I used to think John Kerry was the only candidate with a chance in hell of getting nominated and beating Bush. But at this point, the more I see of him, the less I can stand him.
Kerry, you see, is a tactician rather than a strategist. Rather than articulate broad principles and stick with them, he tries to milk the day’s top story for maximum political payoff. Easily the most insecure Democratic candidate, Kerry constantly second-guesses and nuances his statements. He does this so much, in fact, that his overall position becomes contradictory in all but the narrowest of readings.
Witness Kerry’s latest repositioning, part of his ongoing flip-flop over the war with Iraq. Kerry is “angry,” he keeps telling us using his best Dean impression, that the president “misled every one of us” in explaining the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. Bush relied on faulty intelligence (no surprise there), he says, and he should be held responsible.
Wait a minute. Didn’t Kerry rely on that same evidence when he voted to authorize force last year?
Yes, he did. In fact, Kerry is trying to have it both ways again: “Kerry qualified his support Monday, saying it was the correct vote ‘based on the information that we were given.'”
So if the president is guilty of exercising bad judgement or, worse, misleading the American people, what does that say about his pro-war accusers in Congress?
You see, Kerry isn’t some freshman; he’s been in the Senate for a long, long time. And if his support for the war was based wholly on a perceived threat of Iraq’s weapons, then why should I believe he would make better decisions as president?
I firmly believe that Kerry will defeat Howard Dean in the New Hampshire primary, as fence-sitting voters come to their senses. But if Kerry can’t get his story straight on why he supported war with Iraq, then it will be his downfall.