A pretty attractive page
The following comes from an LA Times' article on John Kerry's attempts to reach out to a broader political spectrum:
[...] On Wednesday, the two made their first joint appearance outside the Pennsylvania estate of Kerry's wife, flanked by their spouses and seven of their families' children, ages 4 to 34.
A GOP media strategist who watched the event on a television with the sound off was struck by the ticket's "very wholesome" image. "If America wants to turn the page, it's a pretty attractive page to turn to," the strategist said on condition of anonymity.
We are entering the 2nd phase of the general election campaign. The 1st phase was the assessment period of Bush's presidency. During that phase the electorate has spent most of its time thinking about whether George W. Bush deserves re-election or not. The results have not been good for Bush. His approval ratings have plummeted 10-20 points, including significant drops in approval on his signature issue: fighting terrorism. This has created the necessary opening for the 2nd phase.
The 2nd phase is the assessment of the opposition. Kerry's handling of the Veepstakes has given him about as good a launch into that phase as could be hoped for. The unnamed GOP media strategist has it right. If the people come to the conclusion that it is time for a change, then the alternative has to at least look attractive; especially in a time of war.
The 3rd and final phase of the general election will start after the Republican convention and peak during the debates. It will be then that the electorate will decide whether their assessments during the 1st and 2nd phases hold up.
Right now, label me "cautiously optimistic".