Several smart Democratic candidates (or their smart campaign managers, same difference) have come out fast against John Kerry's remarks. This may be the only thing that limits the damage for them. It won't reverse it completely, I think, but it will stop the bleeding. Other Democrats are going the other way into stupid territory and still defending Kerry. They may start the bleeding all over again.
"Whatever the intent, Senator Kerry was wrong to say what he said," said Democratic Rep. Harold Ford, Jr., running for Senate in Tennessee.
"Sen. Kerry's remarks were poorly worded and just plain stupid," said Montana Senate President Jon Tester, a Democrat trying to unseat GOP Sen. Conrad Burns. "He owes our troops and their families an apology."
"I'm sorry he did what he did. But I think the issue … we want to make sure it doesn't confuse the subject of the war in," Democratic Rep. Ben Cardin, running for Senate in Maryland, said on CNN.
Cardin was weakest of these three. He should have done exactly what Ford and Tester did. Trying to triangulate this one is not a good idea. Now on to the ones who remain ClueProof™:
Kerry's office released a supportive statement from retired Lt. Gen. Claudia J. Kennedy, the first female three-star general in the Army and a supporter of his 2004 bid against Bush. "When it comes to Iraq, he's right to stand up against baseless attacks, and right to keep fighting for a better course for our troops and our country," she said.
Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, head of the Democratic campaign effort, called the White House attacks on Kerry an effort by Bush "to divert attention from his failed Iraq policy."
"Instead of going on television attacking John Kerry and everyone else under the sun, the president ought to be sitting at his desk coming up with a plan for Iraq," Schumer said.
The head of the Democratic party also downplayed Kerry's remarks. "Kerry made a blooper. Bloopers happen,"told reporters in Burlington, Vt.
That last one may tear all the bandages off and rip out the stitches. Dean just made this story news for at least one more news cycle, probably more. Why in the world did the Dems pick this guy to run the party? He should have denounced it and walked away. That might have minimized further damage. But he didn't.
UPDATE: Leaning Straight Up just linked with this picture. I don't think they look too happy.
UPDATE: AllahPundit, who knows a thing or three about Photoshop says he thinks it is legit and has this full-size picture to prove it. Also, I take it back – the troops holding in, when seen close up, are VERY pleased with themselves.
UPDATE: Heh – Leftourettes syndrome.