"Intellectually Defensible?" Maybe. Politically Disastrous. Oh Yes.
Time magazine intends to praise Kerry but really reveals one of his key weaknesses. Addressing the Iraq War, Time writes:
Perhaps what's most frustrating for Kerry's supporters is that his position is not that complicated—and is intellectually defensible.
He voted for the war to strengthen Bush's diplomatic leverage with allies and against the reconstruction money as a vote of no confidence on the handling of the aftermath
Emphasis added. To my unsophisticated mind, and I bet to most voters, a vote for the authority to go to war is just that, a freaking vote to authorize war. It is not a tactical move to "leverage" our allies. It is not something clever and multi-dimensional. This is not chess. It is what it says it is, a vote authorizing the president to use military force. To vote for it and then claim that the president shouldn't have used the authority may be intellectually defensible but it is not obviously so.
The vote against the reconstruction funding is even worse. Hey, Kerry, this ain't a parlimentary system, pal. We don't have votes of no confidence. At best his vote was election year posturing to outmaneuver the left wing but it was primarily a vote against the funding.
This is why Senators don't win the White House. The slippery, tactical mindset of Senators, thinking three moves ahead, always hedging your bets, never saying never, leaving room for maneuver, does not translate well to the straight talking realm of presidential campaigning.