Like the Axis Powers giving military advice to the Allies on August 10, 1945, like the Eagles giving football advice to the Patriots on Monday, February 7, 2005, does John Kerry want to give presidential advice to George W. Bush long after November 2, 2004.
WASHINGTON - Sen. John F. Kerry's brash offer to meet privately with former foe President Bush [related, bio] to discuss foreign policy before Bush's meetings abroad next week with key European leaders has apparently fallen on deaf ears at the White House.One of the reasons that many of the losers of recent presidential contests in the last generation —President Ford, Senator Mondale, Governor Dukakis, President Bush the elder and even Presidents Carter and Clinton*--are considered respected elder statesmen is because they were smart and/or canny enough to keep their mouths shut regarding their winning opponents’ actions as president. (Al Gore almost achieved this status until he began to go publicly unhinged last year; ironically it is his former running mate—Joseph Liebermann--who has gained that status.)
``We've offered to have Sen. Kerry (D-Mass.) meet with President Bush to discuss his trip to Iraq, if the White House is interested,'' Kerry spokesman David Wade said yesterday. ``There are many areas where genuine bipartisanship would make a difference in leading our country forward, whether in national security or children's health care.''
The White House declined comment on Kerry's recent overture.
Granted, since Senator Kerry has retained his Senate seat, it’s difficult to be totally unobtrusive. However, Senator Liebermann somehow managed to retain his decorum in the same position, even when he was a candidate for the 2004 presidency. Perhaps that’s why he gets listened to by members of the opposing party.
Bush, in what some have described as a diplomatic charm offensive, arrives in Europe Tuesday hoping to repair tattered relations over the U.S.-led Iraq war with longstanding allies such as France, Germany and Russia.It would seem to me that if Senator Kerry were planning to get the president’s ear, it would behoove him to skip the grandstanding the day before. That would better support bipartisanship.
Kerry was a fierce critic of Bush's foreign policy, particularly his handling of the Iraq war, during the bruising fall presidential race.
Even as he sought a Bush meeting, the defeated Democratic nominee yesterday hammered the president, telling reporters ``we would be far better off today'' had the U.S. followed Kerry's Iraq policies instead of the Bush plan.
But the good senator isn't strategizing. He's merely flying by the seat of his pants, fueled by his tin-ear. What else is new?
UPDATE: BTW, Senator, when are you going to sign that Form 180?
* Oops! President Clinton has never lost a presidential election, of course. But he has had only gracious remarks regarding his successor, including concurrence with the latter's conclusion regarding Saddam Hussein's Iraq (good thing, since WJC said the exact same thing after attacking Iraq in 1998.)
A lot of Democrat politicians should take note.