Yup, that just about killed John Kerry’s chances of being President in 2008. First he insulted the troops, saying that if you’re stupid you get stuck in Iraq. Then, instead of apologizing, he went on the offensize and blamed Bush, even though Bush had nothing to do with Kerry’s statement. Then Kerry claimed it was a botched joke (which no doubt is Bush’s fault, too).
So now Kerry can apologize ineffectively (ineffective because it’ll look like he was pressured into it), and it’ll be an apology that’ll impress nobody. Conservatives won’t care, liberals will think Kerry’s weak. Or he can not apologize in which case moderates will think Kerry is just rude and stupid. That pretty much dug his hole. If he runs for President in 2008, he won’t make it past the first 3 weeks of the primaries.
Update: John Kerry has apologized for this:
You know, education–if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.
As far as I know, he still hasn’t apologized for this fropm 1971:
They had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.