How many rough drafts do you think the Kerry team went through to come with the campaign slogan, "Let America be America again"? It takes a lot of work to boil down an entire political platform into a single phrase of such astonishing meaninglessness. We'll give them this: It does capture the essence of Kerry's rhetorical style -- stilted, yet empty. Maybe Kerry himself provided an early version, something like, "To be sure, I would like it to be known, that who among us does not want this great country, America, to return to a state of being that country which it was and shall be again."
Of course, we heard the first version was just "Let America be France." Whatever. They both boil down to the same thing: "Let John Kerry be a Massachusetts senator again."
UPDATE: OK, they say the phrase comes from some famous poem. Like that makes it better. Way to connect with the people, Kerry, with poetry. We know you're writing off the South and all, but we liked that strategy better when it meant letting your daughter show off her rack.