He’ll still be with us, of course, only not as a Presidential candidate. Kerry announced today that he will run for re-election to the Senate rather than seek the Presidency in 2008. This is not, in my view, a major development in the campaign, since I never thought Kerry had a chance to be nominated.
The AP quotes Kerry on Iraq:
Kerry promised to spend the next two years doing whatever he could to ensure that President Bush’s successor enters office with the United States having “a reasonable prospect of success” in Iraq.
Interesting. Just a few minutes ago, Kerry sent out an email to his supporters in which he also talked about Iraq. This time, though, not a word about “success.” Here is what Kerry said to his “online community”:
Above all else, the mission we must all join is to end the war in Iraq.
Our first step toward that goal is to force President Bush to set a deadline to redeploy our troops.
Nothing about “success” in Iraq. Nor is there any talk about success on Kerry’s new web site, Set A Deadline, where Kerry says his “goal is to end the war in Iraq.”
I think this exemplifies the Democrats’ problem. Its base has no interest in a successful Iraq policy, but most Americans still want to win. Over the coming months, it will not be easy for Democrats to satisfy their base without being seen as outright defeatists.
The problem is highlighted, I think, by this CNN poll. The poll indicates that 78% of viewers who watched President Bush’s State of the Union speech had a positive reaction to it (only 32% of respondents were Republicans). And, on Iraq:
Among the speech viewers, 51 percent said they were very or somewhat confident that the United States will achieve its goals in Iraq. After Bush’s 2004 speech, the number was 71 percent.