Kerry weak on defense
There is no weaker position in presidential campaign politics than playing defense, and John Kerry has been on the defensive now for more than two weeks.
Many Democrats fear he waited too long to respond to the barrage of attacks from the Swift boat Vietnam veterans who charge he made up or exaggerated many of the combat exploits he has touted over his political career and has used to define his presidential candidacy.
There is no doubt the attack ads and the senator's inexplicable delay in answering them have had a political impact among independents and veterans, raising new doubts about his truthfulness and character.
With Mr. Kerry defensively backing away from one of his major Vietnam War stories and switching positions on national security issues from week to week, it is no surprise Democrats are getting jittery about his campaign. "There's a lot of nervousness about how close it is, a lot of nervousness," Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Gordon Fischer told me.
I'll bet there is.