It was like watching a bad dreamthe ghost of elections past, John Kerry, rising againto make a mistake, then try to correct itand, in the process, handing the Republicans an issue. It was something that left the Democrats cringing: They had "won" the month of October, were heading into the homestretch, and there he goes again. He made a mistakea bungled joke about how if you're a young person and you don't work and study hard and go to college, you wind up in the armed forces. He should have just apologized and left it at that. In other words, don't become a distraction when the Democrats are doing just fine.
But this wasn't about the midterm elections. It was about John Kerry and 2008. More specifically, it was about John Kerry proving to all of those doubters out there that he wasn't about to get swift-boated. It was about getting a chance to rerun his race against George W. Bush. And, like last time, he lost.
That's probably why Kerry has cancelled his scheduled appearances today. You can just hear the phone ringing off the hook: John, please stay out of this fight, the Dems will be telling him. You'll get your shot at it. But for nowshut up and let us win. Please, don't get in the way again, the Democrats are saying.
There's plenty of time for that in 2008.