Crossposted on DailyKos
It has been a surreal experience seeing John Kerry campaigning in Massachusetts to be re-elected to the United States Senate. If you go to the Mass Dems for Kerry blog, you can check out video of him traveling around the state, meeting with voters, who are quite worried about the economy and fuel prices, and also really happy to see him. I still get a twinge thinking how close Kerry got to the presidency, but during all his ups and downs since losing in 2004, he has worked harder than ever, perhaps even as a source of solace against his loss, as the junior Senator from Massachusetts. This race has been largely a sleeper race since Sen-MA is considered a “safe seat”, with a 99% chance of John Kerry being re-elected according to Rasmussen. Still, it was really nice to see that Al Gore had contributed to an ad, endorsing Kerry and his stellar record on the environment.
There are no exaggerations in that ad! It is a lesser known fact that John Kerry’s first foray as an activist was not to protest the Vietnam War. It was when he participated in the very first Earth Day in 1970, in Massachusetts, which he talked about to ABC last year:
In 1970, when I was first involved in Earth Day, something some people scoff at today, but 20 million Americans came out on one single day and said, we’re tired of living next to toxic waste sites. We’re tired of seeing the Cuyahoga River burn. And that movement then targeted 12 congressmen — they were labeled the Dirty Dozen — some of them were beaten. And the result was, we passed the Clean Air Act, we passed the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act. We created an Environmental Protection Agency, which a president, Nixon, was forced to sign into law.
But that was only the beginning. The League of Conservation Voters gave him a 92% lifetime voting record back in 2004, which is probably why they endorsed him unusually early for President: January 1, 2003. And it is why, they quickly endorsed him again for his Senate race this year:
Kerry’s stellar pro-environment record demands that LCV do all we can to make sure he stays where he belongs, fighting for Massachusetts interests on Capitol Hill, said Deb Callahan, LCV President. The people of Massachusetts can count on John Kerry to lead the fight to keep their air clean, their water safe, and their open spaces protected.
An original organizer of Massachusetts’ first Earth Day after his return from Vietnam, John Kerry has consistently championed commonsense environmental measures that protect the health and quality of life of the people of Massachusetts. From his commitment to filibuster drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge … John Kerry has proven his clear commitment to protecting America’s environment through bipartisan action, not mere rhetoric. Kerry is an original cosponsor of the bipartisan Four Pollutant Bill, which would limit mercury, sulfur, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. A delegate to Earth Summits in Rio, Kyoto, and The Hague, Kerry has continued to be an outspoken proponent for addressing the threat of global warming through national and international efforts.
Last month, Kerry and Gore teamed up at a fundraiser for Obama in Nantucket
Former vice president Al Gore and U.S. Sen. John Kerry held court on Washing Pond Road Tuesday before a rapt audience as they stumped for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, railed against his Republican opponent John McCain, and warned of the dangers of global warming.
I think we can be proud of our former nominees for never giving up, and continuing to fight the good fight.