Chicago Tribune Nails Kerry

Spoons points to a scathing editorial on John Kerry’s Iraq position(s) in the Chicago Tribune. It’s a very pointed criticism that cuts to the heart of Kerry’s deep problems on this issue: the fact that he started as a pro-war Senator and is now veering straight into Howard Dean territory.

Kerry’s reasoning isn’t that hard to figure out – he’s losing his base. He needs to appeal to the former Deaniacs, but he also risks alienating others who support the war. He’s been bouncing between the pro-war side and the anti-war side trying to be all things to all people. What has happened is that Kerry has been rightly nailed for being unable to elucidate a cogent position on what is one of the most important issues of our time. Compounding this error, Kerry has decided to base the last weeks of his campaign on an issue that is guaranteed to divide his supporters, is an issue of strength for the President, and is one he’s been flip-flopping around on for months. It’s a singularly idiotic move on the part of the Kerry campaign, and it’s sinking his candidacy.

Had Kerry focused on jobs and the economy, stood by his earlier positions on Iraq but thrown a bone to the anti-war crowd by offering to work with the UN, and kept those positions, he may have had a chance. Right now, Kerry needs a miracle to undo the massive shift in momentum towards Bush. Granted, miracles do happen in politics, but Kerry is doing what he can to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Between the Swift Boat Vets, Memogate, and Kerry’s own campaign incompetence, Kerry is rapidly proving himself to be the single worst candidate the Democrats have put up in recent history – no mean feat to be sure.

2 thoughts on “Chicago Tribune Nails Kerry

  1. The only reason Kerry is perceived to not have a cogent position on Iraq is that Americans are too impatient and/or ignorant to listen to what he has repeatedly stated on the topic for the past year. He voted to give the President the authority to go to war as a last resort, but believes the President abused that authority and led us into war unnecessarily. Why is this so complicated? Are we as a people really so dense that “either you’re with us or you’re against us” is all they understand? If so, Kerry’s campaign was doomed from the start, but a good quarter of the American population probably concurs with his assessment, in addition to the 30 percent who disagreed with the war from the get-go. That constitutes a majority, meaning Kerry is not preaching to some radical fringe constituency when he tells crowds that Bush mismanaged Iraq in a major league way.

    Don’t try to scam us with this “Kerry should be running on the economy” claptrap. With hundreds of war-related deaths in a nation on the brink of Civil War due to our misguided war splashed all over the headlines, Kerry would seem highly superficial basing his campaign about those without health care. Certainly, he needs to make that a continued point in his stump speech, but Iraq is a more prominent issue and Kerry would stumble badly if he pretended it was secondary.

    Virtually every poll except comically inept outliers like Gallup show Kerry has narrowed the gap considerably since the GOP Convention. ARG’s very credible state polls show Kerry leading in states worth 270 electoral votes. I’m not sure where this “massive shift in momentum” comes from, other than the pillow talk fantasies of Jay Reding and clueless Gallup Poll operatives pretending as though the GOP has a 7-point registration advantage when they conduct their polls. With three debates coming up, both candidates have tremendous latitude in setting themselves up for success or failure, particularly with the obviously up-for-grabs female voters, of whom a quarter seem to be undecided, and who are not inclined to view the situation in Iraq favorably. This race is FAR from over, despite Kerry’s incompetent efforts to run out the clock and hope to win on ABB sentiment. It’s clear that won’t seal the deal for him, but an even moderately good October will in light of the devastating headlines contributing to “wrong track” tendencies among voters that favor challengers.

  2. From RCP
    Thursday, September 23 2004
    FLORIDA, ARG, KERRY UP 1PT?: Yesterday I was speaking with a major pollster who has been polling in Florida for over twenty years. He had serious questions about the ARG poll released yesterday showing Kerry ahead one point in the state.

    ARG’s poll was conducted Friday – Monday and this pollster had several problems with those dates. First, he wondered how you could get through to anyone in the panhandle when there was still massive electric and phone outages throughout that entire section of the state. Second, Friday night polling is apparently seriously discouraged in Florida because of Friday night high school football.

    He pointed to a just concluded 2 -day poll of 800 likely voters in Florida’s I-4 Corridor (the swing part of the state from Daytona to Tampa which traditionally mirrors the state wide vote, give or take a point or two) which had President Bush leading Senator Kerry by 13 points, 51 – 38. The same poll also had Governor Jeb Bush’s approval rating for the hurricanes at 84%. Given these numbers this pollster felt it extremely unlikely John Kerry was ahead in Florida by one point.

    Apparently Quinnipiac agrees. They have just released a Florida poll of 819 likely voters (Late Correction: it is registered voters) showing President Bush leading Senator Kerry, 49 – 41. J. McIntyre 12:06 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.