John Kerry's predecessor as secretary of state may be getting all the attention, but he's waiting in the wings if Hillary Clinton implodes before the primaries, argues former New York GOP Rep. John LeBoutillier.
LeBoutillier wrote a column in The Hill
on Wednesday outlining Kerry's possible plan for a White House bid.
Kerry was the Democrats' nominee in 2004, and he could have ousted President George W. Bush if only 50,000 votes had gone the other way in Ohio, LeBoutillier noted, adding that he has never given up his desire to reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
"Every elected official in America from dog catcher on up thinks they're going to be president and wants to be president," LeBoutillier said Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto."
Kerry remembers almost grabbing the brass ring in 2004, and wants to go for it again, LeBoutillier said. "He's a very competitive guy. He's been trying to do this for 60 years."
If 2016 is a foreign policy election, Kerry stands ready with his credentials lined up, LeBoutillier says, "in contrast to Hillary Clinton's empty, accomplishment-free four years as secretary of State."
Kerry has an emissions agreement with China and normalization of U.S. relations with Cuba under his belt and is on the verge of a nuclear deal with Iran.
Even if the nuclear deal is perceived as bad by his opposition in the United States, Kerry expects he and his Iranian counterpart will be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for the effort, which will further boost his standing with Democrat voters.
"In his mind, this is how Kerry sees the next 18 months: Armed with the Nobel and favorable press from the media, which have grown tired of the Clinton Act, he will be there to pick up the pieces after Hillary implodes," LeBoutillier wrote.
Further, he argues, President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton hate each other, and Obama would like to do all he can to keep Clinton from returning to the White House if his wife won the presidency.
Besides, LeBoutiller argues, Obama owes Kerry for giving him the keynote speech at 2004's Boston Democratic National Convention. That speech is credited with launching Obama's national career and pushing him into the White House four years later.
Despite Clinton's recent troubles with questions about foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation and her keeping emails on a private server during her years as secretary of state, she remains far ahead of her competition in the polls.
But besides Kerry and Clinton, there are no other serious candidates for Democrats to consider, LeBoutiller says.
"Vice President Biden is not a realistic option. The others — former Sen. Jim Webb (Va.), former Gov. Martin O'Malley (Md.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are minor leaguers," he writes.
California Gov. Jerry Brown is another heavyweight in the party, LeBoutiller admitted to Cavuto, but at age 77, he likely wouldn't want to run for more than one term.
Kerry, on the other hand, is thinking about running for president every day, he said.
"He's running for president right now."
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