John Kerry said Wednesday that he will not run for president again.
That Kerry had to answer a question about his White House ambitions is indicative of how 2016 stories are often pulled out of thin air.
The ridiculous speculation began late last year, after Kerry was the subject of flattering profiles in both The Atlantic and Politico Magazine. Following the positive press coverage, none other than Mark Halperin gave his blessing to the nonexistent Kerry boomlet.
“Let me just say quickly, if Hillary Clinton doesn’t run for president I bet you John Kerry does,” Halperin said during an appearance on MSNBC in December.
Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) later offered up his own bit of Kerry conjecture and conservative columnist Matt Lewis thought Halperin was “on to something.”
“I’m out of politics. I have no plans whatsoever. This is my last stop,” Kerry told CNN.
After Halperin’s comments, Public Policy Polling director Tom Jensen told TPM his firm hadn’t tested Kerry in its 2016 polls. PPP’s next 2016 survey a week later did include Kerry and the former 2004 presidential candidate garnered the support of two percent of Democratic primary voters.