From: Carin Dessauer/CNN
Subject: Bob Kerrey Steps Up Plans For Possible 2000 White House Bid
Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.) appears to be taking a serious look at running for president in 2000, sources close to Kerrey told CNN.
Kerrey hired a fund-raiser who will try to raise several million dollars over the next 18 months and the senator plans to visit Iowa and New Hampshire in the late summer and early fall for "testing the message, testing the waters trips," sources said.
Kerrey, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992, also will give a major speech in mid-September to "test his message," the sources said.
The Sept. 17 speech to the National Press Club is expected to outline a new economic agenda for Democrats to pursue, focusing on entitlements and tax cuts. It will be Kerrey's attempt to distinguish himself from Democratic 2000 contenders Vice President Al Gore and House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, the source said.
The money that Kerrey raises will be put into his Senate re-election account, but could be transferred to a presidential campaign.
"Kerrey is planning a trip to Iowa and New Hampshire late summer or early fall ... to send a signal that he has not ruled 2000 out," a source said. "He (Kerrey) wants to begin to engage the debate ... "
"This is not an accident that Kerrey is doing all of this," one source said. "He views the timing as right. He know that he did not have a very good message flushed out in 1992."
Kerrey plans to make a decision on whether he'll run for president in 2000 sometime this fall, the source said.
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