Washington Prowler

Cheapskate Kerry

The gift that keeps on giving doesn't want to give to fellow Democrats.

By 11.2.06

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That flushing sound you hear up on Martha's Vineyard is the political future of Sen. John Kerry being pumped out to sea after the week he's had.

First, he takes bad advice from his Democrat colleagues and operatives and plays to the loony lefty MoveOn types in California. Then he refuses to apologize on camera and instead insults most every viewer who tuned into watch ("Let me make it crystal clear, as crystal clear as I know how: I apologize to no one..."). Then he kind of apologizes for people being too stoopid to understand his high-falutin' humor. And he does it off camera.

Now comes word that Kerry faces a very public spanking from the likes of Howard Dean and former running-mate John Edwards. This latest broadside is the result of Kerry's refusal to dole out any large percentage of the $14 million that remains in the Kerry-Edwards '04 campaign war chest to Democrat candidates this election cycle.

Kerry's tightfistedness comes at a time when the DNC has essentially taken out a second mortgage to the tune of $8 million-plus to compete with Republicans on media buys and get out the vote programs. Edwards is said by some advisers to have called Kerry and warned him that he intends to go public with criticism of Kerry's cheapskate ways over the weekend, an event that would bury any final hopes Kerry has of running with even a modicum of success in '08.

"This is money that Edwards was instrumental in raising for the team. It isn't John Kerry's money to hoard for a rainy day," says a former Edwards Senate staffer, who continues to advise the former North Carolina senator. "If we lose next week, a lot of it falls on Kerry's head. Frankly, he lost the campaign for us two years ago, and he's done a lot this time around to damage our chances in some highly competitive races. Because of him, we're pouring money into races we shouldn't have had to."

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