McCain Tells Kerry to Focus on Senate

McCain wants Kerry to stop looking ahead (Boston Herald)

Straight-talking Sen. John McCain wants his friend Sen. John Kerry to ice his “obvious” desire to run for president again and focus on his day job. “It’s pretty obvious, the way he’s acting, he’d like to try it again,” the Arizona Republican said of a 2008 Kerry bid. “I’d advise him to be the best senator he could be and put those ambitions aside for a while.” McCain said he “absolutely” wants to be president himself but will focus on the Senate and “wait a couple years” to decide on a 2008 run.

Assessing Kerry’s odds in the June issue of Men’s Journal, McCain said, “I think it would be difficult for John, for the same reason it’s hard for all candidates who don’t succeed.”


Kerry spokeswoman Jenny Backus responded, “It’s always fun to watch Sen. McCain quarterback, especially when he was the captain of the Bush/Cheney team.” McCain also predicted Sen. Hillary Clinton has “a good shot” at the Democratic nomination and that “it would be a mistake to underestimate her.”

I don’t think anyone’s underestimating Clinton. His advice is surely correct, though. Indeed, Clinton has shrewdly focused on her Senate duties first, not only building chits within her party but demonstrating that she was more than a show pony. Kerry would be wise to do the same if he wants another shot at the brass ring.

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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. Oh please, there is no second chance for Kerry. He’s damaged goods.

  2. bithead says:

    So is McCain, for that matter.

  3. Sean Thompson says:

    John Kerry is twice the senator McCain is, and twice the senator Clinton is for that matter. John “Cablevision” McCain should worry about himself. He’s a corrupt politician who’s all about feeding tax cuts to the rich at the expense of the middle class and poor. McCain is a total phony.

    John Kerry is a true leader willing to take a stand for what’s right. I’ll support Kerry over any candidate from either party in 2008.

    Sean Thompson
    Kansas City, MO

  4. Patricia Murphy says:

    I agree. Who is McCain to tell anyone how to do their job? This coward became Bush’s poodle in 2005. He actually let Bush kiss him on the head like McCain was his little pet after Bush smeared him so badly in 2000.

    John Kerry needs no advise from “finger in the air” McCain. Kerry has done a great job for America since the election. He recently fought for and won better death gratuity payments for military widows and an extention of their military housing limit after a spouse’s death from 90 days to a full year. He also fought and won for families of soldiers who die serving the country outside Afghanistan and Iraq to be eligible for the same death gratuity.

    He sincerely cares about the families of those who served and respects their sacrifice. Meanwhile McCain supported a new $250 mandatory co-payment for veterans just to participate in the VA healthcare system. Is selling out veterans healthcare doing your job?

    Kerry also introduced several bills in 2005 which help small businesses all across America, one of which recently passed. Meanwhile, McCain lobbied to allow cable companies to use a-la-carte pricing which increases rates to end users. He could care less about less about viewers.

    While I’m a republican, I have little respect for a man who sells out the public for corporate money while calling himself a campaign finance “reformer”. That’s why I’ll support Kerry if he runs again. Because he’s got American citizens’ backs at all times.

    Tempe AZ

  5. kappiy says:

    Clearly we have McCain already in campaign mode trying to belittle Kerry–something he clearly doesn’t need to do since Kerry hasn’t got even a slim chance for the nomination.

    But wouldn’t a Kerry vs. McCain matchup be somethin’? We would have the Swift Boat Nam coward Kerry vs. the crazy NAM vet, bad-tempered POW with an illegitimate daughter whose mother is an African American prostitute!

    The Nader campaign ought be calling Karl Rove in right about now to prepare!

  6. Knemon says:

    Okay, guys. Good spirit.
    Do you think Kerry has a chance of winning either of y’alls states next time?

    Explain. Cite pertinent evidence.

    – Rudy can’t fail.

    Old Cantankerous
    Berkeley, CA (no kidding)