Notes from Evan Smith
"John Kerry had a lot to be proud of on the morning after Election Day 2004. He had won more votes than any Democratic presidential candidate in history -- eight million more than Al Gore four years earlier, and twelve million more than Bill Clinton in 1996 -- and came within 60,000 Ohioans of beating an incumbent president during wartime. But losing by a little is still losing, and the recriminations that come are still fierce and unforgiving, so Kerry found himself the latest inductee into his party's woulda-coulda-shoulda club, joining the tin-plated likes of Gore, Michael Dukakis, and Fritz Mondale. Two years later, the 62-year-old United States Senator from Massachusetts is still the butt of jokes in some, okay, many quarters -- perhaps he needs to make a movie about gloabl warming to fluff up his image -- but he soldiers on in a political environment that is clearly favorable to Democrats. He's been criss-crossing the country campaigning and fundraising for candidates who'll have him -- to date more than 200 from 42 states -- and he's openly flirting with running again for the White House in 2008, attacking the president more cogently and defending himself more aggressively than he ever did in the days when "swiftboat" first entered the national lexicon. Never mind that some of his former backers would rather see a fresh face, or another Clinton, or someone who didn't vote the authorize the war before he didn't vote to authorize it -- oh, never mind. Who doesn't love a second act? Even Richard Nixon was tanned, rested, and ready ... eventually."
- Evan Smith, Texas Monthly Talks, Broadcast 11.2.06