Winning candidates – or, more accurately, candidates perceived to be winning – don’t get advice from the punditocracy about how to run their campaigns. Instead, columnists usually write glowing reviews of how well their boy is doing. With that in mind, let’s look at three left-leaning columns from various papers today.
Richard Cohen tells John Kerry to listen to Teddy Kennedy:
I was sorry that I had not listened to him about George W. Bush and even sorrier that I had not listened to him about the war in Iraq, which he had opposed. If it is not too late, I recommend that John Kerry do what I am now doing: Pay attention to Teddy Kennedy and what he has to say.
The Boston Globe’s Joan Vennochi wants Kerry to forget about Vietnam and focus on Afghanistan:
Kerry picked up on the theme, telling The New York Times that the administration has “taken their eye off the real ball. They took it off in Afghanistan and shifted it to Iraq. They took it off in North Korea and shifted it to Iraq. They took it off in Russia and the nuclear materials there and shifted it to Iraq.”
That at least is a way for Kerry to start reframing the debate and move away from the Vietnam era and his Senate vote authorizing war with Iraq. Now, how about getting more surrogates out there on his behalf on the domestic front?
Mort Zuckerman thinks Kerry ought to focus on the economy, stupid:
Kerry could have done two things. First, promise an increase in the minimum wage–it has been stalled at $5.15 for seven years and is worth a third less today than it was in 1968. The Massachusetts senator could also have promised that any income tax cuts during his administration–except those focused on incentives for job creation–would be targeted at those with incomes below $65,000 a year.
Whether you agree with any or none of these folks, their message is clear. They all think Kerry is running a losing race.