Ronald Brownstein has a good piece on Kerry's easy ride
as frontrunner, and makes the point that if the other candidates don't start attacking him hard, and soon, that Kerry's going to waltz away with this thing. He downplays Dean's recent attacks as being "in such a hyperbolic fashion that he has undercut his own effectiveness." I don't think that's the case, but I tend to see the world through Dean-colored glasses, so I could easily be mistaken.
His larger point is still valid, however. Why are Clark and Edwards still playing nicey-nicey with this guy? Edwards' "I'm the positive guy" position did okay when Gephardt and Dean were locked in their death-spiral in Iowa, but hasn't resonated much against the "I'm a nice guy if the polls show that's working" Kerry. Brownstein notes that
Slowly, Clark and Edwards seem to have recognized the urgency of their situations; Edwards this weekend notably escalated his criticism of Kerry for supporting the North American Free Trade Agreement, and Clark gibed him over comments suggesting skepticism about affirmative action,
but fails to address the argument heard throughout the media whilst all were piling on Dean--that the pounding tests the mettle of the eventual nominee, and that the media does this to everyone, so what's the big deal. Is the reluctance of the media and the other candidates to vigorously question Kerry's fitness to be the nominee going to leave us with a largely untested candidate for Roveco to smack around in the general election? I hope someone does it, and fast.