"Mr Kerry responded by digging himself deeper into his hole. The comment, he said, was a ‘botched joke’. Apparently he did not mean that if you fail to study you will end up in the army; rather, if you fail to study you will end up leading an ill-thought-out war in Iraq. That must have come as useful advice to any members of his audience who were contemplating a career as commander-in-chief."
"The chances that Mr Kerry’s October gaffe will continue to resonate until next Tuesday are slim. Mr Kerry is not on the ballot. He has issued an official apology. And the images of his exercises in self-justification will soon be replaced on television screens by images of mayhem in Iraq. But the gaffe has nevertheless consumed valuable oxygen just a week before the electionâ€”and has given a needed jolt to the Republican machine."
"The biggest loser from the gaffe will be Mr Kerry himself. Several leading Democrats, such as Harold Ford, a Senate candidate in Tennessee, quickly denounced his comments. Others cancelled campaign appearances with him. In private the party brass were spitting tacksâ€”wondering whether Mr Kerry was not content with just losing one election for his party. The number of people who share Mr Kerry’s belief that he should run for the presidency again in 2008 has always been small. It has just got a lot smaller. "
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