Kerry's Idiosyncratic Earth-Saving Obsession Annoys Colleagues

by Jonathan Chait | June 21, 2010

This story reads like it's from the Onion, but it's in Politico:

John Kerry has been the most aggressive advocate of climate change legislation in the Senate this year — so aggressive that it’s rubbed some of his colleagues the wrong way.
The Massachusetts Democrat is making his pitch with an almost religious fervor, pushing a message that’s equal parts saving the planet, national security and the economy. Many of his colleagues have been impressed by Kerry’s expertise and his passion in trying to push through caps on carbon when others would prefer to move onto a more limited, energy-only bill.
Yet it’s that same zeal that is making some swing-vote Democrats cringe at the thought of negotiating with someone they fear is tone-deaf to the political realities of their respective states — particularly in a difficult midterm elections year.
Kerry’s style, said Sen. John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), is akin to being “pursued by a suitor, just as boys pursue girls.”
Rockefeller, who last week called on the Senate to ignore carbon limits, declined to say whether Kerry is the Democrats’ best messenger on climate, saying it was “sort of too direct a question” to answer.
“Well, he’s certainly a constant,” Rockefeller said. “The question is whether that’s good.”
“He’s so obsessed,” said one wavering Democratic senator who has been pursued by Kerry. “Clearly, it’s all climate, all the time with him.”

Why can't he let us worry about something that really matters, like the midterm election?

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/jonathan-chait/75725/kerrys-idiosyncratic-earth-saving-obsession-annoys-colleagues