Kerry seems to have a problem talking in a way that normal people can understand. Why? Well, as the Bush team puts it, it's because he's too nuanced. And there's some truth to that. The problem is that he talks in subtleties and long, droning speeches rather than in talking points and simple bullets that people can understand. He doesn't speak in sound bites, which is a good thing in some ways, but does him a great disservice on the campaign trail.
His problem is not that he's a flip-flopper, his problem is that he puts so many ifs and ands and buts and you-have-to-considers into what he says that his original message is lost, especially once it's been through the journalists and editors working out there. They only have 5 seconds to show a clip of him; his answer is 15 seconds; he loses 2/3 of what he was saying and comes off looking like a flip-flopper. He doesn't flip or flop, generally, he just doesn't say it clearly and concisely enough to make it sound as consistent as it actually is.
I have a lot more thoughts on this, but I'm running behind and need to get going, so let me just leave you with this article:
found here: http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh081204.shtml
found here: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2004_08/004512.php
found here: http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/week_2004_08_08.php#003276
How's that for following the trail back? ;) But anyways, read away, people, and comment. When I get home tonight and have some time to spare, I'll chime in more myself.