Dayton Endorses Clinton, Angers Kerry

Retiring Senator Mark Dayton has apparently hurt John Kerry’s feelings by endorsing Hillary Clinton for president in 2008.


A fuming John Kerry had “daggers in his eyes” after a fellow Democrat promoted Hillary Rodham Clinton for president — suggesting the 2004 loser is green with envy at a potential rival. The flap was touched off two weeks ago when Clinton spoke at a Minneapolis Democratic dinner and Sen. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.) told the cheering crowd that he was introducing “the next great president of the United States.” Two days later, Kerry came over to Dayton on the Senate floor “with daggers in his eyes and said, ‘What are you doing endorsing my 2008 presidential opponent?’ . . . He was very serious,” Dayton told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Clinton’s office declined comment but a friend tut-tutted: “Boys will be boys, even when they are senators.” Kerry spokesman David Wade tried to make light of the story, claiming “some lines must have gotten crossed in his retelling of this particular conversation” — and insisted they were mostly “joshing” about hockey. But Dayton’s office says the “daggers in his eyes” report was accurate and Dayton has no quarrel with it.


Kerry, who will visit Minnesota on May 3, has left little doubt that he yearns to run for president again in 2008, but trails Clinton in every poll of Democratic preference by margins approaching 2-1. A Marist College poll in February asked Americans who would get their vote if the 2008 primary were being held today. Thirty-nine percent said Sen. Clinton and only 21 percent said Kerry.

Poor Kerry. His chances of getting a second shot at the presidency in a row are slim, indeed. That would be true even without a candidate of Hillary Clinton’s star power in the way. American politics is not very forgiving of losers.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, Congress, The Presidency, , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. wavemaker says:

    This is pure Kerry, no question. We here in Massachusetts, who have known him since his very first political campaign, understand how much of a narcissistic egotist he really is.

    “My opponent.”


  2. Neo says:

    John needs to finish with
    this before moving on.

  3. Jack Tanner says: