Josh Marshall posts the responses from both Bush and Kerry and asks “Which of these two statements sounds like it comes from the stronger leader?”
This strikes me as almost deliberately lame. To the extent Kerry sounds “stronger” Marshall knows full well that he needs to sound stronger because the widespread perception is that Kerry is weaker. Kerry has had to talk tough precisely because he needs to compensate for the fact he’s perceived as the weaker leader.
I cannot imagine Marshall would ever credit this sort of argument if made in Bush’s favor. For example, if I put a Kerry and Bush quote side-by-side and asked “Which of these sounds like it comes from the more compassionate leader?” he would unload nothing but ridicule.