Below - this concerned Kerry's nonelection efforts in 2004, and his most brilliant, but unsuccessful move, engaging Bill Clinton to help build him up. Will Hillary Clinton do likwise in her bid against Barack Obama? Democrat vs Democrat, in 2008, will be a very different race, and Bill is in a tight spot.
Why John Kerry Needed Bill Clinton
A Look at the Desperate Campaign Maneuvers by Occasional Senator John Kerry
Bill Clinton is one of this country's best orators. He is warm, engaging, with all the charm of a Southern Baptist minister. Few people, as with Ronald Reagan, do not like Bill Clinton, even when they vehemently disagree with Clinton's policies.
John Kerry is one of the driest speakers ever to read an index card at a campaign rally. Few people, as with Gerald Ford, have any warm feelings about John Kerry, even when they passionately agree with him.
John Kerry knows he failed to excite his supporters in his debates with President Bush. Against one of the most speech-shy presidents ever, John Kerry not only failed to slam-dunk the debates, but in the third debate, he lost. The difference was at most a technical victory, but Kerry should have owned the debate. He thought it would be easy, but he forgot that George Bush supporters chose him not because he was a pulpit queen, but because he stands up for what he believes. Kerry thinks he does too, but his credibility here has never been established.
Bill Clinton brings authenticity to the liberal viewpoint. He has a way of bringing on board people even after his notorious affair with the then very young Monica Lewinsky. Kerry recognizes his own inadequacy here. He never has capitalized on his own strengths, and has not been able to lead those being polled into confidence in his campaign.
Even after all the polemic pumping up by Michael Moore, the relative silence of presidential coattailer, Hillary Clinton, and the misguided CBS memo fiasco, Kerry has all but lost the anybody-but-Bush crowd. Democrats are demanding he speak to real issues, and are discovering he is not as well-planned as he led them to believe.
Bill Clinton can persuade Kerry's audience that a vote for Kerry is a vote for Clinton. He'll never say that, but Kerry campaign managers are hoping this Pied Piper technique will work on weaker minded voters. Kerry will continue to aim at academics who are already putty in his hand. Not everything Kerry does is ineffective.
Clinton can also raise money. He smiles, and it is ka-ching. The dollars will pour from sympathetic wallets who believe Clinton's presidency will continue through the ghost of Kerry. The problem they will encounter is the ghost is real, and the smoky candidate Kerry can offer is nothing but fumes should he actually be elected.
In religious matters, George W Bush has worn his faith openly, and few question his sincere belief in Christ. Some people shudder to know he bases some decisions on values which come from his faith, but those same people believe him when he says he believes. Kerry has the opposite problem. His claim of a Catholic faith seems politically convenient. When he quotes Scripture or "Amazing Grace," the praiseful lament of a former slave trader, he sounds like he memorized it on the bus. He wants to play the religion card, but has discovered that claiming to have a faith that doesn't influence him is impossible.
In comes Bill Clinton, a master of the game. His faith sounds sincere, and for all intents and purposes, most likely is. With his fall during the Lewinsky scandal, he sought advice of major Christian leaders. Was he contrite? Ask God. His views on abortion and homosexual politics worked contrary to his stated faith, but many in the Bible-belt south still voted for him. How Clinton did this is what Kerry wants to know, and when Kerry and Clinton stand at the same podium, the lesson can be taught.
Clinton soundly beat George Bush, the father of the current president by building a message of fear into the middle of the road voters with his, "It's the economy stupid" mantra. Father Bush never responded, but laid down flat and was walked over. Kerry is hoping that the figure of Clinton will confuse enough voters with these memories.
The race, as I write in early November 2004, is so close that pollsters themselves are shaking their heads. Back when Senator John Kerry used to go to Washington to serve as a senator, he was too busy to campaign. Now, as George W. Bush runs for office, Kerry is desperate. Even though Bush is constantly in meetings, working on things to protect and improve our country, Kerry can't gain an edge. Abandoning his office during this campaign has not been enough. He still needs to bring in the image of hardworking Bill Clinton.
Kerry has never succeeded in moving past his divorce from first wife Julia Thorne, his fabulously wealthy new wife (heir to the Heinz fortune), and his rambling academic manner. He knows George Bush, as a runner and former owner of a baseball team, is a paragon of health and outdoor sensibilities. In response, Kerry had a photo op of him carrying a gun with a dead goose in his hand. This was turned against him when some of his supporters who hate hunting and large guns heard about this unnecessary gimmick. They supported him when he said was antiwar, but are now confused as he proves he loves goose killing. They see a man hiding one gun behindback while pointing the other at an animal. Even the presumption that most independents would tail Kerry has not worked out. A recent Reuters poll shows Bush with a 12% lead over Kerry among independents.
John Kerry turns now to the big guns of Bill Clinton. Clinton, despite his Oxford laurels, always came across legitimately as a good old boy. He ate at fast food places, came from a small town, and came from a single parent family. People believe him, and relate to him.
In the end, John Kerry has not been himself. He has been everything but himself, relying, finally, on Bill Clinton. How will this gambit turn out? Ask Michael Dukakis.
* Moments ago, John Kerry conceded the election to George W. Bush, the President of the United States of America.
** Post note, September 2005: While there is much noise among Democrats about Bush, it should be noted that a record number of Americans voted for Bush. The real trouble remaining is not George W Bush, but the Democrats inability to present a better, more believable candidate.
by Anthony Trendl
editor of http://www.hungarianbookstore.com