The Corner

Kerry/Drudge

Some very quick thoughts before I run off to lunch:

1. Personally, I don’t relish another one of these “debates” over adulterous sex by a Democratic politician. Not because I condone it or anything. But, I’m just exhausted with the topic. It is entirely possible, and perhaps probable, that most Americans will view it the same way and this story will have few legs.

2. And, we do not know if the story is true yet. I am sure the Drudge story is true to the extent that he’s accurately reporting that others are investigating it. But the underlying story may not be as juicey as it sounds. Or, it may be much, much jucier, but nobody will talk on the record, killing it.

3. Assuming there’s a kerfuffle coming, I’m delighted that this is coming out in the primary and not the general election because I’m fairly confident that Republicans don’t have their fingerprints on the story and that would be impossible to deny — regardless of the facts — if this came out during the general election.

4. It will be fascinating to see how Howard Dean and John Edwards talk about the issue. They have one obvious point to their advantage. Because Kerry’s campaign is based almost entirely on the “electability” issue they can go after Kerry on those grounds while at the same time denying the underlying offense is “anybody’s business.” Hence they will be able to say something like “those nasty Republicans will unfairly exploit John Kerry’s private mistakes. I think that’s terrible, but we have to face reality and run the best candidate we can. John Kerry’s damaged goods.”

5. I’m going to lunch.

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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