Kristy tells me that Mary Beth Cahill advised Kerry not to retaliate against the Swift Boat Liar attack. Kerry, however, got angrier and angrier, and he chewed out Ms. Cahill, and fired back in the direction of the Swift Boat Lies.
If you are going to retaliate, the maneuver with Max Cleland is a good way. But I consider Ms. Cahill's advice sound, given what I know of it (which I've told you in its entirety).
According to Kristy, when John Kerry asked Bill Clinton for advice, the advice was to ignore the Swift Boat Lies and go out and do a proper campaign in spite of the Boy Emperor's mudslinging. The way Kristy told it to me, it sounded as if Clinton wants Kerry to do something like the 1992 campaign, where Bill Clinton promised to focus on the economy "like a laser."
In 1992, of course, Bill Clinton beat Legitimate President Bush and Ross Perot. A few days before election day, if my memory does not fail, Legitimate President Bush referred to Clinton and Gore as "two bozos." It's best not to shoot back at a smear like that; you end up being associated with the smear even more strongly. You want to stay out of the picture, as much as possible.