Jay Fitzgerald on the Kerry snafu: “The guy’s a first-class dork. We all know it. We all know he didn’t mean what he said. We all also know he didn’t mean what he said what he said when he was defending what he said. We all know his criticism of the Bush adminstration’s criticism of his criticism and his counter criticism of the Bush adminstration’s criticism was total BS. We all know it.”
Jon Keller: “The Republicans apparently believe Sen. John Kerry’s typically obnoxious ‘joke’ about President Bush, bungled in the delivery to sound like a slap at the educational achievements of our troops, is a blunt instrument they can use to beat the Democrats bloody … We’ll see what the next few days bring. If this story has legs, backlash builds, and it winds up demonstrably hurting the Democrats on November 7, Kerry can pretty much kiss his 2008 presidential hopes goodbye. Even if it doesn’t, Kerry’s grating, self-serving gracelessness has once again been exposed to an appalled electorate.”
Interesting. Neither Fitzgerald nor Keller likes Kerry particularly — in fact, I think it’s fair to say that Keller loathes him — yet each immediately understands that Kerry’s ridiculous joke was meant to be aimed at President Bush, not the troops. Yet neither Fitzgerald nor Keller is inclined to cut Kerry any slack, either. Kerry just hasn’t engendered any good will over the years, so there’s nothing he can fall back on now this side of the Daily Kos.
This morning, someone from the heart of Kerry’s political base — a liberal professor who was, yes, wearing a bow tie — told me that he immediately took Kerry’s “joke” as an insult to American troops who weren’t smart enough to go to Yale and live in Louisburg Square. Wow. I disagree, but, on the other hand, Kerry said what he said, didn’t he?
On the other hand, Don Imus (yes, he’s still on the air) slapped Sen. Rick Santorum when Santorum tried to claim that Kerry was insulting the troops, telling him that not only did he not believe it, but he didn’t believe Santorum believed it, either. For what it’s worth.
The subhead on the Boston Herald front page today says it all: “Gaffe may cost Dems … and KO his prez bid.”
Jeff Jacoby reminds us of a column he wrote two years ago on Kerry’s uproarious sense of humor.
Finally, a Media Nation request: If you find the full transcript of Kerry’s remarks from Monday, please pass it along — I’d like to post a link.