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October 19, 2004
Flip-Flop On Picket Lines

John Kerry told the nation in June that "I don't cross picket lines. I never have," in explanation of why he left Boston Mayor Thomas Menino twisting in the wind at the Mayor's Conference. Now the Boston Globe reports that Kerry crossed two picket lines in Florida yesterday, police picket lines at that, in order to make a campaign appearance in Orlando:

Last summer, John F. Kerry refused to cross a police picket line and address the US Conference of Mayors meeting in Boston. Last night he rode in a motorcade that crossed two Florida police picket lines en route to a get-out-the-vote rally in vote-rich Orlando.

Aides said the demonstration, staged by members of the Orlando Police Department represented by Fraternal Order of Police Local 25, was sprung on the campaign without prior notice in an effort to embarrass the city's Democratic mayor, Buddy Dyer. Local media describe the union as Republican-leaning, the same label aides to Mayor Thomas M. Menino attached to the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association in the midst of its dispute before the Democratic National Convention in July.

Besides the obvious flip-flop on respecting picket lines, this article highlights two interesting aspects of John Kerry. First, he puts his scruples aside when convenient; he hardly needs to worry about carrying Massachusetts, but his labor sympathies disappear when we start talking about a swing state he desperately needs. Kerry can hardly afford to miss a campaign appearance in Florida, union sympathies or no. However, it plays hell with that unequivocal assertion that he never crosses a picket line and never will.

Second, and more subtly, Kerry has made a campaign issue out of supporting first responders, such as police and firefighters. How do you think they feel now? And if the Democrats are correct in claiming that the union staged the demonstration to embarass Kerry, it would indicate that the first responders support Bush more than they do Kerry, especially the rank and file who put up the picket line.

However, union officials disputed the notion that this was a spontaneous or stealth demonstration. They claim to have notified Democrats in plenty of time to make plans:

One of the pickets, Officer Paul Bruning, said the union notified Democratic officials in Miami last week of its plans to picket Kerry both at Orlando International Airport and at the Barnett Park Recreation Center.

"It's not against John Kerry; it's our mayor that's treating us poorly," Bruning said. "Boston police were at an impasse for two years, and after he refused to cross, they had a contract in two weeks."

More prevarications from Democrats, who appear to be learning it from the top down these days. Apparently, John Kerry won't ever cross a picket line, unless his principles might cost him an electoral vote -- in which case, stand out of the way, or get trampled by the Kerry Express.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 19, 2004 10:25 AM

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» Crossing Picket Lines by John Kerry from bLogicus
June 27 - "I don't cross picket lines," John Kerry said. "I never have." Indeed, Kerry has highlighted his support of first responders, such as police and firefighters, during his campaign. Oct. 19, 2004 - Kerry crosses two police picket... [Read More]

Tracked on October 19, 2004 12:26 PM

» Kerry's State of the Union from Slant Point
From John Fund's Daily Political Diary: John Kerry has been relentlessly criticized for not being consistent in his stand on issues. Add crossing union picket lines to that list. Last summer, the Democratic standard bearer refused to cross a police pic... [Read More]

Tracked on October 19, 2004 1:14 PM

» Kerry Crosses Picket Lines! from The View From The Nest
Kerry is a SCAB!  (I come from a "Union Family," so I can say it!) [Read More]

Tracked on October 20, 2004 11:52 AM

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