The year was 2004, and John Kerry was the best Democrats could come up with to steal a second term away from George W. Bush, whose popularity was beginning to slip. Unfortunately for them, Kerry’s wooden, elitist delivery style and his muddled background as a Vietnam veteran-turned-protester was too much for the country to swallow while immersed in two separate Middle Eastern wars. He lost the election to Bush with 251 electoral votes to the president’s 286.
It was not Kerry’s final flirtation with Washington power, of course. After Hillary Clinton resigned as Secretary of State in 2012 to give herself space to prepare for her own (failed) run at the presidency, Kerry was nominated to the post. It was in his capacity as Secretary of State that he presided over the Iran nuclear agreement, one of the biggest diplomatic blunders in American history. Since Trump’s inauguration, Kerry has allegedly kept up a kind of “shadow diplomacy,” meeting with Iranian officials in a vain effort to keep the nuclear deal alive.
In more recent times, Kerry has devoted his time to helping Joe Biden secure the Democratic nomination. But if an NBC reporter heard correctly, he might have some serious doubts about his chosen candidate’s ability to bring home the gold.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry — one of Joe Biden’s highest-profile endorsers — was overheard Sunday on the phone at a Des Moines hotel explaining what he would have to do to enter the presidential race amid “the possibility of Bernie Sanders taking down the Democratic Party — down whole.”
Sitting in the lobby restaurant of the Renaissance Savery hotel, Kerry was overheard by an NBC News analyst saying “maybe I’m f—ing deluding myself here” and explaining that to run, he’d have to step down from the board of Bank of America and give up his ability to make paid speeches. Kerry said donors like venture capitalist Doug Hickey would have to “raise a couple of million,” adding that such donors “now have the reality of Bernie.”
On Twitter, Kerry vehemently denied the story. “As I told the reporter, I am absolutely not running for President. Any report otherwise is f—ing (or categorically) false. I’ve been proud to campaign with my good friend Joe Biden, who is going to win the nomination, beat Trump, and make an outstanding president.”
Kerry soon deleted that tweet and replaced it with one missing the expletive.
He elaborated in a statement to NBC News: “This is a complete and total misinterpretation based on overhearing only one side of a phone conversation. A friend who watches too much cable called me wondering whether I’d ever jump into the race late in the game if Democrats were choosing an unelectable nominee. I listed all the reasons I could not possibly do that and would not — and will not under any circumstances — do that.”
Whether or not John Kerry is seriously thinking about jumping into the race, the mere fact that he was overheard tossing it around shows you how terrified the Democratic establishment is about handing Bernie Sanders the nomination. This is a party coming apart at the seams, and their chances of defeating Donald Trump in November are growing dimmer by the day.