Those words escaped before I could even think to slap a hand over my mouth. But I agree with John Kerry's assessment that he will be more effective by staying in the Senate than he would in running for President again. (Not to mention that some of us were wondering how he would manage to get around for the next couple of years with one foot lodged permanently in his mouth.)
If only Hillary had made the same decision. I think she's brilliant and would have made a good president. But she comes with too much baggage and is so polarizing that many on the right would vote for Mark Foley before they allowed the Clintons to move back into the White House. She would, perhaps, also have been more effective by remaining in the Senate.
Since we are not allowed to elect Bill Clinton again (and anyway, he's doing so much good work with the Clinton Foundation) we, not just the Democratic party, but the country as a whole, need to find someone new, with fresh ideas. Hell, at this point, any ideas would be a good start.
I was at first unsure about Barak Obama, junior Senator from Illinois, thinking that he needed more time in a national office to learn the ropes. Especially with the country as divided as it is now and faced with an interminable "war on terrorism." But history shows that a seemingly untested candidate can compete and win on the national stage--even in times of great crisis. (Abraham Lincoln? Anyone? Anyone?) In 1861, Lincoln, was sworn in as the 16th US President, having never previously attained higher office than in the Illinois state legislature.)
Or how about Russ Feingold? At least he had the cajones to stand on the floor of the Senate and introduce a resolution to censure the President. Alone. Not a single other Senator backed it though most of them had been saying the same thing privately for months. He alone had the guts to stand up and do what he thought was right.
On the Republican side, how about drafting former Senator John Danforth back into politics? I'm not sure we could convert him to a democrat, but as noted in Wikipedia: "A political moderate, Danforth was once quoted as saying he joined the Republican Party for "the same reason you sometimes choose which movie to see — [it's] the one with the shortest line."