More on Kerry's campaign.
If the Dems lose this presidential campaign, a lot of fingers are going to be pointed at the Kerry campaign's fumbles and missteps. Their main problem seems to be that they've mistaken the Democratic primary campaign for the actual election. Wary of going negative in the post-9/11 world against fellow Democrats, Bob Shrum's strategy was that Kerry was the only candidate who could potentially unite all the various Democratic constituencies, and the only candidate, or one of the only candidates, with a war record that would potentially immunize him against charges that he was soft on defense or too liberal. Shrum fought back those people in the Kerry campaign who wanted to attack Howard Dean, who wanted to go after him more aggressively, saying that if they did that they’d diminish Kerry’s stature, and they would polarize the Party and make it tougher for Kerry to emerge as the winner. He was proved right in that strategic choice.
That's how Bob Shrum successfully made John Kerry the Democratic nominee for President. Had this election been held soley in Massachusetts, that strategy would have probably continued to work. However, becoming President of the rest of the country requires a different strategy, and that's where the campaign has blown it. For some better insights into the comparisons between the Bush and Kerry campaigns, see here: http://www.newyorker.com/online/content/?040920on_onlineonly01
Moment of Zen