Broder: “What the Democrats did do was to challenge Bush directly on two of his assets — his reputation as a strong leader and a man with strong values. Kerry said — and others affirmed — that he too is strong of character and strong of will. It is unusual, to say the least, to build a challenger’s campaign on the incumbent’s main strengths, but that is what the Kerry team has done.”
I still think the scenario on the ground makes it unlikely that any convention would’ve moved things much. But Broder has some interesting points in this piece.
The main challenge I think Kerry was facing as he rode down the Charles River towards the Fleet last week was to take charge of this campaign. It is an election with many center points (from MoveOn to the general anti-Bush movement, etc.), none of which seemed to be John Kerry. When he first walked onto the stage at the Fleet, the candidate (a bit cheesily) announced, “I’m John Kerry and I’m reporting for duty.”
Last week, I wanted the various Dem factions and movements to report for duty. And I wanted John Kerry to be reporting to lead them.