The first [BUSH] ad about [John F. Kerry], produced on the Internet, was entitled "Unprincipled" and attacked the Massachusetts senator for railing against special interests while accepting donations from them. And a search of the Bush campaign website turns up no references to a "Massachusetts liberal" at all, yet its top headlines yesterday included a statement by Senator Norm Coleman, Republican of Minnesota, accusing Kerry of "flip-flops on Israel."
From the start, Kerry has pledged to fight back as [Michael S. Dukakis] did not, highlighted his personal toughness through his Vietnam service, and touted his experience as a prosecutor to show he is not easily pigeonholed as a liberal. When Republicans circulated a survey indicating that Kerry was the "most liberal senator" in town, Kerry supporters responded aggressively, deconstructing the methodology to argue he was not.
"That's the instinct of every campaign, to run their last victorious defense," Kerry adviser Michael Meehan said. "John Kerry is not [Al Gore], and John Kerry is not Michael Dukakis."