Bush or Bush Not–There is No Kerry

Stephen Green notes that Maureen Dowd, who called Kerry “lame” on the Letterman show, is the latest of a growing line of Democratic pundits who lament the fact that they’re stuck with John Kerry as the only alternative to George W. Bush. William Raspberry is frustrated by Kerry’s unwillingness to take a position on any even slightly controversial issue. Michael Kinsley can’t muster a single word in favor of Kerry, choosing to use his debate with Charles Krauthammer to argue why Bush doesn’t deserve a second term.

It’s a precarious position for a candidate to be in, although perhaps enough for a challenger. Still, the economy, while placid, isn’t enough to energize voters. Things are getting quite a bit better in Iraq. Is there really enough anti-Bush animus to propel Kerry into the White House? It strikes me as unlikely.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Bithead says:

    I think we’ll find that with all Kery’s negatives… which are increasing daily, as we find more out about the guy… the Democrats are going to find out that ‘he’s not W” doesn’t work well as a campaign slogan except among their most rabid supporters.

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    While Bithead is right this campaign is shaping up somewhat differently than the last several–it’s less about rushing to the center or appealing to undecided moderates than about getting out the base.

    The arithmetic of the electoral college suggests that this is not a winning strategy for Mr. Kerry. Perhaps that’s why the New York Times recently put out an editorial against the electoral college. They can count.