From the excellent column by Jon Rauch:
And what are Kerry's core beliefs? If you shake him awake at 3 a.m., what are the two or three things he knows deep down, the way Reagan knew that Big Government and Communism were bad and Bush knows that Al Qaeda and its allies have launched a global insurgency on behalf of a virulent totalitarian doctrine? I don't know.
I do know - If you crept into his Georgetown residence and shook Kerry awake at 3 AM, he would know it is 9 AM in Paris.
The Rauch column comes to us by way of the always-engaging Ms. McArdle, who is casting about for reasons to choose between Bush and Kerry.
She tabs the key domestic policy issues facing America as follows:
The biggest threat is failing to deal with budget and other problems inherent in the demographic surge towards an older population, until the problem deals with itself, catastrophically. The second biggest threat is screwing up the health care system so that we don't get innovative new drugs and equipment. And the third is running out of oil and/or screwing up the climate with our fossil fuel consumption.
I would put education reform in the top two, and move Social Security reform out of the top three - if we can educate our current youth, and do a better job of educating and absorbing immigrants, Social Security and Medicare become much more tractable. And I am grudgingly accepting the notion that we need a Federal energy plan of some sort.
Left unasked in her column - our next President will be expected to restructure and transform the CIA, the FBI, and the military while fighting a war on terror. Do either Kerry or Bush inspire special confidence with their ability to wrestle with the various bureacracies, make decisions, and move the processes forward?
In answering, don't forget that Kerry was a whiz-bang prosecutor, although, based on his reported reductions in the case backlog, the older he gets, the better he was. He also started a cookie company.
UPDATE: From commenter "PerfectSense":
...if you shake him awake at 3 a.m., what are the two or three things he knows deep down...
1) I served in Vietnam
2) I have a plan
3) I voted for it before I voted I voted against it.
MORE: Kerry's record as an attorney - I was for it before I was against it.