Friday, November 16, 2012

Stay put, John Kerry

By Frank Moraes

(Ed. note: For my thoughts on the matter, see here. I'm generally fine with Kerry going to the Pentagon, though it would certainly help if the Democrats found a strong candidate to replace him. Like, someone who could beat Scott Brown. -- MJWS)

There is always a lot more that I want to write about than I have time for. For the past few days, I've been wanting to write about this rumor that Obama is going to appoint John Kerry as secretary of defense. If this is true, I am really worried about President Obama. It seemed that after the debt ceiling debacle, he learned that politics is a game that requires strategy. This could prove that he learned nothing.

Look, this is simple. In 2014, there will be 20 Democratic senators and only 13 Republican senators up for re-election. The Republicans have a very good chance of taking the Senate back in 2014. So the Democrats don't want to lose even a single seat in the Senate. If Kerry steps down, that seat could easily go Republican. And I think you know the Republican I'm talking about: that great defender of Native-American rights, Scott Brown.

I understand. If you are really bad at playing the game of politics, you might think, "The Democrats won't lose control of the Senate if they lose one seat." And this is true. But this is one more seat that the Democrats will have to hold in 2014. It doesn't make sense to make a hard election even harder.

Some will say that I am underestimating the president. They will use the 9-dimensional chess argument. They will claim that he knows what he's doing. But when people have made these claims in the past, they've been wrong. And even if the Democrats manage to hold onto Kerry's Senate seat, it will still have been a dangerous move.

Take one for the team, Senator Kerry: remain a lowly United States senator!

(Cross-posted at Frankly Curious.)

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  • Since writing this I have thought that the Democrats could pull this off. In particular, in MA they would not want a repeat of 2009 and would likely work very hard. Also, I'm not certain that Brown will run. A defeat would be humiliating. But this is assuming he's not a narcissist, which is a bad assumption.

    And for the record, I would very much like to see him as Secretary of Defense. I think he'd do a great job. He is a very good man. I like him so much I read his campaign biography in 2004. Ah, when I was young and foolish!

    By Anonymous Frankly Curious, at 2:42 PM  

  • Yes, they could. Even were Brown to run, Democrats would undoubtedly take the race more seriously.

    I think he'd do a great job as well, and just imagine how Republicans would flip out.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 9:51 PM  

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