Monday, March 08, 2004

The trouble with Kerry

I know several people who find John Kerry to be a finger-in-the-wind politician who never takes a stand unless he thinks it will be the politically popular thing to do.

And those are the people who are planning to vote for him!

The simple truth of the matter is I don't know many people who like Kerry, yet many of them intend to vote for him because they simply don't have any choice. Getting rid of Bush is paramount. Given that level of "support", I have to tell you I am extremely worried about Kerry's ability to win over the fence-sitters. The people who are uncomfortable with Bush but have not, as of yet, entered the Anybody-But-Bush camp cannot be one by an appeal that says that anybody is better than Bush. As it stands, Kerry's best hope for beating Bush depends on Bush continuing to face the kind of tough news cycles he has had to deal with lately. That's not much of a confidence building strategy.

Andrew Sullivan, no fan of Kerry of course but a man increasingly hostile to Bush, details the essence of the "both-sides-of-the-issues" theme. I don't know enough about the Senator's record to refute any of Sullivan's comments. But I know enough to know that the attacks will have an impact on Kerry's standing unless he finds an effective way to respond to them. He dismisses articles like the one from Sully at his (and our) peril.

Bush's recent comment about Kerry having been in Washington long enough to be on both sides of every issue is a warning of what is to come. It's an attack that may not be fair, but it is an attack that will work if the Democrats don't find a way to counter it.

I stand by my prediction that the winner of this contest will most likely come down to which of the two candidates screws up the least. Sullivan agrees:

The question this year, I suspect, is not ultimately who is going to win this election. The question to be answered between Kerry and Bush is rather who will be more effective in losing it.

How did it come to this?


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