August 27, 2004
Leaving aside that pesky constitutional prohibition, Clinton could have gotten the nod if he’d wanted. He would have beat George W. Bush in 2000. He would probably beat Bush today, given our nostalgia for the happy, shiny ’90s. But perhaps he enjoys retirement. Sure, it’s good to be king, but there’s something to be said for turning on “Monday Night Football” and letting someone else worry about loony long-beards with nukes. . . .
So why does Kerry want to be president?
The reason is almost tautological: John Kerry wants to be president because he is John Kerry, and John Kerry is supposed to be president. Hence his campaign’s flummoxed and tone-deaf response to the swift boat vets. Ban the books, sue the stations, retreat, attack. Underneath it all you can sense the confusion. How dare they attack Kerry? He’s supposed to be president. It’s almost treason in advance. . . . Inconsistencies are irrelevant, because he’s consistently John Kerry. And he’s supposed to be president.
That does seem to capture the tone. And don’t miss Lileks’ conclusion.