John "Steady As She Goes" Kerry reacts calmly to the bad news out of Iraq, reminding us of the benefit of electing an older, more wrinkly statesmen:
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry on Wednesday called the situation in Iraq "one of the greatest failures of diplomacy and failures of judgment that I have seen in all the time that I've been in public life."
"Where are the people with the flowers, throwing them in the streets, welcoming the American liberators the way Dick Cheney said they would be?" Kerry said in an interview with American Urban Radio Networks.
"Since I fought in Vietnam, I have not seen an arrogance in our foreign policy like this."
Somewhat more seriously, what is the point of this question about the current deficit of flower-tossers? Is it really the position of the Kerry camp that this uprising reflects the will of the majority of Iraqis? Or, if Rumsfeld and the foreign press are correct in suggesting that the uprising lacks broad popular support, is it a surprise that the silent majority is staying out of the line of fire?
The LA Times covered Kerry's effort on Tuesday in Cinncinnati. Where was the L-U-V?
...when Kerry, the likely Democratic presidential nominee, was pressed about what he would do differently than President Bush to resolve the situation in Iraq, he fell back on his long-standing - and not very specific - response: Bring in other countries to help. [Joe Biden is a skeptic]
...Kerry has acknowledged that he will have to scale back some of the programs he proposed during his primary campaign, a change he said is necessary because of a ballooning deficit that he attributes to Bush administration spending.
Actually, they let him off easy on the "scale back because of the deficits" patter - did his team just notice these deficits last week, or was he lying all through primary season?
UPDATE: No soft spot for Kerry at the Times, either:
Battles in Iraq Bring Troubles for Bush and Kerry as Well / Nagourney, Hulse
WASHINGTON, April 7 — The surge of violence in Iraq has created vast political complications for Democrats and Republicans, as President Bush struggled on Wednesday to address doubts about his foreign policy and Senator John Kerry sought to challenge the conduct of a war he voted for two years ago.
They describe his attacks on Bush and follow with:
...Still, even as he attacked Mr. Bush, Mr. Kerry was notably vague in saying how he would handle the matter as president. His advisers said he had no plans to offer a policy speech about a war that aides to Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry alike said they now expected to provide a bloody backdrop for the campaign for months.
"Right now, what I would do differently is, I mean, look, I'm not the president, and I didn't create this mess so I don't want to acknowledge a mistake that I haven't made," Mr. Kerry said on Wednesday on CNN.
Mr. Kerry ignored two questions shouted to him by reporters at a meeting he held with economic advisers, about whether he would "take out" Moktada al-Sadr, the radical Shiite clergyman, a pool report said.
And, later in the story (following news about Bush's many troubles):
Mr. Kerry's remarks on the deterioration in Iraq reflect the extent to which he has yet to come up with any proposals to distinguish himself from Mr. Bush about what might be done there now. His national security adviser, Rand Beers, said Mr. Kerry would support an increase in troop strength along the lines that the Pentagon is now advocating.
Calling it like they see it.