Jonah Goldberg
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This is the new era of bipartisanship. I know this because I hear it on TV all the time, so it's got to be true. Therefore, I call on all patriotic Americans to seize this golden opportunity for real change by speaking with one clear voice to Washington. Don't let John Kerry run again.

Yes, yes, it's true: I am biased. I have never been kind to Brahimin Lurch. After his "botched" joke suggesting that American troops are uneducated losers, I wrote that Kerry "is an awful politician, a human toothache with the charisma of a 19th-century Oxford Latin tutor." In response, countless readers wrote in to complain that I'd been unfair to Latin tutors.

But balancing out my personal animosity is my professional self-interest. As a conservative columnist, there is nothing I should want more than to see Kerry whack his forehead against the concrete wall of history one more time. Why? Because attacking Kerry is always good copy. And, if my North Star were the GOP's good fortune, I would light a candle every night at my Lee Atwater shrine in prayer that the Kerry baloney leap once more into the grinder. After all, he's the most beatable of Democrats. His political instincts are duller than a prison-cafeteria spork. And never in my lifetime have we seen a presidential candidate with a more thumbless grasp of the way average Americans talk or live.

Which brings me to the really salient point: Disliking John Kerry isn't just for right-wingers anymore. It's as American as apple pie. Despite enormous name recognition; despite the kind of sympathetic coverage that only alleged victims of the "Republican attack machine" get; despite constant efforts to stay in the news, a stockpile of cash from his wife and his last campaign; and despite enormously impressive hair; he is near the bottom in all the important rankings of serious candidates. And when I say near the bottom, I mean if he claws his way up a bit, he'll be at the bottom.

In November, Kerry came in dead last in a Quinnipiac poll asking respondents whether they had warm feelings for various prominent politicians. Kerry came in around "arctic." The National Journal asked its brain trust of political insiders (consultants, graybeards, et al.) to list their top 10 Democratic prospects for '08. Kerry came in behind Sen. Chris Dodd - and Dodd came in 10th. All Kerry got was footnote status as an also-ran.

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Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the forthcoming book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
 
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