I heard on NPR that the republicans have a group at the convention as part of a 'quick response team' to counter-act statements that Kerry makes with the facts. Their example was something like Kerry said, "I support ZZZ and think we should do YYY to help ZZZ out." I forget the actual example. The Repubs then countered with Kerry's voting record wher he voted against YYY or XXX.
I think it is the Repubs who are being misleading. Americans should know that no bills pass congress now-a-days without 'crap' tacked on. So the above bill may have supported YYY but also gave a tax break to XXX, allowed oil drilling/logging in the ANWR , etc. They don't mention that.
They also make the classic mistake. They assume that Kerry voted how he wanted to and not how we wanted him to. He was our representative in Washington, not his own representative. He wasn't there to promote his own interest, but our interests.
The other mistake they make is they omit information about deal 'wrangling' that occurs. He may have voted against this version of the bill because he wanted to vote for a differant version of the bill, yet to be introduced. He may have also voted against the bill because the Repubs convinced him to so that XXX could be supported in one of their classic Frankenstien bills later in the year.
No matter how much you like a particular subject and want to support them, your opponents can always attach riders to your bill and make it raise taxes on the low income people in america. You would then have to vote against it.
Statistics can 'prove' anything. The media should do a commentary on how voting records, talking about the stuff above, and refuse to do stories on them. On TV you don't get enough time to say, "Kerry voted against kids and families because the bill also sent money to drug cartels, funded rebels in israel, and made the Bush campaign elegable for food stamps."
TV will always cut out the fat and make the person look back by omitting facts.
Our best bet may be to have someone without any history in politics run for president. Someone who doesn't have a 'mixed' voting record, etc.