Kerry, Kerry, Kerry.
Dems all over are going wild about these latest poll numbers showing Bush rising markedly. While I think part of it is the natural cycle of presidential politics, it in large part comes down to the difficulties of challenging an incumbent. Bush has the world stage, he grabs the headlines, and any news is good news. Josh Marshall's comment about this hits it right on the money.
Still, there's plenty Kerry could be doing. He's like a turtle that's slinked back into his shell the last two months, after appropriating Dean's attack technique during the primary campaign. There have been dribbles of dissent, like about the Saudi Arabia gas price fixing "scandal", but for the most part he's played defense. And when you spend all your time defending your record, it gives nothing but the impression that your record needs defending. Just once I'd love to hear "You know what, I'm proud of the work I've done in the Senate, and when I look at the job this President has done the last four years, I'd say there's someone who needs to defend his record." Enough with the equivocating. Enough with the mushy middle. Instead of playing rope-a-dope, get out there and blast away on the environment. Blast away on this ridiculous war (A great line would've been, "Bob Woodward's book says the plans for Iraq were drawn up 3 years ago. Looking at this war, I didn't know there were any plans!") Blast away on the economy, and health care, and gay marriage. Force yourself back into that news cycle.
I saw Jeanne Shaheen on Crossfire yesterday, with one of these BC04 drones (I think it was Ken Melman), and he again brought up this assinine gas tax thing, and Shaheen could have easily said "You mean the gas tax Dick Cheney voted for? The one Greg Mankiw proposed," but she sat there and played defense. Hey JFK, you're not winning in November with that strategy. You're not. Look at 2002. These are vital moments when candidates get defined in the public consciousness. Please get off the mat.