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Coverage of Kerry in Seattle: Kerry blisters Republicans

by RonChusid

John Kerry was in Seattle today speaking at the National Conference of State Legislatures:
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Kerry blisters Republicans, touts Democratic comeback at state level
By David Ammons, AP Political Writer | August 19, 2005

SEATTLE –John Kerry, last year’s unsuccessful Democratic nominee for president, was back on the campaign trail Friday — this time promoting a Democratic resurgence at America’s state capitals as the party attempts to rebuild.

After blistering Republicans on everything from Iraq to health care, the Massachusetts senator said Democrats have an opportunity to rebuild simply by addressing the concerns that affect people’s daily lives — energy, transportation, health care and security.

His comments came before 750 Democratic state legislators attending the National Conference of State Legislatures. He announced plans to campaign and raise money for Democratic legislative candidates across America.

He may use those chits for a new White House bid, but said in an interview that he’s taking his political plans a day at a time.

“I don’t have a timeline,” he said. “I’m just going to go out and see what we can do about ’06 (midterm elections for Congress and state legislatures), try to be as helpful as possible, and then begin to make some judgments.”

The ill-fated campaign was still clearly on Kerry’s mind, with an analysis and a broadside against Bush and congressional Republicans taking up the lion’s share of his 35-minute speech to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee’s luncheon.

Kerry scoffed at the idea that Democrats need an extreme makeover.

“We have to go out and fight for the real issues that make a difference in the lives of the American people and we don’t need some great lurch to the right or lurch to the left or redefinition of the Democratic Party.

“The last thing America needs is a second Republican Party.”

He said it’s no surprise that Democrats have been gaining at state capitals after falling behind Republicans in the 1990s. Democrats control both chambers in 19 states and Republicans in 20 states, and the two parties currently have almost equal numbers of state lawmakers nationwide.

Democrats moved 10 chambers into their column last year, “the best overlooked story of 2004,” said Colorado Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald, chairwoman of the national campaign group.

More states are targeted, and Democrats hope to be in good position when legislative and congressional boundaries are redrawn after the 2010 census, she said.

Related Post: Kerry Rallies Democratic Lawmakers in Seattle

19 Responses to “Coverage of Kerry in Seattle: Kerry blisters Republicans”

  1. I love when the MSM does this…

    Same AP writer, different title and a bit of a different take from the story posted here –

    Scrappy Kerry blisters Republicans, touts Democratic comeback at state level – http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/content/gen/ap/CO_Kerry.html

  2. Amazing another take from the same AP writer:

    Kerry said Bush and the Republicans have used the terrorism issue to divert attention from issues that favored the Democrats.

    In an arch comment about the president’s recent statement in favor of teaching “intelligent design” as an alternative to the theory of evolution, Kerry said, “I think we ought to be getting some intelligent design in our policy in Iraq.”

    That drew a standing ovation and whoops of delight from the audience.

    Kerry told his audience that while Republicans dither and practice politics of “nastiness and partisanship,” Democratic legislators are showing the right stuff, connecting with people on their front porches and then going to the capitals to fix their problems.

    “The states are now the laboratories, much more than before, because of the refusal of Washington to do what’s important and necessary. You’re forced to spend too much time cleaning up what Washington either messes up or leaves undone altogether.”


  3. THAT’S IT!!! I finally heard the perfect term to describe Kerry: “Scrappy.” No wonder “No Surrender” and Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” were his campaign songs, they fit the man perfectly.
    A note for all you folks fighting off the Hillary worshipers and/or the right-wingers who say Bush on the ticket is always a plus.
    Kerry was NOT a drag on the Democratic ballot. Not only did Dems pick up state legislatures in 2004, they also improved their numbers among mayors, governors, and in the House and Senate in the Non-South (where the party has been growing).
    Dems would’ve picked up house seats if not for the “creative” redistricting that occurred in Texas at the behest of Boss Hogg (I mean Delay). Only in the Senate did Dems honestly lose ground, and all the losses were in the South. For those who might blame this on Kerry’s Yankee liberalism I have a question. During whose presidency did the Southern Congressional and Senatorial representation shift from being majority Democrat to majority Republican? Answer: Bill Clinton. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I could’ve sworn Arkansas was in the South? Bottom line: with 5 southern Dem Senators retiring, its hard to see how any candidate could’ve helped the Dems numbers among southern senators.
    In contrast with Bush at the top of the ticket in 2000, the GOP lost seats in the House, Senate, state legislatures, and governorships. Only two presidential candidates since 1900 won an election while their party lost seats in both houses of Congress (JFK in 1960 and Poppy Bush in 1988). Were it not for the Southern Senators and Boss Delay, Bush Jr. would be the ONLY president in US history to win TWO elections while his party lost House, Senate, and governor seats in the same elections. There’s not much more in the South for the GOP to take, but there’s still lots of seats in the Non-South we can take (and have been taking).
    **** Let’s go get it (but don’t forget Florida).

  4. Nick

    The “Scrappy” was great!

  5. And I have to observe that Kerry won’t have to collect “chits”. He will have built his reputation and his support more solidly than the “chit” level of politics.

  6. Ginny

    No “chit” for Kerry. Absolutely.

  7. “Scrappy” does work to describe Kerry. He is also building his reputation nationally in a more effective way than those who are resorting to the “chit” level on some blogs and portions of DU.

    I bet that “Scrappy” doesn’t even care about the nonsense coming from those areas. Of course he doesn’t have to worry about responding to them. That’s one area where we’ve got his back.

  8. Ron

    Yes, if ever there was a “scrappy” politician, it’s John Kerry. Long, lean and determined = “scrappy”.

    And, too JK knows who’s got his back!

  9. I agree Ron. Thanks again Pam.

    BTW: What is “chit” mean? 🙂

  10. That scrappy long legged man is at it again. Intelligent Design indeed.

  11. Teresa

    Tee hee! I just love it Scrappy Kerry… been saying it all day… Scrappy Kerry, Scrappy Kerry, Scrappy Kerry…

  12. Indie

    A “chit” is like an invoice, a tab, a note… in this regard, it would be some power brokering chips he can use if he runs again. Brownie points is another comparison for “chits”.

  13. Cool.

    One question I have is does the party really need a makeover? I think they need to address the issue of taking (or not taking) the minority vote for granted. I think there are a few areas where the party needs a makeover, but kudos to Kerry for continuing to speak out. 🙂

  14. I still say he’s a babe! Scrappy? I dunno! A babe, yes, but Scrappy? LOL Go John go! We have your back honey and feel free to come back to Hood River anytime! We’ll be waiting for you board in hand!

  15. Kibby

    I think it’s an apt decription for him, typically a scrapper is someone who is lean and mean and knows what he’s about.

  16. Indie

    I just replied to “DV” in the other Kerry thread. JK has been saying for a while that we don’t need a makeover in reference to our values. I imagine that was what he was referring to. I’m going to see if I can get a copy of the speech next week. It would be helpful to put it into context.

  17. I agree that we shouldn’t let the repukes define our values. Thanks again Pam. 🙂

  18. So, who over here is coming to DC, and who is NOT coming but wants to help out anyway???

    Email me–karen@democracycellproject.net or call if you have the number–YOU know who you are!

    We need EVERYONE!!!

    Love to all…

  19. Karen

    LOL! Not coming – Will call you in while!