Thursday, February 12, 2004

Overslept the quiz 

Hugh Hewitt gave a question for the NA on whether Kerry's behavior in his 1971 testimony, which just about everybody and his mother-in-law has read by now. I dunno; in my view the way Kerry should handle this is pretty simple. A one-sentence answer:

"When I was young and foolish I was young and foolish."
Bam! He disavows the position -- something he seems quite willing to do whenever his previous position is inconvenient -- and at the same time he recalls Bush's less than perfect past in a way that doesn't sully him as it did this Ohio congresscritter. This won't appease Vietnam Vets that are furious with him, but that's unlikely to be a bridge he can build anyway, so why worry?

A key in any long campaign it seems to me is to turn your weakness into a strength. There is no doubt this is a weakness for Kerry, but not one that is going to cost him that many votes. I don't disagree that he should be held accountable, as both PowerLine and JB Doubtless contend, but it requires people to care about that. To make them care Bush has to make it an issue, and this puts one extra barb that Bush would have to grab to do so. It would be better for Bush to focus on Kerry's weaknesses on Iraq and al-Qaeda, where he has both an advantage and issue saliency. On that, I think the Captain agrees.