John Kerry’s foreign policy credentials are under scrutiny by blogsters today, thanks to his recent interview on the subject with Time magazine, and a comment the candidate made to Reuters.

“Without naming anybody, Kerry said he had received words of encouragement from leaders abroad who were eager to see him defeat Bush on Nov. 2,” Reuters reported. (That, in turn, triggered an immediate response from the Republican National Committee, which proclaimed: “Communist North Korea is Only Government on Record Supporting John Kerry.” )

Does that make Kerry the Manchurian Candidate? wonders Matthew Yglesias at Tapped. At this rate, adds Yglesias, the 2004 election may well become “the dirtiest campaign in modern presidential politics,” just as GOP chair Ed Gillespie predicted. (Yglesias resists conjuring up images of Angela Lansbury in the White House.)

Josh Marshall chimes in with an assent: “Getting pretty bad quick, ain’t it?”

The Time interview did nothing to bolster Glenn Reynolds’ confidence in the candidate’s foreign policy leadership potential. “It looks like what we’re getting is Kerry the Waffle,” writes Reynolds. Reynolds links to other bloggers who share his reaction. Among them is Scrappleface, who predicts that with John Edwards out of the race, it’s now Kerry vs. Kerry.

And just what do two new polls mean for Kerry? Citing the new Washington Post/ABC poll, Hugh Hewitt says the Senator’s support “is as soft as sand.” The new Gallup poll, which predicts Ralph Nader’s candidacy will hurt Kerry, prompted a shrug from Wonkette!, who noted Nader’s support was within the poll’s margin of error. She sees one upside to his presence, however. “[W]hat else would we talk about for the next eight months if we couldn’t get worked up about Nader?” Good question — we were wondering ourselves how Wonkette! was going to while away the dog days of campaign season.

Susan Q. Stranahan

Susan Q. Stranahan wrote for CJR.