An interesting Pigs and Battleships post reviews some stumbles in John Kerry's campaign, but I think it all comes down to his infamous foot-in-mouth moment when he said, "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it." You could almost hear the echo of Howard Dean's primal scream.
Sadly, the U.S. is a sound bite nation where retractions, corrections and explanations are hidden in the back of the newspaper days later. Even though there was a good explanation behind his statement, in that one sentence Kerry gave traction to the opposition's accusations of flip-flopping. Even worse, it implied indecision about the war in Iraq. People sitting on the fence didn't need much to scare them over towards the cowboy confident incumbent.
I was heartbroken when Kerry lost, but hopefully it's given the Democratic party a few years to grow an identity. As ole number 43 might say, I just wish they wouldn't misunderestimate themselves so much.