Liking John Kerry
Kerry has really grown on me. This story from today's Washington Post is a good example of why:
"We have a high-class problem on this campaign," Bianchi said. "People want a change -- a lot. There is an unprecedented amount of energy. That leads to a lot of people wanting to do everything they can."Republicans think advisers are there to tell the candidate what to do. Obviously, that's how Bush "governs," but it's produced nothing but bad policy. John Kerry is smart and confident enough to handle it.
It has also opened the campaign to Republican ridicule. Stanzel said the campaign's policy apparatus "demonstrates John Kerry's indecisiveness."
"Why is it that after 20 years in United States Senate, John Kerry needs that many people to tell him what he thinks?" Stanzel said.
But Kerry aides and advisers defended the structure. They said it has opened Kerry to a healthy blend of perspectives and yielded realistic policies that balance competing views.
"The mark of too many cooks would be drift," said Lael Brainard, a Kerry adviser and international economist at the Brookings Institution. "I don't see drift. I see decisions. That leads me to believe the big tent is bringing in a broad range of opinions and is bringing about well-crafted decisions."
From his ski-vacation home in Idaho, Kerry phoned in to the final conference call, deciding a corporate rate cut would signal that his intention was business tax reform, not a tax hike, Bianchi said. Overriding some economists, he also insisted that a provision be added to allow multinationals based in the United States to continue deferring taxation on overseas sales to customers in local markets.Note that Kerry has the capacity to work while on vacation.
"In the end, he's the guy who makes the call," Sperling said.
Mostly, however, the outer ring serves another purpose. By casting a wide net, Bianchi said, the campaign is always ready with an expert when an unexpected issue crops up suddenly. Many members of the policy councils can also be effective Kerry advocates in their far-flung communities, she said.Let's get some more of these people on TV.