Friday, Jan. 18, 2008 | 2 a.m.
- Sheila Leslie, Nevada assemblywoman, talks about Barack Obama's opinion on education for minorities
Sen. John Kerry no doubt has some advice for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, whom he just endorsed in the presidential race.
But the Massachusetts senator isn’t saying what the advice is. “That’s private,” he said in an interview.
The advice isn’t hard to discern: Kerry was quick to counterpunch for Obama after his chief opponent, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, landed some blows.
“I think any effort to suppress the vote in the Democratic Party, any effort to limit access to polling places, is not the future of the Democratic Party. It’s old politics and it’s inappropriate,” he said, referring to a lawsuit filed by Clinton allies to shut down special caucus sites on the Strip.
Kerry then defended Obama’s record on the nuclear repository project at Yucca Mountain, which Obama opposes. Clinton’s attacks on Obama, saying he’s aligned with supporters who favor the dump, are disingenuous, Kerry said.
“It’s the kind of politics I expect from the other party, not ours,” he said.
Lesson learned, apparently.
Kerry pointed to some rather unexciting senators who, in recent days, have endorsed Obama: Tim Johnson, Kent Conrad and Ben Nelson.
Though the three are perhaps unknown to most Nevadans, Kerry makes this point: They’re all red-state senators: “savvy political leaders who know how to get elected in a tough environment,” he said.
They’re in the type of states Kerry couldn’t win in 2004.
Another lesson learned.
Kerry likes to point out he chose to make Obama the keynoter at the 2004 convention, where Obama gave a now-famous speech about American unity that launched his career.
“He offers the best opportunity to unite the country, bring people together -- Democrats, independents and Republicans -- and win in November and then govern with a mandate.”