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    Kerry’s Biggest Mistake

    2004 loser John Kerry tells us what his biggest mistake during the 2004 campaign was yesterday on Meet Tim Russert.

    MR. RUSSERT: What was the biggest mistake you made, the most important lesson you learned from the presidential race?

    SEN. KERRY: Tim, I can go down that road and we can spend a lot of time talking about it. I, I—let me just say this: I made some mistakes. I know what they are and I take responsibility for them. My campaign, I take responsibility. I think the most important thing would have been to spend more money, if we could have, on the, you know, advertising and responding to some of the attacks. But we…

    MR. RUSSERT: The swift boat ads?

    SEN. KERRY: Yeah, but we—people forget, we had a 13-week general election; they had an eight-week general election. We had the same pot of money. We had to harbor our resources in a different way, and we didn’t have the same freedom. I think the biggest mistake was probably not going outside the federal financing so we could have controlled our own message.

    Now if Kerry thinks that was his biggest mistake and the main reason he lost, then Kerry is even more clueless than I thought. But what is so humorous about this is the reason Kerry had five more weeks is because the great Terry McAuliffe tried to game the system and picked a date to force the Republicans to have their convention right before the Olympics. McAuliffe’s theory was that if the convention was held before the Olympics, Bush wouldn’t get any favorable coverage due to the wall-to-wall coverage of the Olympics. Of course the GOP didn’t fall for this poly and instead decided to hold their convention after the Olympics, giving them a much shorter general election window. For five weeks in July/August, Bush was spending unlimited primary campaign funds against Kerry’s limited general election funds. In other words, it was Terry McAuliffe’s brilliant move (or so he thought) that ended up screwing Kerry in the end.

    Oh, and if you want more Kerry-related humor, check out what Newsmax reports Kerry claimed on Imus last week. You would think someone would, in private, let Kerry know that bragging about how he was “roughing it” during the 2004 campaign with his butler is probably not the best way to connect with the American people if he is planning on running for President again.

    Posted by Dave at 4:03 pm
    Filed under: Election 2004 News (Recent) | Comments (23)

    23 Responses to “Kerry’s Biggest Mistake”

    1. Go DUKE!!! says:


    2. pw says:

      It’s Kerry. What do you expect?

    3. Sigh. If he just had been able to get his message out. But no, the MSM would never give him a chance to get his plans and proposals out there. It was all wall to wall swiftvets from May on. And of course the $15 million left in the campaign fund that provides him the seed money for 2008 isn’t a part of not having the money to get his message out.

    4. Mike in Maryland says:

      It WAS pretty much wall-to-wall Swift Boaters for several weeks in August. Then came the GOP convention and the media practically called the race over based on the “bounce” polls. Even when Kerry got back into contention and did well in the debates, I heard more about Bush’s scowling and Mary Cheney than about Kerry’s policy proposals.

      Of course, visuals often override message. Who told Kerry that going windsurfing in the middle of the campaign was a good idea? And a little more emphasis on the future and less on the past (Vietnam) would have been welcome.

    5. Mike in Maryland says:

      BTW, Howard Dean is trying to rectify Terry McAuliffe’s mentioned mistake by holding the Democratic convention the week before the GOP one. Two weeks, and they’ll both be over. (This isn’t much different from 2000, where the GOP conclave was only 2 weeks before the Democratic one.)

      I’m split on the merits of this. On one hand, it would deny the Democrat a lasting “bounce” but then again, Kerry’s experience may prove that a bounce isn’t worth much. By putting the two back to back, that may allow voters to compare them more directly (the Democrats’ case will be fresh in voters’ minds while the Republicans put theirs forth), rather than one Democratic week that fades from the news and voters’ minds long before Republican week.

      I think it’d be interesting to have them both at the same time and show the speeches, etc, at staggered times.

    6. pw says:

      The Swiftboat adds that Kerry didn’t respond to, right? I mean, it wouldn’t have cost him money to go on, say, “Meet The Press” to respond, right? And there is that $15 million that was left over…
      As for McAuliffe, what can you say? The man was planted by Karl Rove.:)

    7. McCain says:

      Kerry’s biggest mistake was allowing the Democratic party to nominate him. No liberal has ever won the Whitehouse. The race was essentially over when it began.

    8. Mike in Maryland says:

      #7–How do you explain the victories of FDR, LBJ, and Truman (though he may be considered more of a populist)?

      Also John F. Kennedy, perhaps, though he may not count because he ran as more of a centrist than a liberal (and barely squeaked in.)

      Kerry’s showing was actually much better than other recent liberal nominees (Dukakis, Mondale, McGovern.)

    9. Go DUKE!!! says:

      The problem was not that Kerry was a liberal. Well, he was one before he was a moderate conservative and then a liberal again. The problem was that he was a phony. He doesn’t shoot geese (only himself), he doesn’t shuck corn, he doesn’t play football or windsurf and when he tried to ride a bike like a common American he got on his 5,000 French made bike. Nobody bought who he was and what he stood for. That is why listening to him talk about why he lost is so FUNNY!

    10. Go DUKE!!! says:

      And today I got an email from him wanted his supporters to sign a petition to call for the immediate removal of US Troops from Iraq. He was for sending them there but now against leaving them there to finish what he orginally supported. Thank GOD he didn’t win, I would be so confused.

    11. pw says:

      Remember “Can I git me a huntin’ license”?

    12. McCain says:

      Mike in Maryland, none of those former Democratic presidents were liberals. Modern liberalist is a three-tiered brain disease: liberal on economics, liberal on foreign policy, and liberal on social issues. You get 2/3 with a couple of them, 1/2 with others. Don’t confuse ideologies with political parties since the two things don’t always correlate.

      No liberals has ever won the Whitehouse, and no liberal will ever win the Whitehouse without a major historical event or the sands of time causing a sea change in our culture. And yes, it is interesting that Kerry got within 3 points, albeit against a rather unpopular incumbant.

      Indeed, the “No Liberal Can Win” regression model has a 100% accuracy rating, utterly trouncing the “Undecideds Break to the Challenger” model for predictive accuracy.

    13. Joe says:

      Driving around in his truck with Marvin the butler……sounds a little like Brokeback Mountain……Marvin I don’t know how to quit you……

    14. bill says:

      Kerry was defeated becaus he was a left wing jerk. He was also completely lacking a personality. The only reason he was even in the race was because of his rotten, stinking, scummy pals in the MSM.

    15. Go DUKE!!! says:

      And from the $$$$$ he married. I still don’t buy Heinz ketchup.

    16. Mike in Maryland says:

      #10–If you’re so glad Kerry lost, then why are you still on his e-mail list (in fact, why were you even there in the first place?) 🙂

      #12–I’d trust your analysis a bit more if you didn’t call liberalism a “brain disease”, making it hard to take seriously–the same is true for studies calling conservatism a sort of disease.

      I don’t know exactly what characteristics you define as a liberal, as opposed to an electable, Democrat. But I wonder if the disaster that the Iraq war became in the eyes of much of the public might be the sort of major event that allows one to be elected. That and the other Bush/GOP follies of late.

    17. pw says:

      1. Perhaps Duke was on the e-mail list because the e-mails provide her with comedic relief? I believe that Dave is also on the e-mail list.
      2. Wasn’t Iraq supposed to be Bush’s downfall in 2004?

    18. Mike in Maryland says:

      The comic relief theory–that’s a good one. Watching Fox News commentators and reading the Wall Street Journal editorials do the same for me–a look into Bizarro World (as I see it.)

      While Iraq was something of a millstone for Bush in 2004, it wasn’t as bad as now. His approval rating was around 50% then–a figure that comports with the election results. Now it’s under 40% and D’s have double digit leads over R’s in the “generic congressional ballot–a statistic that doesn’t necessarily forecast what the actual results will be, but R’s were doing a lot better in 2004.

    19. McCain says:

      Oh Mike, everyone knows that extreme liberalism is a proven mental handicap. It is why liberals score poorly on mathematics and logic tests.

      The generic congressional ballot test has a 4-5 point bias toward democrats. Even so, Democrats are way ahead. But it does tend up and down over time, and therefore seems to be an indicator that is reflexive of current events, sort of an Athenian Agora method of polling. What matters is where things stand around election time. If the generic ballot is this bad, it would signal a tsunami of 20+ seats switching parties.

    20. pw says:

      #17: The issue here (as put by McCain) was whether liberals would win THE WHITE HOUSE, not what would happen in the 2006 elections. You brought up Iraq, and I pointed out that Iraq disapproval was very strong in many polls before the 2004 election, but Bush still won. The upcoming event potentially forecast would be the 2008 elections (where the WH would be at stake) and not the 2006 elections. This is changing the subject.

    21. Tim says:

      As a Party activist, I felt that the Democrats probably would have fared better had the ticket been reversed, with Edwards at the top.
      That said, I must mention that one thing that surprises me now is the apparent abandonment of War Heroes by the voters. That simply used not to be done.
      First, it was done to John McCain, then to Max Cleland, and then to John Kerry. Their very patriotism was called into question, for no reason other than they dared to challenge their opponents. And, it was all pulled off by emn who themselves actively avoided cobat and service to their Country.
      These same men now promote a lost war, and tell us not to “cut and run”. Very sad.

    22. McCain says:

      Well now, before liberals blow tin trumpets of patriotism, let’s ask how many voted for the legitimate war hero Bob Dole.

      What is important to voters, and what should be important to voters, is the policies a person intends to implement rather than what any private first class did on the battlefield. And it HAS always been this way. Max Cleland was defeated because he was soft on terrorism, period. He was a war hero, period. Deal with multivariable equations and you’ll understand how intelligent voters can be.

    23. pw says:

      Tim (#21)
      Was Bob Dole abandoned? How about Bob Kerrey in 1992? Remember who was the winner of the 96 election and the 92 Dem primary?
      BTW, when did Bush question Kerry’s patriotism? When did Bush question McCain’s patriotism? And Cleland decided (stupidly so) to join with the Dems in trying to block the Department of Homeland Security because of insufficient unionization. That’s not a smart idea in Georgia.
      Oh, you know how much Pres. Bush detested Cleland? Bush appointed him to a lucrative board position (it was important enough to require Senate confirmation).