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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lots of well-deserved praise on the blogotubes for John Kerry's speech last night.

Steve Benen
Matt Yglesias
Ezra Klein
Josh Marshall (and again)

But the best is from Jason Zengerle, who writes in The New Republic on "the strange resurrection of John Kerry":

For those who remember Kerry as a lackluster and ham-fisted presidential candidate, this emergence has come as a surprise. "There's a wholeheartedness to [Kerry speaking about Obama] and a total lack of hesitancy and calculation that he always seems to have when he's speaking about himself," says one Democratic consultant. "A year ago, if you had asked [Obama strategists] David Axelrod and David Plouffe if they thought Kerry would be an important surrogate, they'd have laughed. But he's been fucking good." Kerry is even winning compliments from across the aisle. "If Kerry had conducted himself like this four years ago," says Republican strategist John Weaver, "he might have been elected president."

Indeed, Obama's "clean break" from the national past, as Kerry called it in his endorsement speech, seems to be a clean break for Kerry as well. Which is yet another surprise. Given the abuse Kerry took from his party following his defeat, one might have expected him this time around to sit on the sidelines and sulk. Instead he's done the opposite, looking to Obama as a vehicle for his own rehabilitation. Which leads to the question: In trying to help Obama overcome Clinton and now McCain, will John Kerry at long last be able to overcome himself?