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Senator Kerry defends Obama against GOP critics

Glen Johnson, so the usual level of passive aggressive behavior against Kerry (or any Dem for thye matter), but interesting however.

Given the general tone of the article, and the fact it ends with Setti Warren campaigning in NH against Romney, this is more an exercise defending Romney and the myth of the moderate MA Republican (cough, cough, Brown), than anything, but this is still interesting to read. Mr Johnson should learn than campaigning for a candidate is an exercise of democracy, not a wish for a higher office (though Warren may want to move higher at some point).


Yet the reality is that he did not win one term, let alone two. And he has instead spent the past seven-plus years in the US Senate, focusing his attention on his duties as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and - more recently - as the senior member from Massachusetts.

This past week, though, Kerry showed that the presidential gene has not receded, as he launched a broad-based defense of the Obama administration. It only underscored the belief that he is a leading candidate for secretary of state should fellow Democrat Barack Obama win a second term in November.

On Monday, Kerry delivered a sharply partisan speech to the nonpartisan New England Council, castigating congressional Republicans for blocking even the most mundane accomplishment as part of an effort to prevent Obama’s reelection.

On Tuesday, it was a floor statement and TV interviews rebutting an op-ed article about Iran written by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, whom Kerry dealt with while he was governor of Massachusetts.

Kerry showed this past week that the presidential gene has not receded.

On Thursday, Kerry himself wrote an op-ed piece for The Washington Post that detailed his complaints about Romney in writing.

]Denial, Collapse


Denial, Collapse

And we’ve got a “truly exceptional” outbreak of deadly tornadoes. Weather on steroids. No, no one weather event can be attributed to global warming, but to ignore the broad context of these extreme events would be blind and stupid.

Ocean acidification (caused by CO2 dissolving in ocean water, creating carbonic acid) is increasing at the highest rate in 300 million years, with disastrous effects for ocean life and the food chain generally — and we may be on our way to a mass extinction seen only five times before in 540 million years of multicellular life.

And we’re in denial. Sure, the right denies that it’s real, which is mule-headed and monstrous. But give them credit — climate denial is a priority to them. On the other hand, the left simply fails to make it a priority. It’s not a main priority on the major lefty blogs — Kos, etc. The Occupy folks, who have done an immense amount of good, are mostly fixated on pocketbook/class issues,m and hardly mention climate. In calling for cleaner energy, the President doesn’t even mention global warming and its likely consequences — flooding, starvation, political instability (war), entire regions and industries decimated by drought or flood, and so forth.

This is only one topic among others the left refuses to talk about. Endemic poverty is the other one that comes to mind. There are others, ...

BTW, guess who will be the most impacted by this issue: poor people and the middle class. So, yes, this is an issue that matters even in this context.

Kerry: I'm nothing like Romney

It should be obvious, of course, but unfortunately, it is not only the DC media who are pushing this.


John Kerry weighed in today, via BuzzFeed's Rosie Gray, on the oft-repeated suggestion that he and Mitt Romney have a lot in common:

Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts rejected the comparison that some in the press have made between him and current Republican candidate Mitt Romney: that they're both aloof, cut from the same patrician Massachusetts cloth, unable to connect with working class voters.

At a lunch at New York Law School in New York City today where he's giving a speech, Kerry told BuzzFeed that he totally rejects the premise.

"Well, I didn't have trouble connecting with [voters]," he said. "I almost won the presidency. I just don't agree with that. I completely reject that. It's not even similar in any way remotely. I won more votes up until that vote that any Democrat ever won ,particularly against a president in wartime. But for 59,000 votes, I would have won the presidency."

Kerry doesn't think Romney will come as close in the general election as he did.

"I think Romney's positions are out of touch with the needs of America," he said. "The difficulty I had in my campaign came about in the primaries because of the war, and it took me time to break through and be able to explain the position I had. But nobody doubted I connected with voters in Iowa, connected with them in New Hampshire, which I won."

Kerry added that "I've won five Senate races. I just don't buy that."

From the same event, but different reporting

Law School today and The Politicker asked his thoughts on whether the former governor of his state, Mitt Romney, has moved to the right now that he’s seeking the Republican nomination. Mr. Kerry said it’s clear Mr. Romney has substantially changed his approach.

“Well,” Senator Kerry said with a laugh, “It’s like 180 degrees night and day difference. It’s just a different Mitt Romney. It’s Mitt Romney versus Mitt Romney.

Mr. Romney’s Massachusetts health plan, commonly dubbed “Romneycare” by conservatives, has frequently been used as an example of his liberal past by those who say it served as the model for President Barack Obama’s health care reform plan. Mr. Kerry said Mr. Romney’s plan is “completely similar to the president’s.
Mr. Kerry is currently accompanied by a Republican, Scott Brown, in the Massachusetts Senate delegation. Mr. Brown is up for re-election this year and we asked Mr. Kerry whether he thinks Elizabeth Warren, Mr. Brown’s Democratic opponent, will win. He was loathe to make a prediction about the race.

“I can’t prognosticate. I mean, obviously, I want a Democrat and I’m supportive of a Dem, but the voters of Massachusetts are going to make up their minds,” Mr. Kerry said. “I’m not going to get into likelihoods or not. I think she’s a terrific candidate.”

Mitt vs Mitt (Digby)

Mitt vs Mitt

by digby

And to think the Republicans called John Kerry a flip-flopper for saying he voted for war funding before he voted against it and are now very likely to put a ping-pong ball on their presidential ticket. Hypocrisy doesn't begin to describe it:

Mitt Romney sparked controversy Wednesday afternoon after he told local reporter Jim Heath in Ohio that he would oppose a bill that would “allow employers to ban providing female contraception.” “I’m not for the bill,” Romney declared. “But look, the idea of presidential candidates getting into questions about contraception, within a relation between a man and a woman, a husband and wife, I’m not going there.” Romney made the comments on the eve of a Senate vote for an amendment offered by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) to permit employers to deny coverage of health services to their employees on the basis of personal moral objections. The measure is the GOP’s response to President Obama’s rule requiring employers to provide contraception and other preventive health services as part of their health insurance plans.

But moments later, the Romney campaign reversed itself, claiming that the candidate was confused by the question and that he does indeed support the rhetoric behind the bill, namely a boss’ right to keep health care services out of the reach of workers based on religious concerns. Romney himself clarified his stance during a radio interview on the Howie Carr Show:

ROMNEY: I didn’t understand his question. Of course I support the Blunt amendment.....

Of course he does. Or does he?


He's doing this so often that I'm beginning to wonder if this isn't his strategy. I'm sure he's being well briefed so unless he has Alzheimers,this doesn't make a lot of sense anymore. Maybe they think voters will choose him for the position they agree with and assume he's pandering on those they don't. Certainly, the villagers seem to think he must really be a centrist moderate (the bestest and most wonderful of all ideologies) and is just pandering to the rubes. Weirdly, the rubes don't seem to be as keen, but we'll see if they don't find it in their interest to believe his wingnut pronouncements were his real beliefs once he gets the nomination. People often delude themselves in this way --- on both ends of the ideological spectrum.

Kerry Floor Statement on Blunt Amendment Kerry Floor Statement on Blunt Amendment

Mr. President, this is a difficult time in our politics, a polarized time, and it's difficult for the Senate in particular because over the years this has been a place where we've prided ourselves on working -- really working -- to find ways to avoid that kind of polarization and find the common denominator even on sensitive issues. I think our friend from Maine, Sen. Snowe, spoke for many of us this week when she talked about "my way or the highway" approaches to partisan politics that have made it harder and harder for people to work with each other and get things done. I would never speak for her, but given her diagnosis of what's wrong with the Senate today, the amendment we're debating seems to be exhibit A.

Two years ago, many of us here voted to end an era that many Americans felt put women second -- an era where Viagra was covered for men at no cost by insurance companies, but contraception, which 99 percent of American women use, was not. The President signed our reform into law. And then the Administration took the time to come up with a policy to implement that new law. When they did, there was a firestorm. Many of us, myself included, said at the time it wasn't right to force religiously affiliated institutions to pay for contraception if it violated their beliefs. The Administration quickly moved in a direction that honored this principle of liberty more effectively.

That was the right decision, and this week Secretary Sebelius made it clear they're still working with the faith community on a final rule that will address the concerns of my Church and other institutions which are self-insured. I'm glad this is happening. It is always worth the hard work and patience required to reason together, listen to one another, and achieve a better understanding of the many ways we can respect deeply held beliefs and protect public health at the same time, and that's the spirit needed in our politics and in our country.

But that's not the spirit of the Amendment before us today, the Blunt amendment. It contains dangerously broad language, and if there's one thing I know after 27 years here, it's that language matters when you're writing legislation on such an important area of public policy affecting millions of Americans. Precision matters. This amendment opens up Pandora’s Box – its overly broad and vague exceptions could allow children to be denied immunizations, companies to object to mental health services, health plans to deny HIV screenings, and the rejection of maternity care for single mothers. That is just not good legislating. It's dangerous. And I say this knowing that it doesn't have to be this way.


Mr. President, this amendment would be a mistake -- for women, for health care, for millions of Americans who don't want to go back to the days when they could be denied care for any reason. We don't need to drive another wedge in our politics. We need to drive towards that common denominator, that common ground -- and that is why this Amendment must be defeated.
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