Sen. John Kerry late Friday was telling people that despite the uproar over staff firings and resignations in the past week, he felt his presidential campaign was back on track. Tell that to his volunteers in New Hampshire.
“I think it’s over,” says a volunteer working in the Granite State. “They fired Jim Jordan, then we start hearing about other people wanting to leave, or just walking out the door. That can happen on a campaign, but then when Senator Kerry talked about it — I don’t think many of us thought he was that kind of guy.”
That reference is to Kerry’s reaction to losing both his campaign press secretary (who had almost daily contact with the candidate) and his deputy finance director, both of whom quit in support of Jordan. Kerry said of them, “When you change one person, it is not at all unusual that a couple of people that person hired, that I barely know, who are not really involved with me, decide to go,”
“Not really involved?” said a loyalist to Kerry in Washington, but rethinking that position. “What the hell was he thinking about? Who would want to work for a guy who sounds so bitter and petty?”
Kerry called all parties involved and apologized for his remarks. Still, the New Hampshire volunteer says that it may be too late. “You see the Dean folks upbeat and happy. You don’t see us like that. The man we thought would be a good leader has turned out to be something else. We’re all real disappointed.”
Kerry, who was in Iowa for the Jefferson-Jackson dinner over the weekend, is expected to try to rebuild any bridges burned among staff and volunteers over the Jordan firing.
For Jordan’s part, he took a page from his former boss’s poor manners to send out an email to more than 150 political reporters and other recipients letting them know where he could be contacted for future comment or discussion. Included in that email list were senior members of the Edwards, Gephardt and Dean campaigns.