John Kerry sounds like a 2020 candidate

In the 2004 primaries, Kerry beat back Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, a liberal outsider-insurgent, on an argument of electability and experience in Washington. And ahead of 2020, he sees those qualities as again being political assets.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a year for total newness, because people want the trains to run on time, people want to re-establish something, and I think there may be a premium for some relevant form of experience,” Kerry said, though adding that such experience “doesn’t have to be [in] politics.”

In 2004, Kerry was worried about restoring national unity—it was, he said, one of the principal reasons he considered selecting Sen. John McCain as his running mate in that year’s elections. Kerry said that bridging America’s divisions is an even bigger concern ahead of 2020, but he’s not sure he’d counsel the Democratic nominee to think about a Republican running mate. The fissures defining American life right now, Kerry suggested, are more complicated than a simple Democratic-Republican divide.