This is a perfectly reasonable view of Kerry, Dean, and Edwards from Peter Lawler:
"Dean was finished after his astonishingly poor showing in Iowa, where he was somewhat the victim of bad timing. Kerry wins barely there by reinventing himself again as a noble Veteran, with the somewhat mysterious appearance of that attractive and eloquent average guy he pulled out of the river. In retrospect Edwards had to win in Iowa (which he almost did) to have a chance. Naturally Kerry does well in New Hampshire after achieving sainthood in the Boston Globe. Marc Landy, a very astute political science prof, says he now has grudging respect for Kerry--what he mistook for being slow witted and boring turns out to great-souled gravitas in the imaginations of the people. But great-souled men ordinarily don’t resort to botox. The interesting thing about the recent debate was less the sputtering Dean than the implicit concession of Edwards. He made no effort to blow Kerry away--despite the fact that the man from North Carolina is much more glib and intelligent. Edwards opened his campaign for vice president. The trial lawyer took an out-of-court settlement rather than embracing the high risk strategy of going for the jury verdict. Very prudent from his point of view, bad for his party. Edwards would quickly have been the favorite against Bush; Kerry, thank God, won’t wear well at all."