The stubborn vs. the flopper
: Nick Denton is back blogging about politics after at least a decade away. He says what Kerry should have said last night:
John Kerry has to make voters see, in place of steadfastness, the president’s stubborness….
That was a promising start, for Kerry; he’s capable of drawing a little blood. But where was the kill? Kerry needs to affix a title to the president — George The Stubborn, say it! — as firmly as the Republicans have defined the Democratic challenger as a flip-flopper. And — it’s too late, too false, for Kerry to compete with the president in the steadfastness stakes — Kerry needs to make flip-flopping sound patriotic. Flip-flopping as American as burger-flipping. Kerry needs a narrative.
How’s this? “The president says I’ve changed my mind on Iraq. Well, yes. Blind certainty is fine for Soviet ideologues, and Islamic fanatics, but I am an American. I believe that pragmatism is the American genius. This country was built by individuals who found themselves on an unfamiliar continent, in a promised land that wasn’t always what they’d been promised.”