Poor John Kerry is his own worst enemy - in which capacity, he is not a bonus for the Democrats. That such a generally well-informed man with such seasoned political presence could make yet another ill-thought comment at a politically crucial time really makes him a liability - and, sadly, not presidential material.
I had high hopes for him at the last election when I actually had a chance to speak to him at one of those informal primaries. He had grabbed a plastic garden chair, stood perilously upon it, and given an erudite and inspirational speech which showed that here was a politician with a big picture of world and America's place in it. A global view - so rare among Americans. In a president, such a perspective could lift America from the reputational mire into which it has fallen internationally. As I have said before and often, it is hard to be pro-American in the big wide world these days. Love has been lost through the machinations of the Bush administration.
But the hope that was Kerry fell over in that presidential race - and one did not expect to see him rise again. One has to say these candidates have almost pachydermal thick skins. For here he is - looking younger and fitter than before, enhanced cosmetic adjustments to meet that market in which physical appearance is an obsessive priority. He has worked at being ready for the race. And there he is, up on the hustings...putting his bloody foot in his bloody mouth.
One should never snipe at those who are less educated - let alone that less education implies less intelligence. Some of the most brilliant people I know have had little in the way of formal education. How he came to make this a "send to Iraq" line is beyond me - and how he came to think it was a joke also baffles me.
Bottom line is that John Kerry has some wee short circuit in his mechanisms of diplomacy - and it can be dangerous. A president (discounting the present incumbent) must be about to think before he speaks - and to avoid the embarrassment or catastrophe of public gaffes.
Kerry has had his strikes and I think he is out.