Since becoming Secretary of State we have seen John Kerry start to work vigorously for peaceful deals to various conflicts in the world. He has worked hard to strike a deal with Iran on the nuclear issue, for instance. Mr. Kerry has also worked hard at brokering a deal to better resolve the Arab-Israeli dispute. The Economist has even credited him with convincing some hard-line Israeli politicians, such Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman, that a two state solution is viable.
Why could Mr. Kerry not have exerted more energy during his 2004 presidential campaign? He should have nailed Bush and Cheney as complete flip-floppers on the issue of national security, to stop them from criticizing him on foreign policy. That way he could have defined the campaign with domestic issues, and won decisively. Instead he let them dominate the campaign with the national security theme and label him as the flip-flopper. He simply reassured his supporters that he was a strong finisher, but never fort passionately for anything. (Of course Kerry did not help matters by saying “I voted for it before I voted against it,” in reference to the Iraqi invasion.)
The world would be a much better place had Kerry exercised this kind of enthusiasm back in 2004.