Recently, I was re-reading one of P.J. O’Rourke’s books, and this happened to be while John Kerry was on Larry King Live. As Kerry was trying to dig his way out of a hole with such vigor that he was about to reach China, I ran across the chapter title, “Commies: Dead but too dumb to lie down.”

I looked up at John Francois Kerry, and it was as if the gods of fortuitous timing were with me that evening. The chapter title, most of it anyway, was the perfect description of what has become of John Kerry’s presidential aspirations.

The next election is a little less than two years away, and I have no idea who the nominees will be. I do know who they won’t be, though. One thing is certain: John Kerry will not be among the finalists for the Democrat nomination.

Kerry is still assessing the impact of his “botched joke” on his ’08 prospects, as he was doing that night on the Larry King show. This is like Michael Richards assessing the impact of his botched rant on his chances to be president of the NAACP – It wasn’t going to happen anyway. Sorry, John.

Years ago, it all seemed so promising for Kerry, and then…

In 2004, Kerry came back from a distant third to win in Iowa, he had the best hair of any other Democrat seeking the nomination, and, most importantly, among core party voters, he had the only thing that they were looking for in a candidate: he wasn’t Bush.

According to polls before either party’s convention, the race between Kerry and Bush was a dead heat. This was the time for Kerry to make his move. Speculation swirled around who would be Kerry’s choice for a running mate. Would it be Hillary Clinton? Dick Gephardt? Would John McCain cross over? Kerry decided to add some youthful integrity to the ticket, figuring that nobody exudes this quality to Americans like a senator and attorney, if you’ll pardon the redundancy. A fellow wealthy liberal lawyer from an Eastern Seaboard state with a meticulously cared-for coif, Kerry’s choice of John Edwards as his running-mate was like adding salt to caviar.

The Dems convention in 2004 was another problem. Their week in Beantown was like a USO show in reverse, with the entertainers in the crowd, and the troops on the stage. Throw in Edwards reminding the crowd that “Hope is on the way,” and the USO feel was uncanny. Unfortunately, Bob and his trademark golf club didn’t make an appearance, and the constant reminders of what John Kerry did in his early 20′s turned off any voter with the audacity to be curious about anything that has happened since midway through Nixon’s first term.

Things got even worse shortly after the DNC gathering in Boston, when pollsters observed that, after an entire week of speeches and rallies, the biggest convention “bounce” any Democrat enjoyed was at a fundraiser and involved Alyssa Milano and a trampoline.

Just when things seemed to be heading in the wrong direction for Kerry, a hint of potentially good news energized his campaign. Dan Rather and CBS were going to air a report, complete with documentation, that would offer proof positive that George W. Bush received preferential treatment while in the Texas Air National Guard, which allowed Bush to skirt the usual requirements, keeping him out of Vietnam. At last, something for the Kerry campaign that would turn off Bush voters!

By the time it was over, the CBS flap cost Kerry in two key areas: 1) The documents ended up being forgeries, making Bush opponents appear desperate, and 2) In order to push this story forward, they had to admit that Bush was actually in the National Guard.

The loss, the Heinz, the flush, the plunge

Kerry, of course, lost to Bush in ’04, though I do believe some recounts are still being conducted in dusty corners of out-of-the-way polling places by chad-covered denial-addled liberal activists.

After the loss, Kerry went back to being one of the biggest lefties in the Senate, which you can get away with when you’re from Massachusetts, but it still doesn’t work nationally.

Kerry’s “botched joke” is only the final nail in the coffin of his presidential hopes. There were and are many others, not the least of which is his wife.

Frankly, on the likability scale, Teresa Heinz Kerry managed to rank just below “genital warts.” Preposterous elitist meanderings, such as saying that Laura Bush has “never had a real job“ must have made teachers, librarians and mothers everywhere rejoice to discover they’ve never had to work in their lives. Heinz-Kerry later said she was sorry, but, just like an Ike Turner apology, it’s tough to accept because you know that, tomorrow, another slap is coming. The 2004 election may have been the first to be lost due to a candidate’s wife. At the polls, a few voters might have decided that America needed a “First Lady,” not a “Mommy Dearest.”

Other John Kerry factors, such as accusing US troops of terrorizing women and children in Iraq and any other number of insulting things the Senator has said are sure to keep him from having another shot at the Dems nomination. John Kerry has spent the last couple of years helping Republicans produce dozens of potentially negative and damning ads for ’08. It’s nice for the other side when a candidate writes ad copy for his opponent.

The saddest thing about John Kerry is that the last person to realize that he has no chance of ever being President of the United States will be John Kerry. If this particular “botched joke” wasn’t so much fun to watch, I’d suggest an intervention.


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