‘Al, It’s John Kerry’

Flexing his muscles in the Democratic Party, Phil Murphy next week will welcome in the 2000 and 2004 Democratic nominees for president, respectively Al Gore and John Kerry, who haven’t always gotten along.

Kerry backed Gore in the 2000 Democratic Primary over Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey. Most people were with Gore, so the VP might not have interpreted Kerry’s choice as an extreme sign of loyalty as much as political opportunism (Kerry circulated that year as a VP pick for Gore).

But in 2004, prior to the Iowa caucuses when the Senator from Massachusetts looked very nearly DOA as a presidential prospect, Gore backed Vermont Governor Howard Dean over Kerry.

Kerry was livid, and demanded Gore’s cellphone number from his campaign adviser, Bob Shrum.

Seeking an explanation for the former VP’s endorsement of Dean, Kerry called Gore and when Gore answered, Kerry said, “Al, it’s John Kerry.”

The phone went dead.

Gore had hung up on Kerry.

That anecdote comes right out of Shrum’s book, No Excuses.

Interestingly, Gore wasn’t the only notable Democratic Party leader in the establishment who broke to Dean during Kerry’s dark days in 2004. Then New Jersey-Governor Jim McGreevey (and his allies) backed Dean, leaving only a clump of Kerryites here in the Garden State to soldier toward Primary Season with an apparently mortally wounded candidate.

The late U.S. Rep. John Adler (then a state senator from the 6th District) was one of those allies.

They beat McGreevey, Gore and the rest of the Deaniacs, when Kerry followed up on his surprise win in Iowa with a New Hampshire victory that set him on his path to grabbing the Democratic presidential nomination.


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One response to “‘Al, It’s John Kerry’”

  1. If Murphy has to drag these two has beens in, it means he is seeing
    something in the polls, that his numbers are dropping. Yeah, inviting
    losers to help a campaign is always a plus.

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