Via the Boston Globe:
WASHINGTON — As Senator John F. Kerry prepared to make a return to presidential-style politics with a classic day of New Hampshire campaigning, he said that the 2004 run left him tougher and more eager to fight.
”When you get knocked on your ass and lose a race, you’ve got to stop and reflect on what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, what matters, and what’s important. And I did,” Kerry said in an interview in his Senate office on Thursday. ”There’s a very different John Kerry now who is absolutely crystal clear about how I communicate what I need to communicate. . . . People are going to be looking for leadership.”
Kerry’s efforts to launch another presidential bid have prompted grumbling from some Democrats, who question whether a second Kerry candidacy would be good for the party — or even realistic. Some party insiders expect that leading fund-raisers and strategists will push Kerry out before the race starts, in favor of a fresh face for a party desperate to retake power.
But in most respects, the Massachusetts Democrat has never stopped running for president. He has maintained an aggressive financial operation that, since the end of the last campaign, has raised nearly $4 million for Democrats in races across the country, and has sent $3 million of his own campaign funds to help other candidates.
”I only know that I’m in a position to make this choice,” Kerry said, reflecting his belief that he’d be a viable candidate should he decide to run. ”I’ll do what I think is the right thing to do, based on my own gut and desire. I will not worry one instant about conventional wisdom. It was dead wrong in the last race, and it probably will be dead wrong again this time. I just don’t buy into some of the things I hear around here based upon what happens when I go out and see people around the country.”
I think his inability to win the last election would keep him from getting the nomination again. The Dems, very much like the Reps, are going to want a fresh face – someone who can effectively get across the message their respective parties are trying to get out to the American people. I am not ruling out the possibility that Kerry’s ’04 running mate and former NC Senator John Edwards will be the Dem man in ’08. A lot of people are speculating it will be Hillary, but she’s too polarizing. Edwards comes across as “everyman” and is every bit as effective a communicator as the Slickster. He’s good looking, charming, comes from a modest background, is a family man, and seems sincere. He’ll be the one to watch.
(Also blogged about this at Blogs For Bush)