Tell me if this ever happened to you when you were a kid : You get dragged along on a church retreat, family reunion, boy scout “jamboree”, or other such trip in which you’re stuck in a single location for a few days and you know that you’re gonna be miserable. Hoping to turn lemons into lemonade, you cling to the coolest person that you can find. Although this person still isn’t very interesting, he/she is a genuinely good person that you can’t help but like. By the end of the trip, the two of you have formed an unusual, but strong bond.
When you get home, however, you start to realize that your relationship with this person wouldn’t last long in the “real” world. “It’s nothing personal”, you tell yourself, “we’re just very different people.” At best, the relationship could end up one in which you have a strong bond over a specific common interest, but are uncomfortable discussing anything else. Unfortunately, the other person doesn’t feel the same way, which makes various attempts to stay in touch feel awkward. You wish you could just leave the relationship in the past rather than clumsily try to reignite the tiny spark that brought you together in the first place.
Well, that’s how I feel every time I get an email from John Kerry. Not that I’m knocking his recent “Kid’s First” petition (which you should all sign), it’s just that every time I see his name in my inbox, I keep expecting the message to be “Dude, remember that time I ran for President? That was awesome!” I certainly don’t want him to go away or anything (this is where my analogy falls apart), it’s just that his attempts to transform himself from establishment candidate to grassroots organizer feel forced.