Last year, I diagnosed Jonathan Chait's problem as similar to the batter facing an eephus pitch. Looks easy to hit. The batter either ends up drilling for oil in the batter's box, or grounding out weakly to the infield.
The Daily News reports that John Kerry used virtually the same words as Jon Lovitz back in April. (Hat Tip: Kerry Spot)
The article actually reveals what we had all feared: a man with virtually no understanding of the motives of others, outmaneuvered tactically by Karl Rove, and unable to capitalize on his advantages. In particular, he can't understand why John McCain might not want to be his Veep:
It started in August 2003, but kicked into high gear after Kerry nailed the nomination. He even offered to expand the veep's role to control defense and foreign policy. "You're out of your mind," McCain told Kerry. "I don't even know if it's constitutional, and it certainly wouldn't sell."
Kerry seemed stunned that McCain rebuffed him "after what the Bush people did to him," referring to the 2000 GOP presidential primary.
This ought to bother people more than a little. Suppose that Kerry actually meant it. He was running a strategy that called for attacking the President's strong suit. If it succeeded, Bush would have little left to respond with. He was presenting himself as the foreign policy alternative. He was running on his war record. But he was going to outsource foreign policy control to his Vice-President. Spare me the jokes about Dick Cheney as Puppetmaster. Nobody doubts that the President has a strong team, but he makes the final decisions.
Worse, Kerry was going to staff his cabinet and foreign policy staff with appeasers, and ask them to work under the unofficial direction of a man whose only point of agreement with the President is the war.
There's a reason Senators don't get elected President very often. Senators have to put together staffs, but they don't have to execute policy. Thank G-d this one never got the chance.