The much-improved Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who won nine of 10 Super Tuesday primaries, is regarded as a shoo-in for the Democratic presidential nomination and is “most likely to have the chance” to play a key role long-term in party politics.
Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., gets a thumbs up for his gracious speech in bowing out of the race (he “really turns on the crowd” and has “figured out his brief” like the lawyer he was trained to be and has made a national mark. He’s not a Ted Kennedy now, but he is well known”). His long-term role is less clear, at least until questions are answered about whether he will be on the Democratic ticket (“It’s hard to say [how much in demand he will be], since he won’t be in the Senate”). If President Bush wins re-election, predicted one source, “[Sen. Edwards] and Hillary Clinton will be going at each other next time”). Both Sen. Kerry and Sen. Edwards showed “they’re not afraid to punch back.”