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Kerry's secret victory strategy?

Like many others, I've been watching the Kerry campaign struggle and flounder it's way along the campaign trail. Error follows misstep follows screwup until the whole thing not only resembles political farce, but BAD political farce.

But something's been niggling at me. Some little voice in the back of my head (besides the one that tells me to lick the light socket to hear a message from God) tells me that there's a greater game afoot, that not is as it appears, that Kerry and his people are smarter than they appear, that there has to be a grand plan behind it all. And I think I've finally figured it out.

John Kerry first ran for public office in 1972, when he lost a race for a seat in the US House of Representatives. He then went to law school, becoming a prosecutor from 1976 to 1979. He remained in private practice until 1982, when he decided to run for Lieutenant Governor.

In Massachusetts, while it is traditional for a Governor and Lieutenant Governor to run as a team, they are not coupled as a "ticket." 1982 marked the year Michael Dukakis sought to regain the corner office he'd held from 1974 to 1978, and his choice for Lieutenant Governor was Evelyn Murphy. Kerry beat her in a tightly-contested race, and served as Dukakis' Lieutenant Governor until 1984.

That was the year Kerry first ran for the US Senate. He was up against James Shannon in the primary, who was backed by Tip O'Neill and much of the state party machinery. Kerry beat Shannon by over 40,000 votes and went on to defeat the Republican candidate in what was later dubbed the "Reagan landslide."

In 1996, Kerry faced his toughest challenge. Popular Republican Governor William Weld took on Kerry for his Senate seat. All the pundits and all the polls showed Kerry going down in defeat. But in the end Kerry rallied and won re-election 52% to Weld's 45%.

That's the underlying theme to Kerry's political career: he's a "closer." Whenever he's been behind, been the underdog, he somehow manages to rally and push and fight and, in the end, win. Maybe this time Kerry is playing to his strengths and letting Bush pull ahead, letting his own campaign fall behind, and he is counting on his own track record of recovering and winning.

It's either that or he's a complete moron, along with most of his senior staff. And for all his other flaws, I don't think Kerry is that much of a moron.



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Comments (18)

The Dems' effort to "get th... (Below threshold)

The Dems' effort to "get the U.N. involved" in the upcoming November voting process appears cryptic, in light of your suggestions here, Jay. Meaning, the Dems can simply complain that the voting is foul, when Kerry loses, and attempt to inviolate the voting process. Which also seems fitting to Kerry's unidentified "foreign leaders" "alliances," to get even darker here about Kerry and the DNC.

That Midnight Rambler appearance and performance by Kerry was too much for me. It cinched my intuitive repulsion about John Kerry and what and who he is, and what the Dems have in mind for "government" if they manage to get that far.

The pivotal point here is what Kerry would "closed" if he could. I just don't trust him as an individual, just not at all.

Typo, sorry (^^); should re... (Below threshold)

Typo, sorry (^^); should read:

"...what Kerry would 'close' if he could..."

Go back and talk to talk to... (Below threshold)

Go back and talk to talk to Boston.
He did not get a ride that year.

What works in MA shouldn't ... (Below threshold)

What works in MA shouldn't carry over to the US. Also, the common belief of the '96 election was that people liked both candidates and voted for the status quo... keeping Weld in his current job and sending Kerry back to Washington. Little did MA know that Weld would split soon after the election loss.

That's just plain scary, Ja... (Below threshold)

That's just plain scary, Jay.


I'd love to see him come up... (Below threshold)

I'd love to see him come up with something substantive. It's tiring seeing the man crap all over himself. Maybe he's going for a sympathy vote or something.

Mrs. Kerry -- or Mama "T" -... (Below threshold)

Mrs. Kerry -- or Mama "T" -- was hospitalized with a tummy ache. Me thinks Johnny Boy may have poisoned the woman to get the sympathy vote.

The above is a typical exam... (Below threshold)

The above is a typical example of Republican compassion. A woman gets sick and he giggles.

Kerry is planning on lettin... (Below threshold)

Kerry is planning on letting the liberal media (60 Minutes is doing an expose on Bush getting into the National Guard, like being PRESIDENT for 4 years doesn't trump 4 months as a Lt.(jg). But here is the real strategy -

Brothers in Arms - Kerry as action hero

Bush's Brain - Karl Rove as the puppet master

Uncovered: The War in Iraq -Bush lied, people died http://movies.yahoo.com/shop?d=hv&cf=info&id=1808544643

(and all of the Bush bashing movies have "reviews" that say "I was a Republican for decades but after seeing this I am changing my vote") So Susan Estrich is late in coming to the party!

Gail in Ohio

The above is a typical e... (Below threshold)

The above is a typical example of Republican compassion. A woman gets sick and he giggles.

Yeah, so typical that he's THE ONLY ONE WHO DID IT.

Jeez, what a maroon.

I echo McGehee here. A coup... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

I echo McGehee here. A couple weeks ago I had a bout of viral gastroenteritis (or, as John Kerry would put it, "I actually had the illness before I didn't have it.") I feel sorry for anyone who has anything like it. So, just in case anyone as dense as Eric thinks that I'm agreeing with Mr. Kouri, I do not.

And to head off the next line of right-wing whacko speculation: I'm not questioning the timing of Bill Clinton's health issues, either.


An ancient Chinese general ... (Below threshold)

An ancient Chinese general once said " Make them think you are weak when you are strong." I don't like Kerry, but I still wouldn't under estimate him.

Yes, but why was he behind ... (Below threshold)

Yes, but why was he behind in the races to start with? And what did he do to close?

Factors against him closing more than about the 5 points attributable to "unwarranted entusiasm":

1) Just what would he DO? It's not like he needs more appearances. Although I suppose he can try to adopt an animated persona, it would likely appear foreign and awkward. Edwards trying to look and sound tough seems more and more like the scared kid trying to convince himself that he won't have to fight if he looks 'em straight in the eye.

2) Doesn't Kerry's "closer" rep primarily come from his performance in races in which he was an incumbent?

3) So he's a closer....in Massachusetts. It's been 11 presidential elections since a successful Bay State politician has persuaded the nation to choose him as its leader...and as desperately as he desires it, John F Kerry is no JFK. NO politicican from Massachusetts will ever again be president until the state comes to grips with how out of step it has gotten with the majority of American citizens on virtually every social and political issue.

Team Kerry can do little to close, although it can alienate America further. Events and Bush himself control the outcome of this election.

I don't think Kerry's curre... (Below threshold)

I don't think Kerry's current position is about strategy - it's just who he is. Unfocused, equivocal, distracted, etc. Is he a genuine force when he is "focused?" Probably so, and it would be foolish to think this election is over.

Where Kerry is politically today is exactly where we would be with the war on terror - and why he is so unfit for office. He isn't proactive, he is ponderous to the point of being reactive. He's like Clinton in that regard.

Under Clinton, 8 years of a booming economy, the peace dividend ... and what did he do with it? Nothing. He was lazy, distracted, casual, however you want to describe it. Yes, he was always up for a fight and at his best when in danger (ie Lewinski, Whitewater, etc.) But, as a president he was a lark.

A Kerry presidency would likely be the same thing -lackadaisical. And that is somehting America simply cannot afford right now. The dems as a group are going to fight dirty and hard - likely Kerry will, too. It is imperative that Bush supporters stop congratulating ourselves about the convention and get back to taking this guy down.

I let my voter registration lapse when Clinton beat Bush 41. I was so disgusted, I decided America got what it deserved for not seeing that guy coming and abandoning a noble man like Bush 41. Well, I'm back. I'm re-registered. I am writing, talking, cajoling, doing all I can to not see this nation suffer under another liberal democrat.

I live in Jersey. And likely anything I do locally will be for naught. But I don't care. I'm going to fight the good fight and put my faith in the South and swing states. In that regard, I am talking to anyone and everyone I know in PA, too. ha ha

The media did a lot to beat Bush 41. Today we have the technology and new forms of communication to not lay down and die. We're all taking the country back from the NYT, LAT, etc. Let's keep it up ... and let's kick some ass. Kerry crumbled on and in Vietnam. He'll crumble in this election. All we need to do is fight.

Sorry for the rant. It was either that, or put on MSNBC and take a sledge hammer to the TV.

Good idea to warn that it's... (Below threshold)
Bill Peschel:

Good idea to warn that it's never too late. There's still two months left and we've got the debates to come, and by the time election day rolls around, few are probably going to care about Kerry's medals and the fudging of his military record.

Ken, Jumbo, I never said it... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Ken, Jumbo, I never said it would be a SUCCESSFUL strategy... and I agree with your points. It's 1988 all over again -- once again a Massachusetts Democrat is presuming that the rest of the country plays by Massachusetts rules, and once again a bulldozer named Bush is gonna flatten 'em.

(We hope.)


I agree that it may not be ... (Below threshold)
Another Thought:

I agree that it may not be a deliberate strategy but Kerry's pattern. Being more reactive than proactive he needs to be behind in order to fully motivate him. He's like the student who always waits until the last minute, then crams for the exam, and then does well anyway. Some people function better under that type of pressure, and it fits the profile of Kerry being reactive rather than proactive.

I will say that for Kerry to come back and beat Weld in the liberal state of Massachusetts by only 7 points in an election year when the incumbent Democratic president won the state by an overwhelming landslide (I believe by over 30 points) does not seem to be that impressive. In short, Kerry has had a built in advantage in Mass that he does not enjoy in a nationwide election.

That being said, we can never write Kerry off, not because Kerry is that impressive himself, but because he has the liberal media in his pocket, as well as the Hollywood surrogates. It is the media and Kerry's surrogates that we need to defeat as much as Kerry.

The above is a typical e... (Below threshold)

The above is a typical example of Republican compassion. A woman gets sick and he giggles.

Lighten up, EricL, it was a joke. A bad one, perhaps, but just a joke. I could have said Mrs. Kerry looked in the mirror and got sick to her stomach. Or Mrs. Kerry mixed her meds with her vodka martini(s). Or Mrs. Kerry had developed a stomach ailment when she realized she tied her star to a real loser. Or... perhaps she just got sick.






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