Today's Blogs

Kerry On

Kerry On: Sen. John Kerry endorsed Barack Obama Thursday in spite of the fact that his 2004 running mate, John Edwards, is still in the race. Let’s count how many bloggers joke about the imminent demise of the Obama campaign.

McClatchy’scampaign blog, Hot Off the Trail, recalls that Kerry gave Obama his big break at the 2004 Democratic Convention by picking Obama to give the keynote address, a moment that vaulted him into the public consciousness. The post calls the endorsement good news for  Obama’s war chest: “[T]he Massachusetts senator is still seen as having an effective fund-raising network, as well as a strong corps of supporters.” Frank James at the Swamp, the blog of the Tribune Co.’s  Washington bureau, is more cautious: “Also, a lot of Democrats are ambivalent to downright dismissive of Kerry, seeing him as a weak nominee who was unable to defeat an unpopular President Bush, who was gaffe prone, and who waited too long to counter the Republican swift-boating of his Vietnam war record.” Lynn Sweet, blogging for the Chicago Sun-Times, describes the endorsement as “surgically timed,” arguing that Obama needs the support of longtime Washington players: “Kerry may be very useful to help shore up Obama on what has been his chronic weakness this year–questions by voters about his experience. … It is also a bit of a snub to Clinton. It also helps push the New Hampshire loss into memory.”

Others were less generous to the junior senator from Massachusetts. Scott, the Environmental Republican, puts it bluntly: “If there’s two people you don’t want endorsing you, they are Kos and John Kerry. Obama has both now,” adding: “[W]hat does it say about John Edwards that his former running mate didn’t endorse him?” At Captain’s Quarters, conservative Ed Morrissey labels Kerry’s endorsement the “kiss of death”: “And why announce this in South Carolina, of all places? Wouldn’t this have helped more three days ago in Manchester, New Hampshire? If Kerry had done it there and then, it would have had much more influence on his neighboring state than a Yankee coming to Charleston. This seems like vintage Kerry – a day late and a dollar short.” At Liberal Common Sense—the name is sarcastic—Lisa Renee echoes a common criticism: “The negative feeling many still feel about Kerry could very well not help Obama, it definitely ruins his whole ‘me against the status quo’ theme since no one could say Kerry is not representative of the status quo…”

Meanwhile, Steve Benen at the Carpetbagger Report notes that Kerry was never expected to endorse his former runner mate: “Some media outlets have characterized this as a major setback for John Edwards, who, of course, was Kerry’s running mate just four years ago. But did anyone seriously believe that Kerry would back Edwards this year? The two were a relatively awkward pair in 2004, and when Edwards questioned Kerry’s campaign strategy after their narrow defeat, the two weren’t exactly on good terms.” But many blogs still harped on the Edwards “snub.” Samaritans Scalawags Scoundrels & Fleecing the Sheep declares in its headline: “Breaking Up Evidently Ain’t So Hard to Do as Edwards gets Dumped by Kerry.”

Read more about Kerry’s endorsement.

Voter-ID before the court: The Supreme Court heard argument yesterday in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, a challenge to an Indiana law that requires voters to show photo ID.  Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick calls such laws “phony ways to solve pretend problems,” and opinions from the blogosphere were all over the map

Red State zeroes in on a comment by Justice Anthony Kennedy, regarded as a swing vote in this case: “In questioning the lawyer for the state Democratic Party and ACLU, Kennedy asked, ‘You want us to invalidate a statute on the ground that it’s a minor inconvenience to a small percentage of voters?’ At a time when Americans are asked to show photo ID for routine things such as buying alcohol or getting on an airplane, it hardly seems unreasonable to do the same before voting.” Hullabaloo’s dday, meanwhile, had this to say: “As has been said many times, this is a solution without a problem. The Indiana secretary of state, when pressed, could not come up with one documented instance of voter fraud in his state. Never has so much attention been paid to a crime that has not been proven to be committed. The agenda is as transparent as tissue paper.”

But bloggers were far more titillated by news that an Indiana woman who became the poster child for the law’s opponents registered to vote in Florida as well. “Looks like the case for the advocates of voter fraud may be seeing their case implode right before their very eyes,” writesTexas Hold ‘Em Blogger. Pirate’s Cove declares that “Opponents Prove Why Law Works,” and adds: “Liberals/progressives/surrender monkeys have been yapping about voter fraud since 2000 (except, of course, when they won in 2006), yet, they oppose any measure that identifies whether a voter is legally allowed to vote. Has the person already voted? Can they vote in that State? Are they even allowed to vote, being a non-USA citizen or a convicted felon?”

Read more about the case.