James Burns

Recent Articles

The Courage to Lead

As president, John Kerry would inherit the most formidable grass-roots force in recent American history. Born in the rising populism of last year's frenetic primaries, this force has generated its own cobblestone leadership. What will Kerry do with these exuberant leaders dispersed across country and city? What will they do with him ? To hold this vibrant force, he must plan for the long run--if Kerry hopes to put through his legislative program, to win the midterm congressional elections of 2006, and to carry the Democratic Party to victory in 2008. But maintaining his personal following will not in itself be enough to sustain his strong personal leadership. In too many presidential campaigns, the candidate assembles an ad hoc team that fails to strengthen the institutional Democratic Party. Kerry must merge his campaign volunteers and professionals with the rank and file and ongoing organization of the Democratic Party. Franklin Delano Roosevelt tried to build a reorganized and...