Here is the link to the recent Newsweek article on Kerry: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6777696/site/newsweek/print/1/displaymode/1098/
The key quotes:
He never quite came out and said it, but Kerry sounded very much like a man who was running for president again. He has a mailing list with 2.9 million names and an organization in every state. His moneymen have not backed away....Some of Kerry's followers are already plotting how Kerry can defeat Hillary Clinton in the Iowa caucuses in 2008. The conventional wisdom, already congealing before Bush's second Inaugural, pictures Kerry and Clinton as the early Democratic front runners.
Exactly. JFK may lack other things, but not ambition: he wants to be president very badly, and he is determined to get it.
As for Kerry, says this adviser, "he thinks he's the front runner for '08 without recognizing that he needs to do some soul-searching. If he wants to come back, he'll have to come back as a different candidate, not the stiff who plays it safe and takes four sides of every issue."
So according to Kerry's own aides, the candidate is a flip-flopper who takes "four sides of every issue". Or perhaps the aide is condemning an excess of nuance?--regardless, it's a problem. And the aide also sees what some others see: JFK thinks he's the front runner, and is already focussed on 2008.
Kerry has tried to comfort and defend his wife, Teresa, who suffers from migraines and has taken personally widespread criticism (much of it by campaign staffers) of her role in the campaign.
JFK has a serious problem: a wife who loves the limelight and the attention of a campaign, but who hurts the campaign because she is seriously gaffe-prone--a problem apparently recognized by the JFK campaign team itself.
Jose Ferreira, Kerry's nephew, told his uncle, "Some people are saying that your candidacy was driven by ABB [Anything But Bush]." Kerry replied: "Do you think so?"
Ouch. Of course it's true. The whole strategy of KE 2004 was to avoid risk, make the election a referendum on the incumbent, and trust the American people to reject Bush. It failed because Bush had a popularity rating of about 53% among voters--not great, but enough to win re-election. That Kerry, in the aftermath of the death, can't see that that is the campaign he ran is remarkable. If Kerry lacks the political insight to understand his own campaign, it's difficult to see how he will understand that part of the country that lives outside of Massachusetts.
In sum: this is a candidate who lacks emotional intelligence--see my post earlier on Kerry, Aristotle, and emotional intelligence.