Kerry Bows Out, Bizarrely

I’m not sure exactly how rare this is, but John Kerry announced he wouldn’t seek the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination in a speech from the Senate floor Wednesday. Adam Nagourney calls that “an unorthodox place” for such an announcement and notes that, “Mr. Kerry made his announcement at 3 p.m. in a Senate chamber that, other than two senators — Mr. Kennedy and Harry Reid, the majority leader — was almost empty.” Shouldn’t Kerry be doing this in a press conference in a Senate office building or in Boston, preferably with his wife by his side? Was he so desperate to avoid the presence of reporters at his announcement that he decided to take up official Senate time with news about his political career?

I never much liked John Kerry, I was dismayed that he emerged as the Democratic nominee in 2004, and I think saying that we would be better off with him as the president now is not exactly praising the man, considering the disaster that is George Bush. It seems like this choice of how he made the announcement reinforces the image of Kerry as self-absorbed that has dogged him for a long time. Now he will focus on winning reelection to the Senate in 2008, a campaign in which he may face a Republican challenger due to his lackluster poll numbers of late. Meanwhile, Terry McAuliffe’s new book takes Kerry to task for missteps on the 2004 campaign trail.

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