Thursday, January 10, 2008

John Kerry Endorses Barack Obama

Immediately when I read that Senator Kerry had lined up behind Barack Obama, I thought that it was bad for Barack Obama.

I remembered that John Kerry was a spineless and fearful candidate that lost to a weak sauce George W. Bush.

John Kerry makes progressives mad. He makes me mad.

But I thought about it a little more and I think it's probably a good thing for the Obama campaign.

Obama seems to have young folks on lock down.

Older, traditional, paper media democrats have been more reluctant. They're the old-school baby boomers that Andy Sullivan was talking about. Obama has largely struggled to earn "legitimacy" with this bunch because of the entrenchment of the baby boomer narrative that Mr. Sullivan discusses. Kerry's endorsement of Senator Obama is, in a way, a repudiation of his own electoral strategy in 2004.

It may help Obama reach voters that have been content to go with the establishment choice. Kerry's large database of contacts and supporters from 2004 may in fact include a lot of Clintonian Democrats.

I could be way off because:

Anecdotally, in my head, I just sort of associate Kerry and Clinton. I consider the stereotypical proactive Kerry supporter of 2004 to be more enthusiastically pro-Clinton than pro-Obama here in 2008. Is that an unreasonable assumption?

What do you make of the Kerry endorsement?

The timing of the announcement is perfect, though. I do have to throw that in here.


oyster said...

Not sure that the timing is "perfect". Before the NH primary would've been better, in retrospect.

Look at the Democratic Daily web site, and troll through the recent posts if you don't go there regularly. There's a number of Kerry people there; I'm talking about Kerry people who supported him from the start last time, and wanted him to run again this time too. (Now their sympathies seem to be split between Hill and Edwards. Not Obama maniacs by any stretch.) So, I would consider them to be an excellent gauge for assessing the reaction of former Kerry for Prez supporters to Kerry's endorsement of Obama.

Leigh C. said...

I don't know about the Clinton-Kerry linkage. From what I remember last presidential go-round, if that kind of association made any difference, I couldn't see it. All I could see from my vantage point in NYC was that the Kerry supporters were heavy on the east and west coasts and the Dubya supporters in the middle just squeezed him over the top.

This one really is anyone's guess at this point. I almost think folks will be doing some knee-jerk voting AGAINST the pundits' predictions just to piss 'em off. Or maybe that's just me...

Charlotte said...

I imagine Edwards is pretty pissed off about Kerry's endorsement.

Off subject and kind of a weird observation, but Kerry reminds me of the bride of Frankenstein with that hair thang he's got goin' on.

Charlotte said...
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Adrastos said...

Kerry and Clinton were never close when Bill was in his heyday. The real villain of the 2004 campaign IMO was Bob Shrum who urged Kerry to turn against his voting record and run as a "moderate" instead of who he really is: a bna fide Mass. lib-er-al. It was bad advice and Kerry took it, which really bit him in the ass.

I think the endorsement is a big plus for Obama and his people were likely the ones who timed the announcement.

E said...

yeah. it might have helped in new hampshire but i think it would have been lost in what was a pretty significant wave of pro-obama media coverage.

what it does right now is end the "amazing comeback by hillary clinton" news cycle.