Sunday, August 15, 2004

ABC news and the politics of personal destruction

News Source: ABC News
Author: Teddy Davis
Title: Kerry on a Roll -- But Risks Remain

As has been documented exclusively on this site, ABC News and their political staff have one objective - to turn John Kerry into a cartoon, as Bill Clinton would say. Attacking his right to a few days rest and his freedom, after weeks on a grueling cross-country campaign swing, "to do something fun" is not beyond their caricature of a rich, aloof, out of touch with the middle class politician.

    Undeterred by the lack of wind that thwarted his plans to windsurf in Oregon on Saturday, Kerry said on his plane that he would return to Oregon from Idaho on Monday or Tuesday to windsurf on the Columbia River Gorge.
    "Once a year I like to do something fun," he said.
    But the exotic nature of some of the sports he plays (say, kite-surfing in Nantucket) and the great lengths he goes in order to play them (say, flying from Idaho to Oregon to windsurf), can have the unintended effect of making him seem out of touch with the hard-pressed middle class whose cares he says have been his concern.
    As his plane was flying from Oregon to Idaho on Saturday, Kerry defended his taste in sports, saying, "The guys who do it are all local guys -- plumbers, construction workers."
    Asked if these regular folks fly from one state to another, the husband of the condiment heiress downplayed the cost, saying, "What? 250 bucks for a ticket?"
    Luckily for Kerry, the moment was not on camera. But it was the kind of moment -- if captured on camera -- that could undo months of work. (Think of George H.W. Bush looking perplexed at a super-market scanner in 1992).
So windsurfing is "exotic" yet George Bush's sport fishing on a $100,000 speed boat in Kennebunkport last weekend with his father, the 41st President doesn't even warrant a mention?

And we beg to differ with Mr. Davis. Being lower middle class ourselves, we can confirm, once a year, a $250 plane ticket to go "do something fun" is not out of our means. Looking perplexed at a super-market scanner is a far different thing.