If only they could have gotten Judy Miller to add to the byline.
The implied bottom line for these "giants" of hackery?
Mr. Kerry is a meticulous, deliberative decision maker, always demanding more information, calling around for advice, reading another document - acting, in short, as if he were still the Massachusetts prosecutor boning up for a case.
He stayed up late last Sunday night with aides at his home in Beacon Hill, rewriting - and rearguing - major passages of his latest Iraq speech, a ritual that aides say occurs even with routine remarks.
"He attacks the material, he questions things, he tries to get it right," said Richard C. Holbrooke, the former United Nations ambassador and an adviser to Mr. Kerry. During a recent conversation about Iraq, he recounted, Mr. Kerry "interrupts me and he says, 'Have you read Peter Galbraith's article in The New York Review of Books? You've got to read that, it's very important.' ''
In interviews, associates repeatedly described Mr. Kerry as uncommonly bright, informed and curious.
But the downside to his deliberative executive style, they said, is a campaign that has often moved slowly against a swift opponent, and a candidate who has struggled to synthesize the information he sweeps up into a clear, concise case against Mr. Bush.
Oh my GOD! Kerry thinks before he acts.
Damn, why'd we want somebody like that to be the most powerful person on the planet?