John Kerry said today he will not run for president in 2008.
Speaking from the Senate floor, he talked about continuing to fight against the war in Iraq and pledged to serve his constituents in Massachusetts for another term.
I couldn't help but think of a piece that ran in early December in the New York Post, which described a pot roast and butternut squash dinner he threw for a dozen Democratic big wheels at his Georgetown townhouse.
Page Six wrote:
According to a source who knows one of the attendees, Kerry started off by asking guests if he should run or not: "When no one answered, he launched into a speech about why he was the best candidate."
One might presume that the people at Sen. Kerry's dinner party were trying to be polite by not speaking up - else they might have been obliged to say something along the lines of "...What are you, crazy?"
Nonetheless, when confronted with this situation, Kerry merely plowed forward into what he wanted to say anyway. There's nothing worse than politicians whose minds are already made up, irrespective of the facts on the ground.
Today on the New York Times website, political reporter Adam Nagourney wrote this on The Caucus blog:
The final blow, many Democrats say, came during the last campaign when Mr. Kerry told what he said was a botched joke that Republicans seized on to try say Mr. Kerry, himself a veteran of the war in Vietnam, was insulting the troops in Iraq. The remarks produced a storm of controversy and left some Democrats even those who thought Mr. Kerrys statement was being unfairly reported angered at a Democrat who had a history as a candidate of making politically damaging remarks.
He was faced with running against what looks like one of the strongest Democratic fields in years, Nagourney wrote, and his former supporters were making it clear they were defecting to other candidates.
The Politico's Roger Simon says it was all about the Benjamins:
Serious candidates and candidates who want to be serious in 2008 will have to raise more than a million and a half dollars a week in $2,000 increments starting right about now.
And Kerry, who was criticized by many in his party for not running a more vigorous campaign last time, found it tough going.
A source close to Kerry said, "He was calling around Wednesday and Thursday to close advisers and they had talked to donors several times and the money wasn't going to be there. That coupled with (Barack) Obama-mania, which gave people looking for a Hillary alternative a viable option, is what ended his plans."