National Review's Rich Lowry doesn't like John Kerry's central role in the Afghan election compromise --
Isn't this what Richard Holbrooke was supposed to be doing? Could it be that Holbrooke — diplomat extraordinaire — so badly alienated Karzai in the course of leading the administration's botched handling of the first election that he no longer has any sway with the Afghan leader?
Holbrooke's botched handling of the 1st election amounted to saying that there will have to be a runoff.
There is going to be a runoff.
But anyway, the Wall Street Journal gives us some insights into how Kerry won Karzai over to the inevitable --
That night, Sen. Kerry went to the presidential palace, where the two men, sometimes accompanied by Mr. Eikenberry [US Ambassador] and sometimes alone, hashed out Mr. Karzai's concerns. "We had lot of hours together and talked about a lot of things, including the American experience in elections, and going back to 1864, Al Gore in 2000," Sen. Kerry said. "I think it helped to put it into a certain framework."
It's hard to know what "certain framework" Kerry has in mind, but one might be that when an election is subject to serious doubt, as Florida 2000 was, a complete re-run of the election might not be a bad idea. Legitimacy, mandate, all that stuff. No wonder Lowry is mad.
UPDATE: Lowry comes out against the runoff and doesn't seem too perturbed by the election fraud. Having a leader is more important.