I'm more than halfway through Bill Clinton's biography. I was particularly intrigued by how Clinton described how Bush I's lowballing of the deficit tripped up his economic plan somewhat. But it occurred to me that Clinton was able to explain essentially what he wanted to do in a very simple fashion that even someone like me, with little experience beyond Econ 101, could understand. And then it occurred to me that this was one of the things that was missing from the discussion and debates in the last election. Kerry made plenty of stink about how we went from a huge budget surplus to a huge deficit, but I didn't hear specifics about how he wanted to address this if elected. I thought that perhaps, if Kerry was able to explain what he wanted to do with the economy in a way that was as simple as how Clinton explained his own economic plan, things may have turned out differently.
Instead, the Bush II administration was able to take potshots at Kerry by harping on the absence of a realistic plan. Clinton was able to get people to understand what was important about cutting the deficit and making investments at the time. Kerry wasn't nearly as effective. With America just starting to pull out of a recession, maybe the Dems could have pulled some additional votes by explaining their economic policy in real-world terms that highlighted just what the benefit would be to the middle and working classes.