JOHN KERRY - Mitch Perry

01/31/05

John Kerry said yesterday that the attacks of September 11th were the ‘central deciding thing’ in his contest with President Bush, and that the release of an Osama Bin Ladin videotape 4 days before the election effectively erased any hope he had of winning.

In his first extended television interview since the election, Kerry sat down with NBC’s Tim Russert on Meet the Press to rehash the election. (roll tape#1 o.q.�I’m proud of the campaign, Tim�)

Unlike Al Gore, who essentially disappeared after his disputed loss in the 2000 election , John Kerry will have a prescence in the Democratic Party, given that he has 4 more years in his term as Massachusetts Senator. He made news 2 weeks ago when he joined Barbara Boxer as the only 2 Democrats in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to vote against Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice’s nomination. Kerry was asked if this contradicted his comment that he wanted to help the nation find common ground

(roll tape#2 o.q.�faulty�)

In the aftermath of the election, many Democrats say the reason they didn’t capture the White House was a bad candidate with a confusing message.

Kerry was also criticized for sitting on as much as $14 million dollars at the end of the race…He reacted to that criticism (roll tape#3 o.q.�in this race’)

In less than 2 weeks, the Democrats will select their next National Chairman. Political writer say that there are 3 main candidates in the hunt– 37 year old Donnie Fowler, the son of former DNC Chairman Don Fowler, former Texas Congressman Martin Frost, and former Presidential candidate Howard Dean, who is spurring some opposition – by those Democrats who contend he is the wrong person to have leading the Party…But John Kerry said yesterday he would NOT have a problem with Dean, and refuted the assertion that he is too liberal (roll tape# 3 o.q.�aren’t exactly accurate�)

In the aftermath of the November election, some Democrats have said the Party needs to change to remain viable on a national level, and one issue in which there has been discussion has been about abortion rights.

Last Monday, New York Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton gave a speech in which she said "people of good faith" can "find common ground" in the abortion debate .

She indicated that both the Pro life and Pro Choice sides should be able to agree on preventing unwanted pregnancies, and she also called abortion "a sad, even tragic choice" for many women …Yesterday, John Kerry, always pro-choice in his voting record, agreed the Democrats can have more of an open tent philosophy when it comes to this politically volatile issue (roll tape#4 o.q.� place of discussion�)

Also yesterday Kerry announced that he will sign the Form 180, releasing his full military records. Members of the Swift Boat Vets for Truth Committee, who dogged Kerry during the campaign about his Vietnam War record, have long called on him to do such a thing . No details were made available about when the records would be released.

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