencies, then nothing will save him.