How electable is John Kerry?

Michael Grunwald, The New Republic:

"Massachusetts Senator John Kerry likes to say that, if he's the Democratic nominee and President Bush wants to make the election a referendum on national security, he has just three words to say: 'Bring It On!' But what if Kerry becomes the nominee and Bush wants to make the election more than a referendum on national security? What would the Republicans bring on then?

"In all likelihood, they would hammer Kerry for his opposition to mandatory minimum sentences for dealers who sell drugs to children and for voting against the death penalty for terrorists. They would mock his efforts to provide cash benefits to drug addicts and alcoholics, and his onetime opposition to a modest work requirement for welfare recipients. They would trash him for supporting more than half a trillion dollars in tax increases-including hikes in gas taxes and Social Security taxes on ordinary Americans-while accepting free housing and other goodies for himself from friendly influence-peddlers. They would even point out that, when Kerry served as lieutenant governor under one Michael S. Dukakis, Massachusetts famously furloughed more than 500 murderers and sex offenders under a program Kerry later defended as tough."

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