Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Kerry and his flip-flops

David Brooks has some thoughts on bluebloods in Americans politics, say Bush and Kerry, with the latter taking a bigger hit. Thoughtful and amusing. How can this guy run as a friend of the lumpenproletariat? "Kerry’s second wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, is worth over $500 million. Between them they have a $4 million mansion in Georgetown, a $6 million townhouse on Louisburg Square in Boston, a $6 million summer home on Nantucket, a $3 million estate in Pittsburgh and a $5 million ski lodge in Idaho, which is a 15th-century English barn that was disassembled and imported to the U.S."

David M. Halbfinger writes a story for the New York Times no less on Kerry’s flip-flops. These flip-flops are real all right--Halbfinger says that this trait "seems to have been ingrained in Mr. Kerry’s personality"--and shouldn’t shock us that the GOP will hammer him with it. Frankly, it will be one of the most interesting to watch to see how Kerry deals with it during the campaign. "Throughout his campaign, Mr. Kerry has shown a knack for espousing both sides of divisive issues." There is a long list. But that doesn’t stop some of his supporters from making a virtue out of it: "Some aides and close associates say Mr. Kerry’s fluidity is the mark of an intellectual who grasps the subtleties of issues, inhabits their nuances and revels in the deliberative process. They call him a free-thinker who defies stereotypes. Others close to him say his often-public agonizing — over whether to opt out of the system of spending caps and matching money in this campaign, or whether to run against Al Gore in 2000 — can be exasperating." I liked this one best from a former aide who is maintaining that Kerry’s "complexity" as right for the times: "’Between the moral clarity, black and white, good and evil of George Bush that distorts and gets reality wrong,’ he said, ’and someone who quotes a French philosopher, André Gide, saying, `Don’t try to understand me too much,’ I’d let Americans decide which in the end is closer to what they need in a president, in a complex world where if you get it really wrong there are enormous consequences.’"

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