The Corner

Kerry’s Weakness

Kerry’s arguments on Iraq last night seemed to boil down to one simple point: “I’m not him!” (i.e., he’s not Bush). I’m still confused about what Kerry thinks about Iraq, and that’s just on the basis of what we heard last night. At one point, he talked to the parents of soldiers and told them he wants to bring their kids back home. At another point, he suggested that we need to stay in past the six-month drawdown he’s previously proposed. So, which is it senator? More troops or less? Stay in for the long haul or withdraw? (“I’m not him! I’m not him!”) Bush, by contrast, described how the commander in chief faces no more difficult decision than committing troops to combat. His words about the North Carolina widow and her son were both touching and compelling. If I had a kid in Iraq, I’d want Bush in charge. (David Frum makes a similar point here.)

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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