John Kerry 2008

‘Fired Up’ Kerry Returning to Senate (WaPo)

Democrat John F. Kerry plans to use his Senate seat and long lists of supporters to remain a major voice in American politics despite losing the presidential race last Tuesday, and he is assessing the feasibility of trying again in 2008, friends and aides said yesterday. Kerry will attend a post-election lame-duck Senate session that begins next week and has said he is “fired up” to play a highly visible role, the friends and aides said. Aides said Kerry is relishing the prospect of renewed combat with President Bush, fighting such measures as the president’s proposal to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. Kerry has spent most of the past two years on the campaign trail, meaning that his return to Capitol Hill will be something of a reintroduction to colleagues.

Kerry’s plans contrast starkly with the approach taken by former vice president Al Gore, who all but disappeared from the political scene after losing to Bush in the disputed 2000 presidential election. Kerry fueled talk about a 2008 bid during remarks at a Washington restaurant Saturday night. He provoked a thunderous reaction by reminding about 400 campaign aides and volunteers that Ronald Reagan twice sought the Republican nomination for president before winning it in 1980. “Sometimes God tests you,” Kerry told the crowd at H20, a restaurant on the Potomac waterfront, according to an aide. “I’m a fighter, and I’ve come back before.” Bob Shrum, Kerry’s chief campaign consultant, told reporters during a Democratic panel yesterday that Kerry “will not do what Al Gore did after the last election — he will not disappear.” “He will be active and vocal,” Shrum said. “He has one of the most powerful lists in the Democratic Party and one of the most powerful fundraising bases in the Democratic Party, and I think he intends to use it to speak out.”

Several Democrats expressed skepticism about Kerry’s plans, saying they believe the party needs a fresh face and must turn a corner. One well-known Democratic operative who worked with the Kerry campaign said opposition to Bush, not excitement about Kerry, was behind the senator’s fundraising success. “If he thinks he’s going to capitalize on that going forward, he’s in for a surprise,” said the operative, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

My guess is that the well-known operative is right. Still, if Kerry and Shrum want to give it another go in 2008, bring it on. Given that George W. Bush is ineligible to run again, though, he’ll have to come up with a campaign theme other than “W is for ‘Wrong.'”

Update (1015): The story is everywhere:

2008 Run Among Kerry’s Options (LAT)

Kerry run in ’08 called conceivable (Boston Globe)

Update (1224): Amusingly, I’ve stumbled upon this Slate story from Tuesday: Would Dubya Run in 2008? It’s more than possible if he loses this time out.


FILED UNDER: 2008 Election, , , , , , , ,
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. McGehee says:

    Democrat John F. Kerry plans to use his Senate seat and long lists of supporters to remain a major voice in American politics despite losing the presidential race last Tuesday…


  2. Mark says:

    Oh, James, do not fear. Despite Bush not running in 2008, John Kerry will have a plan. He always has a plan.

  3. ronniwe duford says:

    I believe in Kerry 2008.We almost took the w.h. this so hard to do against an incumbent.I am so proud of the party and so proud of all you democrats.Reality is many of us are christians too,at least we wont use religion to win next time,nor will we rig voting machines all in the name of bush or god.Bush is a freak,hes not even serious about God. I hope he takes away all Texans overtime.The democratic leader J Kerry will be so superior in 2008 to our liar president of late. Go demos we will be back.

  4. dom says:

    i think kerry should definatly run again and all those who agree should do theyre level best to give him as much support and notification that we want him and edwards back again, write to him let him no how will he know for sure otherwise!!! since the replacement of colin powell with Condoleezza Rice, websites are looking towards her to run in 2008,speculation of curse BUT y not?!! its already probable that dick chaney will be takin a back seat within bushes 2nd term.AND she is a very well respected person growing in power rapidly and in fairness a more than worthy candidate at this time. We need some one who is a trusted and regognisable loved and appriatiated like KERRY OR EDWARDS to be a familiar and strong person in the democrate party to keep the votes won and add to them. A new face even Hilary Clinton would perhaps shuffle the swing voters to look at other options. i fear any one else would just get destroyed by Condoleezza Rice if she decides she will run !! KERRY/EDWARDS EDWARDS/KERRY 2008 definatly !!! to me theres no other option

  5. terry B says:

    I like john kerry so much not because he is a democrat,his views his strong leadership and a liberal thinking on a variety of issues,like stem cells.American are not smart,and once again they proved to vote for bush,said a friend of mine and i couldn’t agree more cuz this man got vote to scare the shit out of the peoples and he knew what he was doing to get the vote.To keep his presidency since disputed 2000 election no body believed he became the president of united states he distract peoples and rush the war with out UN approval.Killing hundred thousands of innocent peoples and still going on.I would love to see john kerry & Edward once again in 2008.They actu~~~y deserve to win 2004 but as i said before no good luck for americans and ~~~ republicans voters like to shed blood that’s why they vote bush.Right now there is no better leader then kerry in USA.once again kerry Edwards for 2008.

  6. Kerry is a wimp and a flake. He never should have run in the first place. What a stupid thing to think that he would run again, especially as Americans increasingly prefer younger presidents, not retirement age men.

  7. Joe Smith says:

    Look, the amount of money, time and effort spent introducing John Kerry to the world should not be spent in vain. He’s got a better pedigree to be president than any other democrat, and at least we know his weaknesses. So he’s cold. So he changes his mind on issues from time to time. So his wife is a little, um…unpredictable. So what? Half the country backed him, and it’ll be completely different global situation in 2008. Let’s not let the morons at the democratic party do the thinking on their own — write Senators and Congressmen telling them to put Kerry on the ticket in ’08 — then we’ve got four years to chip away at the image of Kerry the republicans created (which, all in all, wasn’t bad — he wasn’t DEVASTATED like Dukakis)

  8. SJ says:

    Yes, Kerry needs to stay in the fight. Not like Gore, not like Dukakis…he needs to FIGHT GWB from the Senate and then run again with Edwards.

    Kerry/Edwards 2008!!!!

  9. Jim Taddeo says:

    YES! Thank god! I have finally found some people who agree with me! I am a young high schooler who, yes, cried, after finding out that this mother $*@#ing rat-bas%^** won re-election! My dad says it’s Kerry’s fault, then again, he was a Dean supporter. After Kerry lost a bid for the house of representitives, he bounced back. HE can do it again, KERRY ’08!