I think Kerry is a great Senator, but he was a godawful presidential candidate…. The man had no reason for running. He had no message beyond “I’m the most electable”. Dean was running his anti-establishment campaign. Clark was weaving his sterling military service into domestic issues with his “New American Patriotism”. Edwards had the best message of all, talking about the “Two Americas”. Yet Kerry had nothing. And while his “most electable” drivel helped propel him into the nomination, it left him ill-prepared for the general campaign.
[C]ampaign insiders will tell you that no one loved Kerry. No one had any sense of higher purpose. People who worked for Dean, Edwards and Clark all passionately loved their man. The campaigns stuck together.
I had the same reaction to Kerry saying he wants another go-around as Al Gore: Now you grow some balls! Now you decide to speak your mind! Now you stop being conservative lite! Nope – you didn’t brevity. You didn’t learn warmth. You’re a much better Senator than candidate.