Posting for Amy Sullivan, again.
I agree with you, Karen–that version of John Kerry might actually have won in 2004. Earlier this evening I was reading through his acceptance speech. That year, Kerry mentioned Bush exactly twice in the whole speech. Instead of going after Republicans directly, he constantly referred to the elusive “they.” He had two short sections listing his critique of Republican policies, but they were phrased in oddly passive ways–”wages are falling”, “the middle-class is shrinking”–without telling the audience why.
Kerry was tough and direct tonight, with an especially strong riff on “Senator McCain” versus “Candidate McCain,” and showing a sense of humor rarely displayed in 2004 with the “Talk about being for it before you’re against it” line. The crowd loved it, which I bet is not exactly what they expected coming in.