This is a comment about Kerry posted this morning on the Daily Kos blog
I see both Kerry and Bush as withholding themselves from open contact with others. (Reagan and Clinton, two recent examples, were just the opposite.)
Bush is notable for his staff's and his campaign's ability to keep him insulated from people in general -- he has contact only under strictly controlled circumstances. Bush depends on conveying just the opposite impression -- that he's a friendly good ol' boy with a spine of steel who's saving the world.
Kerry's withholding may be more of a New England personality trait -- he plays the reticent, quiet leader. He really needs to Clintonize his connection with voters and shed the DNC/RNC-style manipulation techniques which people are tired of and which, if Kerry were smart, he'd leave behind now.
Given Kerry's wise, frankly conservative and people-friendly policies, a more open, committed, and less risk-averse personal connection with prospective voters would nail the election for him I believe. (Hamsters aren't gonna do it.) No one is talking about Kerry's genuine, old-fashioned conservatism; no one is kicking him in the butt and telling him to be as funny and charming as he is on the bus and at home.
There are so many aspects of Kerry which remain unexploited, withheld, and which could win him this election, that it frustrates and alienates even this ABB voter.