by Jonathan Singer, Tue Apr 03, 2007 at 06:30:45 AM EDT
Note: You can now read the rest of the interview with Senator Kerry here.
On Monday afternoon I had the chance to speak with Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, the Democratic Party's nominee for President in 2004. During the interview, which covers a range of topics and which I will be posting later this afternoon, an item of particular interest jumped out at me: According to Sen. Kerry, it was John McCain's staff who approached his campaign about potentially filling the Vice President slot on the Democratic ticket in 2004. Take a listen to and a look at the interchange...
If you're having trouble with the Odeo player you can download the .mp3 file here.
Jonathan Singer: There's a story in The Hill, I think on Tuesday, by Bob Cusack on the front page of the paper talking about how John McCain's people -- John Weaver -- had approached Tom Daschle and a New York Congressman, I don't remember his name, about switching parties. And I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about what your discussions were with him in 2004, how far it went, who approached whom... if there was any "there" there.
John Kerry: I don't know all the details of it. I know that Tom, from a conversation with him, was in conversation with a number of Republicans back then. It doesn't surprise me completely because his people similarly approached me to engage in a discussion about his potentially being on the ticket as Vice President. So his people were active -- let's put it that way.
Singer: Okay. And just to confirm, you said it, but this is something they approached you rather than...
Kerry: Absolutely correct. John Weaver of his shop... [JK aswers phone]
As you might know from reading my posts in the past, I don't usually addend my own thoughts to my interviews. I like to think they speak for themselves. But in light of the fact that I have written about a closely-related subject and I think this item is particularly newsworthy, if you'll oblige me I'd like to write a few words here.
For many Republicans, it has been bad enough that John McCain has voted and worked with Democrats against the majority of Republican Senators on a number of occasions in recent years. For Republicans, I would imagine that reports that he approached the Democrats about leaving the Senate GOP caucus in 2001 represent a borderline unpardonable offense. But it seems that reaching out to the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee to talk about running on that party's ticket would be tantamount to the highest form of political treason to Republicans.
Certainly, I would assume that McCain's campaign will deny Kerry's account of their interactions. In fact I would be surprised if they didn't push back on this story, as they did to the story in The Hill last week. (A call for comment to the McCain campaign was not returned before the time this story was published.) That said, at least from my vantage this story could hardly come at a worse time for McCain, whose campaign for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination is already noticeably foundering.