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Yesterday I sent out an email asking Democrats across the country to support Ned Lamont, Bob Menendez, and Dan Akaka -- three candidates this fall who share my belief that the time is due, long past due in fact, to face the realities of George Bush's botched strategy in Iraq, and set a timetable to put Iraq in Iraqi hands and get our heroes home. I'm sending another email today.

I'm proud to support my Senate colleagues Bob Menendez and Dan Akaka, who stood with me, Russ Feingold, and Pat Leahy when we offered an amendment to change course in Iraq. They had the courage of their convictions.

But today I wanted to add a personal note about my support for Ned Lamont. I believe that it's usually the right thing for elected Democrats not to choose sides in a primary in another state. When I went to bat for Jim Webb in Virginia I did so because he's the kind of Vietnam veteran the Senate needs right now, and every day that Jim speaks out and George Allen rubberstamps the Bush Iraq policy, I'm reminded why I did what I did.

But I also believe, even more strongly in fact, that once a primary is decided, we've got to stand up and be counted. In Connecticut, Democrats chose Ned Lamont, and we need to stand with Ned as he challenges the broken policy in Iraq. I mean really stand with him - put our money where our mouths are. No half hearted endorsements. It's gut check time for Democrats.  Connecticut chose a Democrat who will go head to head with Don Rumsfeld and fight for a policy that makes Iraqis stand up for Iraq.

I spent a long time talking with Ned on the phone on Saturday. I was reminded what a small world this is. My Dad knew Ned Lamont when Ned was a young man and they shared a passion for the sea. My father was Greatest Generation tough, and he cared so much about America's role in the world. After volunteering to fly DC-3's during World War II, Dad was a foreign service officer because he knew America had to win the peace as effectively as we'd won the war. My father had misgivings about the Vietnam War even before I served. Knowing him and what he stood for, if my father was alive today, I know what he'd think of the foreign policy failure of this administration and the mess in Iraq. He'd want to see us change course, and he'd support the courage of guys like Ned Lamont who want to restore America's proper place leading the world and fixing the mess in Iraq.  

We need your help and your support to get these guys elected. Click here to join me in supporting - and honoring - their courage:
http://www.keepingamericaspromise.com/...
We have less than 90 days to change the leadership in Washington.

I won't stand idly by while Republicans play politics, attack those who stand up and speak the truth, and refuse to admit the reality of Iraq. I am not standing for it, and neither are Ned, Bob, or Danny. Let's get moving.

UPDATE:

The fun stuff - questions and answers.

A few of you have asked if I will travel to Connecticut to campaign for Ned - the answer is yes, absolutely. We're scheduling a trip and I'm looking forward to it.

Bigspoiledbaby asked if I think George Allen's explanations are credible for his remarks this week - no, his explanation isn't remotely satisfactory. The differences between George Allen and Jim Webb are huge. Jim is a genuine war hero, he is standing up on Iraq, he's fighting for health care and for Virginia's future while George Allen stands by President's failed policy in Iraq, on health care, on energy almost 100% of the time.

Buffy Orpington asked about the wiretapping decision today. Today's decision proves one important thing: no one is above the law. We all know this administration is good at hiding the truth and spinning the politics and sorely lacking when it comes to making us safer in the world.

Next, Red Sox asked if he can count on me to work hard for other candidates this cycle - the answer is yes -- I'm not letting up, absolutely yes. I've already supported over 165 candidates across the country, from country chair to United States Senate races. And I mean support - we've raised or given away something like 10 M dollars. And I've made supporting veterans as candidates a personal mission this fall. So, yes - we're not letting up. Was it Warren Zevon who wrote "I'll sleep when I'm dead?" Sounds about right.

UPDATE 2:

Buffy Orpington asked about health care access and funding for people without preventive or catastrophic care. We are going to rescue health care by being bold and having the guts to try. I was at Faneuil Hall just a couple weeks ago laying out a plan to get health care for every man woman and child by 2012. There are 11 million children alone living in this country without health insurance. My KidsFirst plan, a part of a comprehensive health care plan, will actually save states billions of dollars and get every child covered. And I'm going to fight for this. Check out my plan at johnkerry.com, tell me what you think.

Buffy Orpington also wanted to hear about veterans' health care needs. The way veterans are treated in Washington has been a national disgrace. Huge tax cuts for the wealthiest among us - another tax cut for John Kerry while we've got cuts in services for homeless veterans, gaping holes in our budget for PTSD, and a billion dollar plus veterans' budget shortfall. The guy I emailed for the last two days -- Dan Akaka -- is a leader on this issue - he's the ranking member of Veterans Affairs committee in the Senate. Together we worked on legislation this year to increase funding for the VA and veterans centers across the country. You want to help veterans? Make him a chairman. And elect vets who have been there -- Pat Murphy -- Tammy Duckworth -- Joe Sestak -- and others of the 60+ veterans running as Democrats this year.

Thank you all for your response and your help and your support of our candidates - let's get out there.

Originally posted to John Kerry on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 10:26 AM PDT.

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