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...things like this kind of make me wonder about Marshall Whittman. Yes, Bob Kerrey is an amusingly eccentric independent spirit. But for this he should be President? He's terrible. And he's on the wrong side of the leading domestic policy debate of the day.

April 19, 2005 | Permalink


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» Who Will Go Waltzing Matilda With Kerrey? from Dropping the Gloves
The discussion didn't come on the Bull Moose site, however. It sprung up on Matthew Yglesias' blog, where he shot down the Kerrey idea and opened the floor for people to talk behind "The Moose's Blog." [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 19, 2005 11:27:32 PM


Kerrey couldn't even beat Paul Tsongas and Jerry Brown. Why on earth does Whittman think he could win a general election?

Whittman's unwavering support of the psuedo-moderate McCain shows just how completely our "centrism"-driven CW has him under its spell.

Posted by: B | Apr 19, 2005 9:53:51 AM

Kerrey is a self-aggrandizing phony.

Posted by: praktike | Apr 19, 2005 9:56:38 AM

sounds like somebody who's never met Bob Kerrey--I was at the New School when he came in as Dean, and the way he's handled himself, and various situations at the New School, befits the classic stereotype of the slick politician--too slick by half, and more than a little strange, to boot...

Posted by: David W | Apr 19, 2005 9:57:05 AM

Also, it seems likely that his speculation about entering the Mayoral race is going to be positively harmful to the rest of the Democratic field, especially if he turns around and decides not to run.

Posted by: washerdreyer | Apr 19, 2005 9:57:33 AM

i meant the blogger link, not you praktike--your description pretty much nailed him;>

Posted by: David W | Apr 19, 2005 9:58:12 AM

Also, if the Republicans can tear John Kerry a new one for not being wounded enough to deserve his medals, imagine what they'll do to Bob Kerrey for his Vietnam activities...

Posted by: right | Apr 19, 2005 10:08:14 AM

... is Kerrey on the wrong side of the most important policy debate" or merely on the other side?

Posted by: hanger on | Apr 19, 2005 10:10:29 AM

is Kerrey on the wrong side of the most important policy debate" or merely on the other side?

If your goal is to have debates and you don't care about the outcome because all outcomes are equal, he's merely on the other side.

If you engage in debates because you think the outcomes matter, he's on the wrong side.

Posted by: 16 | Apr 19, 2005 10:15:46 AM

Wittman would be more than happy to be given a chance to whip the Democrats into shape and tell us what's what. He'd be glad to join the Democratic Party as long as he can be its leader. What a generous, caring guy! I don't understand the resistance.

Posted by: John Emerson | Apr 19, 2005 10:18:08 AM

Didn't he like kill an entire village of Chinamen with his bare hands or something?

Posted by: greg | Apr 19, 2005 10:20:34 AM

The paper this morning said that Kerrey was thinking of running for mayor of NYC.

Posted by: Jeremy Osner | Apr 19, 2005 10:42:56 AM

Two points about Wittman: first, he's less a Democrat than a refugee from the wreckage of the Republican party. He can have some very interesting and enlightening things to say about how to appeal to voters like him, but he's on very shaky ground whenever he tries to talk about what's good for the Democratic Party. Think of him as an exile who wants his adopted country to be exactly like the old country, only without all the nasty stuff that was the reason for his exile.

And the second point is: there's no h in Wittman. Everybody seems to have this problem--it isn't just you--but it's damned annoying.

Posted by: Tom Hilton | Apr 19, 2005 11:36:59 AM

Kerrey's admission that, oh yeah, I guess I did say I'd head Dems for Bloomberg, just reinforces a feeling that he's a bit too flaky for this politics thing (or, more kindly, a loose cannon).

Wittman is one of those unhappy Republicans -- like the "centrism forever" guy Jon Stewrt had on last week -- who recognize the GOP has gone over the deep end but are congenitally reluctant to say "I guess I'll have to vote for the Democrat instead". They keep pushing scenarios like McCain -- and now Kerrey -- as a way of remaking the Democratic party into the sort of Republican party they miss. This of course shunts aside any respect for Democrats, who have their own long-deferred agenda, and are about more than slaking the desires of frustrated GOP refugees.

At some point these people are going to have to grow up, and recognize that the Dems ARE the centrist party right now, but they're not going to give GOP-lite-r's everything they desire -- any more than they'll give lefties everything THEY want.

Posted by: demtom | Apr 19, 2005 11:54:05 AM

Tom Hilton's point is correct. Marshall Wittman is NOT a Democrat. He is a patriotic American, with his own views of the world. Mainstream Republicans, by definition, are no longer patriots, and have no views independent of the Bushintern. So Wittman is not a mainstream Republican. But this does not make him a Democrat; just an independent voice who is often worth listening to.

Posted by: Joe S. | Apr 19, 2005 12:07:02 PM

"things like this kind of make me wonder about Marshall Whittman."

Wittman has an extreme and admitted infatuation with politicians who can occupy the center space between the parties. Hence his love of McCain and Lieberman, and his unsurprising interest in Bob Kerrey.

Now, Bob Kerrey is as loony as a three dollar bill. Not only is he not going to be President, but he's not going to be mayor of NYC either.

But Wittman's genius is in understanding that there is an opportunity for a left/center coalition to form a majority in this country, and in understanding that winning over the group he identifies as Progressive Traditionalists is key to that.

Wittman is eccentric and not always correct. But he is an important voice to listen to on the left.

Posted by: Petey | Apr 19, 2005 12:21:44 PM

what's damned annoying is him referring to himself as "The Moose" every other sentence. Somebody has to sit "The Moose" down and tell him to stop. "I" will do quite fine.

Posted by: mikey | Apr 19, 2005 2:14:50 PM

I remember Da Moose from Back in the Day of the blogs. Didn't he work on John McCain's 2000 run? Kerrey is kinda like the McCain of the Democrats, but...not. Anyways, Kerrey '08 talk is crazy for any number of reasons. You think it's hard selling Clark as an authentic Army Man, how about a guy who's president of the New School? And his wife is really young. And that unfortunate village massacre thing, which I don't know the context and details of to have a tremendously strong view about, but it sure doesn't sound like a positive on his resume.

Posted by: SamAm | Apr 19, 2005 2:43:59 PM

Bob Kerrey makes me think of the guy who said

"non dimenticate la vostra sememza. Fate non foste per vivere come bruti ma per seguire virtute e cononscenza"

Remember your heritage. You were not made to live like beasts but to seek virtue and wisdom.

Posted by: Robert Waldmann | Apr 19, 2005 5:21:44 PM

Although I still read "The Moose" fairly regularly, my "makes me wonder" moment came a few weeks back when he wantonly assualted a defenceless strawman with the hackneyed "some democrats say..." line without naming, or even hinting, at who "some" of those dems might be.

Somehow I expected better. I started to write an email taking him to task for using such a cheap device, but had another glass of Merlot (fucking Merlot!) & decided I couldn't be bothered.

...And, yeah, the whole 3rd person/"The Moose" thing is getting pretty tired.


"The Raff"

Posted by: raff | Apr 19, 2005 5:47:26 PM

OK so no one bit.
My comment was not praise. The guy who said that was Ulysses quoted by Dante in the Inferno. Ulysses was burning in hell because he murdered a prisoner of war. I have never faced danger, so it is difficult for me to claim I can judge Kerrey, but I think that saying no murderers are fit to be president is not setting the bar too high.

Posted by: Robert Waldmann | Apr 19, 2005 6:46:41 PM

From the way you guys talked about him, I was excited to read his blog (I'm a former Republican as well) but that "The Moose" shit is unbearable. I could only get through a couple posts.

I'm flying blind here because I've never heard of The Moose, but something tells me he gets his chops busted about this quite abit, but he probably takes it in stride, like folks are just having fun, but seriously, it's annoying.

Oh, and Bob Kerrey frightens me.

Posted by: Mitch | Apr 20, 2005 12:23:07 AM

I would support Kerrey in a heartbeat. There is no better Democrat eligible to run for the office.

Posted by: Adam Herman | Apr 21, 2005 3:30:38 AM

Kerry for president?

Oh my asscheeks! Arent we in enough fucking shit after four years of Cheney and his boy?

Take the Vietnam bungle and macro it on out into what he would do with foreign policy, as if it isnt fucked up enough. Throw in his grandstanding on the 9/11 panel, and then there is that little matter of his robust support for this war, this stupid, fucked up war and it is as simple as 1 2 3 that one must never, ever, EVER even entertain the idea of a Kerrey presidency.

He also hawked the genius plan to privatize Social Security.

Forget it, Moose. Kerrey is Skerrey. Verrey skerrey. In fact, so is Moose for floating this horrible idea.

PS - Figures this genius idea would be floated by someone who does the "the moose" thing when referring to himself. Reminds me of Bob Somersby, who I find insufferable.

Posted by: NYCee | Jul 29, 2005 1:43:57 AM

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