Saletan writes, “I’ve asked myself how Kerry is persuading previously skeptical voters to change their minds about him. The answer is, he isn’t. Other people are doing the persuasion. Other people are doing the testimonial ads, as first lady Christie Vilsack did for Kerry in Iowa. Other people are firing up his crowds. Other people are telling his story.” A devastating line states: “The man who stood up to serve his country as a soldier is being propped up as a candidate.”
This dovetails with Kerry’s dour, depressed victory speech – which broke etiquette by coming before the concessions. Saletan notes, “A Kerry rally is…more like a roast,” with Shaheen, Ted Kennedy, Patrick Kennedy or others saying how great Kerry is while he’s standing right there unable to make that case. When I read Saletan’s line about Teddy stumping for Kerry, I wished I’d written it myself.