Over the last few days I have spoken to Democrats who are firmly convinced he is a hawkish free-trading fiscal conservative who believes that life begins at conception, that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that the U.S. should bulk up its forces in Iraq. I've also spoken to other Democrats just as convinced the Kerry is really a protectionist, socially liberal dove who actually opposes the war and supports gay marriage and nationalized health care.
Kerry has been talking for years, and yet such is the thicket of his verbiage that he has achieved almost complete strategic ambiguity.
All this may work. But there is still more to learn. Is Kerry a little dull because he is steady and sensible, or is he just incapable of making up his mind? Is he prudential because in times of crisis the nation needs a steady hand, or is he cautious because he simply doesn't grasp that we're in a new world, confronted by a rabid ideological foe?