Progressive Advice for Kerry
Robert Kuttner offers three bits of advice to John Kerry:
Rather than trimming, Kerry should be leading — educating the public on why social outlays are sound economics. Plus, as Walter Mondale painfully learned in 1984, you don’t defeat Republicans by being a better deficit-hawk.
Clinton governed by cutting deficits but won election by “putting people first.” Kerry needs to run the way Clinton ran, not the way Clinton governed. Few ordinary voters care about deficits, and the message they hear is: “He’ll raise your taxes.”
I’m not sure exactly what this means. But flip-flopping on the central core of his campaign is an excellent suggestion. I’m all for this.
[M]ass opinion is rapidly diverging from elite opinion on Iraq. Many in the foreign policy elite believe that, however unwise the invasion in the first place, we owe it to the Iraqi people to “stay the course.” But ordinary voters increasingly want to cut our losses. Kerry should listen to them.
Excellent advice. Kerry should call for immediate surrender.
Supporters of a Kerry-McCain ticket argue that the important thing is to get Kerry elected. McCain’s views would have little influence. But one American president in seven has died in office. And McCain could dampen the enthusiasm of the Democratic faithful far more than he attracted independents.
This is an interesting theory. It’s rather academic; McCain isn’t going to run with Kerry. I’m personally hoping for Howard Dean. Or Carol Mosely-Braun.