The Corner

On Kerry

Here is a smart Republican strategist on John Kerry: “If you look at the kind of intense gaffe-policing we’ve had from the press lately, John Kerry has been almost entirely absent. He hasn’t made stupid mistakes. That’s very notable. He’s been thinking about this for a long time. So we’re not going to have the good fortune of having a nominee who machine-guns himself in the foot every day, as Bill Safire put it of Howard Dean. But he’s got real vulnerabilities. The primary one is his 20-year voting record. It’s not one that he’s going to want to run on, whether it’s advocating steep intelligence cuts, cuts in the FBI, running for Congress in the 1970s against the CIA, voting against DOMA, or advocating a 50-cent gas tax increase. As for the South, he says Southerners too care about clean water and clean air. True. But they also care about whether you are going to raise taxes and defend marriage. Democrats continue to live in this dream world where they think they can advocate huge tax increases, avoid defending marriage, and oppose banning infanticide and say to Southerners, ‘Forget about all that – look at my health care plan.’ It’s a little like Republicans who believe they can win the African-American vote on vouchers when they are against affirmative action. Not going to happen.”