Bruce Feirstein has some good advice for the Kerry campaign:
So what does all this mean for John Kerry’s campaign?
Alas, he’s still got a number of speed-bumps to avoid on the road to the White House:
1) Senatoritis. You’re getting hung by your own looping, overly nuanced, ultimately contradictory speechifying. Simple, declarative sentences, please.
2) Bob Shrum. Assuming a few things break right for Mr. Bush (the economy, Osama’s capture), this key Kerry campaign adviser knows only one song: populism—"I will fight for you against the rich forces of evil." Among swing voters, it didn’t play for Al Gore; it’ll play even less well for the exceedingly well-off Mr. Kerry.
3) MoveOn.Org. Legally, Mr. Kerry can’t control the ads bought by these kinds of so-called 527 organizations; but as the race tightens and their messages become ever more incendiary, he’s going to be spending his time answering for them. Swat these flies now; with friends like these, you’re not going to need enemies.
4) Attack Fatigue. By continually demonizing Mr. Bush—blaming him for everything from hangnails to W.M.D.’s—Mr. Kerry runs the risk of having his message fall on deaf centrist ears. My advice to the candidate: Cut Mr. Bush some slack somewhere, if only to humanize yourself.
5) Michael Moore. In a particularly vile post on his Web site last week, Mr. Moore criticized Mr. Kerry’s proposal to bring the U.N. into Iraq. Mr. Moore doesn’t want any other country’s troops to be put at risk; he wants American "children" to die in Iraq—and only American children—in order to teach us a lesson. Attention, Senator Kerry: Forget the lunatic left. I think your Sister Souljah moment has arrived. Win votes by cutting him dead, today.
6) Teresa’s Tax Returns. Sorry, but you’re going to have to release them. The sooner, the better. Sure, she probably owns stock in Wal-Mart and Halliburton—but you can blame this on her financial advisers. And you’ll get to use the four words we’ll never hear from the Bush administration:
"We made a mistake."
I look for the Kerry camp to act on roughly zero of these things as time goes on.