What's Senator Kerry's Problem?
If This poll is to be believed, then Kerry may be in trouble.(Once again, don't GET COCKY!)
Many have pontificated as to why Kerry has slid in the polls since his convention. Was it the Swift boat ads? The Rathergate story? The well run GOP convention? The lack of coverage due to hurricanes?
I believe that none of these are right. The problem is the Kerry campaign itself. The swift boat ads would have had little or no effect if Kerry had addressed the allegations early on and often. Instead, he let the allegations fester and finally when he did address it, it was a rather weak response. I think the American people saw weakness in Kerry by the way he responded. It was not the substance of the ads that hurt Kerry but the weakness and disjointed nature of his reaction that hurt him. The American people are viewing this election through the prism of a post 911 world. The swift boat ad was a test of Kerry to see how he would respond when challenged; he failed the test.
Throughout this general election, Kerry has not given the impression of person in command. More then a person's position on issues, the American people want a CIC to be a person whom they believe to be in charge. Kerry has given the impression of perhaps a nuanced and thoughtful person, but not a decisive leader and commander. The American people do not what a person who would take two weeks to make a statement after an attack on this country. They want a person who will say while the buildings are still burning, that "these people are wanted dead or alive." Kerry has given the impression, by the way he has handled his campaign, that he would be weak in response to an attack, disheveled when challenged, indecisive in his vision while lacking resolve to carry out a long term objective.
Remember that a national campaign is a test to see how a person can command a large number of people to achieve an objective.(its the first and only large scale executive experience that many candidates get) When a campaign is often off message, indecisive in its answers, and late in its responses, the American people may conclude that these characteristics may carry over to the person's presidency, and in a post 911 world many will conclude that decisive and fast is better than indecisive and slow.