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August 31, 2004
Speaking Of Dry Gardens ...

The ever-invaluable Memeorandum points its readers to a GQ interview with John Kerry conducted, in all places, at a sports bar. In their effort to toady up to the Democratic candidate for President, GQ manages to embarrass both themselves and their subject. For instance, Michael Hainey asks Kerry about the Bush family:

GQ: You've got a great rsum, you're an internationalist, patrician. You're more the son of George Bush Senior than W. is.

JK: I don't want to go anywhere near that. Except to say this: I like Junior, but I like the senior Bush enormously. A very decent, thoughtful guy. And I have great respect for him.

GQ: W. seems like he came out of a laboratory.

JK: I don't comment on him personally at all.

But Kerry manages to make himself look foolish enough all on his own. When asked about Max Cleland, Kerry told GQ that Cleland's treatment in 2002 inspired his bid for the presidency in 2004 -- although Kerry has been known since college to be building his resume for the top spot. Note, too, the softball question and the utter lack of follow-up by Hainey:

GQ: What do you think about what the Republicans did to Max Cleland?

JK: It's one of the reasons I'm running. I was so angry. It's one of the reasons Teresa switched her party. I think politics reached a new low, an unbelievable, irresponsible, I mean just horrendous level when it goes after a guy like Max Cleland. It's the lack of decency, a lack of common decency when you can attack someone like Max Cleland for not being patriotic. You may not like his vote. But then go ahead and argue about his vote. But don't say he's weak on defense and he's not a patriot and won't stand up for America. Which is what they said. I think it's one of the most disgraceful moments in American politics. And it motivated me within two weeks of that election to go on Meet the Press and say, "I'm going to run for President." Because we got tot change what's happening in this country. Absolutely. You better believe it.

Of course, what really happened was that Saxby Chambliss ran an ad talking about the fact that Cleland wouldn't vote for the Homeland Security Department without granting civil-service status for the workers, in the end valuing the union over getting the department established. All Chambliss did was to point that out -- and his ad never questioned Cleland's patriotism, it questioned his voting record and his priorities. Besides, I always laugh when I hear anyone from the Democrats complain about questioning patriotism when their party chairman called Bush AWOL on a number of occasions and two Senators (Harkin and Lautenberg) keep referring to Bush administration officials as "chickenhawks"

If that isn't strange enough, GQ also gives us this tearful and strangely unsettling interlude:

GQ: How does it all end for you?

JK: It's up to the American people.

GQ: I'm talking in a metaphysical sense, big picture.

JK: I mean, that's yet to be defined.

GQ: How would you want it to end, if you could choose?

JK: Boy, that's just really hanging out there, isn't it? [Long pause; wells up.] Gracefully. Yeah, gracefully.

It sounds like Hainey and Kerry may have had a few of those brews before beginning the interview.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 31, 2004 12:21 PM

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