Kerry Out

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Kerry’s decision not to run in 2008 is a disappointment only to his consultants and to Republicans, and perhaps to people like me, who appreciated his dogged ability to provide ever-replenishing examples of the three or four jokes we liked to tell about him. While he made it hard not to be lazy, he also made, ahem, an enormous contribution to campaign humor history.

When he visited Time in December last year, he claimed he was still undecided about ’08, and made a passionate (relatively) argument for a second try being, at the very least, plausible. There was a lot talk about Nixon, and some sniping about how if the election were held on any other day than, you know, Election Day, he might have won.

It might have been the most compelling I’d ever seen him — he was trying convince us of something that he desperately wanted us to believe, and I suspect he was still trying to convince himself. If he actually did believe a run was possible and has now changed his mind, well, this is the last flip-flop I’ll ever call him on… I hope.