The Spine

Kerry's Reasons For Dropping Out

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John Forbes Kerry is not running for president, and that's because no one was following him in his race. Well, maybe Teresa. But maybe not.

Probably no one else except the Boston Globe noticed what Kerry was doing during the State of the Union address. He was shaking his head a lot. I suppose in disbelief. And disagreement. Then, when President Bush ended his speech, Kerry immediately jumped up and sprinted for the exits. To go home, to write the remarks he was going to deliver this morning, Wednesday, on the floor of the Senate. Strange place to say he's decided not to run.

And the reason he gave was stranger still. Not that no one wanted him. Or that he would lose. Or that there are other Democrats, maybe even Hillary, who had better chances to beat the Republican candidate. No, not any of these. No, his decision, he asserted, was a sign of his idealism and grace. "I've concluded that this isn't the time for me to mount a presidential campaign. It is the time to put my energy to work as part of the majority of the Senate and do all I can to end the war." How noble not to figure that he'd be humiliated again, and this time by his own party.

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