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Kerry as Obama’s Late Bloomer

John Kerry has been everywhere lately.

The Obama campaign tapped him as their prime surrogate on Sunday’s "Meet The Press," to counter a crispy Sen. Joseph I Lieberman (I-Conn), who appeared for McCain’s campaign. Kerry slammed McCain as "wrong" on everything, from embracing "liberation theology" as a rationale for invading Iraq to predicting that oil would pay for the war. He amplified the case against McCain in a counterterrorism speech at the Center for American Progress, and continued the air war in a sharp TV debate with Sen. Jon Kyle (R-Ariz.) over the "celeb" ad. Sam Stein argues that Kerry has become a key face for Obama’s general election strategy:

The toughness, campaign experience and media and political savvy has members of Obama’s team gushing with gratefulness over having Kerry as a political henchman. "He really is doing a great job," said Hari Sevugan, a spokesman for the Illinois Democrat. Added an aide who had worked on the 2004 campaign: "Kerry is a content and happy warrior for Obama. He’s been an extraordinarily effective surrogate, on everything from finding an end to the war to beating the Republican attack machine. He’s hit his stride on many levels."

Democrats often turn on their failed presidential nominees. Gore spent years in the political wilderness before his green rebirth, and Kerry was repeatedly blasted for his 2004 campaign — and then pushed offstage after a supposed gaffe before the 2006 mid-terms. Yet with the blessing of the biggest star in Democratic politics, Kerry is making a comeback in the role of loyal lieutenant. He is far better at pitching Obama than he was at pitching himself.

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