Thursday, January 10, 2008
Revenge of the Nerds...







Reza Aslan
360 Contributor




John Kerry endorsed Barack Obama today. Actually Kerry pretty much took credit for Obama's candidacy.

"I'm proud to have helped introduce Barack to our nation when I asked him to speak to our national convention," he said, "and there Barack's words and vision burst out."

The media will no doubt frame Kerry's endorsement as evidence that the Democratic establishment is beginning to line up behind Obama. After all, Kerry doesn't just represent the beltway, the beltway practically wraps around his waist.

But the real story here is Kerry's reason for supporting Obama:

"Like [Obama], I also lived abroad as a young man, and I share with him a healthy respect for the advantage of knowing other cultures and countries, not from a book or a briefing, but by personal experience, by gut, by instinct."

First of all, by all means, let's elect another president based on his gut instincts. It worked so well last time.

Secondly, when did "intuition" become all the rage in Washington? After all, it is difficult to imagine a less instinctual politician than John Kerry, a man who needed to do little more than show up and look alive to beat George W. Bush in 2004, but who could only manage one of those requirements (you can guess which one).

Kerry's claim of gut instincts makes me think that the "intuition fad" in Washington may be coming to an end. You always know a fad is over when the class nerd takes it up.
Posted By CNN: 8:31 PM ET
  17 Comments
Can you say opportunist? John Edwards was good enough for John Kerry in '04 but now that it's looking promising for Obama, Kerry's switching alliances.
Posted By Anonymous Steve Peoria, IL : 8:45 PM ET
Wow -another billionaire weighs in with his endorsement. Im sure he doesn't have any ulterior motives.
Posted By Anonymous Riley R , Exeter, Ma. : 8:50 PM ET
I'm trying to care about anything Sen Kerry says or does but I can't quite get there...
Posted By Anonymous peggy e. , rockville, md. : 8:52 PM ET
This has to be related to the vast right-wing conspiracy. Did Karl Rove put Kerry up to this ?
Posted By Anonymous Viola L, Lincoln Ne. : 8:54 PM ET
Somehow I think a Cabinet post is in the offing...
Posted By Anonymous Erin -- Fayetteville, Ar. : 8:57 PM ET
john kerry's like britney - he just can't stay out of the limelight
Posted By Anonymous ronnie - knoxville, tn. : 9:00 PM ET
IN the pictures of them together, Obama doesn't exactly look thrilled. Im not sayin', Im just sayin'
Posted By Anonymous Wendy F, Springfield, Mo. : 9:05 PM ET
Im not at all convinced this is big news.
Posted By Anonymous Terry, Denver Co. : 9:12 PM ET
I wouldn't count out intuition, gut instinct, or whatever you'd like to call it.
Of course we need to use our brains to analyze a candidate, but as with every connection to another human being, we will be using our gut feeling to decide on our voting choice.
The day we shut off that emotion is a day we will be in a world of big brains and no soul or heart.

Lorie Ann
Buellton, Calif.
Posted By Blogger Lorie Ann : 9:12 PM ET
Great blog. Gut instinct just doesn't cut it these days its like acting on impulse. You work with your heart not your head and most of the time it fails.

For me a President needs experience, they would need to have worked for the position and paid their dues. As far as Obama is concerned 3 years in Congress is hardly enough experience to run a country and adding gut instinct to make important decisions just doesn't seem like the type of leader this country needs right now.
Posted By Anonymous Marcia, Warren Mi : 9:13 PM ET
Umm, can you turn down an endorsement? Just asking.
Posted By Anonymous Anne - Detroit, MI : 9:13 PM ET
Don't let the politicians pick our President! Let's all get to the polls.
Posted By Anonymous Thom D, Ft Worth, TX : 9:16 PM ET
Reza, you rock! And you said so much of what I was thinking when I read Kerry's email. Thanks.

Trying to align himself with Obama is just tacky, even if it's true. Let OTHER people point it out.

Besides, I don't think the Dem party has yet forgiven Kerry for not managing both requirements in 2004, so I'm not sure this endorsement really is a plus. (Does ANYONE care what this man thinks anymore? It may work as reverse-psych and push people to Hillary...)

Have you read Andrew Sullivan's piece in The Atlantic re Obama? It is masterful. I am sending it to everyone I know who is wavering. Far more inspirational than this endorsement.

(Looking forward to your new book!)
Posted By Anonymous Cynthia Delmar, Portland OR : 9:22 PM ET
Reza/AC360:
Barak Obama should stay far away from the beltway gang and John Kerry.

Obama is running on change and not as a Washington, D.C. insider. So, John Kerry is really not doing Obama any favors by "endorsing him" because Americans really don't care what Kerry thinks. We care what is on Obama's mind for change in this country.

I have no malice toward Senator Kerry, I just think he should distance himself from a man who needs momentum and not yesterday's presidential washout sharing his podium.
Posted By Blogger Sharon from Indy : 9:23 PM ET
The Dem's mistake last time was that they had Kerry first on the ticket. It should have been Edwards/Kerry, maybe they would have won... This endorsement is useless for Obama.
Posted By Anonymous JP, Long Island, NY : 9:37 PM ET
OOOOH!!! I don't think I would align myself with Kerry!! You could suffer for it immensely!! Kerry is just part of the great machine that NOW runs washington.
Posted By Blogger Ronsviews : 10:26 PM ET
If Sen Kerry is so keen on "changing " Washington, what has he been doing for 15 years ?
Posted By Anonymous John M, Milwaukee, Wi. : 11:22 PM ET
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