April 27, 2004

FROM THE VILLAGE VOICE:

WASHINGTON, D.C.— With the air gushing out of John Kerry’s balloon, it may be only a matter of time until political insiders in Washington face the dread reality that the junior senator from Massachusetts doesn’t have what it takes to win and has got to go. As arrogant and out of it as the Democratic political establishment is, even these pols know the party’s got to have someone to run against George Bush. They can’t exactly expect the president to self-destruct into thin air.

With growing issues over his wealth (which makes fellow plutocrat Bush seem a charity case by comparison), the miasma over his medals and ribbons (or ribbons and medals), his uninspiring record in the Senate (yes war, no war), and wishy-washy efforts to mimic Bill Clinton’s triangulation gimmickry (the protractor factor), Kerry sinks day by day. The pros all know that the candidate who starts each morning by having to explain himself is a goner.

Is resurrecting John Edwards the answer? I doubt it, though I liked him better than Kerry. Lots of people on the right, meanwhile, are predicting a last-minute appearance by Hillary Clinton. This sounds like the stuff of pundit dreams more than reality (though she’d probably be better on the war than Kerry — say what you will about Hillary, but nobody’s ever accused her of being wimpish or indecisive). It’s not too late for Kerry’s campaign to hit its stride. But all this wheel-spinning isn’t helping.