Tim Grieve of Salon.com thinks Kerry made a mistake with his reference to Mary Cheney's sexual orientation in last night's debate. I disagree for two reasons:
1. When Grieve says Kerry's mistake was in handing Republicans something to talk about today, he's being remarkably naive. If it hadn't been Mary C., it would have been that Kerry didn't (horrors!) mention his own wife's name during the final question. Or perhaps it would have been a parsing of Kerry's response to either of the "faith" questions, or Kerry's lack of an education plan. (Actually, Kerry has a darn good education plan, but you wouldn't know it by listening to any of the debates.)
2. It seems to me that Mary Cheney is indeed being used as a political tool, but not by John Kerry. It is her own parents, and by extension the Republican Party, who are victimizing her in the truest sense of the word. The likelihood that they are doing it with her full support makes it a non-issue for Kerry.