Politics & Policy

House of Pain

Fleeting moments.

“Say What?”

That concise front-page headline on Monday’s Boston Herald greeted delegates as they gathered here to unify the Democratic party behind John Kerry for president. But a gust of division wafted over the Democratic National Convention as the Beantown tabloid’s David R. Guarino reminded readers of the unusual words Christie Vilsack, Iowa’s first lady, and a speaker scheduled for Tuesday night’s session.

“I am fascinated at the way some African-Americans speak to each other in an English I struggle to understand, then switch to standard English when the situation requires,” Vilsack wrote in a newspaper column for the Mount Pleasant News in 1994 when her husband, Governor Tom Vilsack, was a Democratic Iowa state senator.

When I asked for his reaction on the Fleet Center’s ground-level concourse, the Reverend Jesse Jackson said: “I think it’s irrelevant. It has nothing to do with this convention. We’ve had a net loss of jobs in every state the last for years. Mr. Bush says, ‘Leave no child behind,’ and 300,000 after-school programs have been cut. He says he wants to make us safer, and yet Uzis and AK-47s become legal again in September. People’s lives are at stake. And so, let’s discuss stuff that matters.”

One wonders if he would have been so understanding had those comments been made by the wife of a Republican governor.


Moments earlier and steps away, Jackson was surrounded by at least two dozen journalists who squeezed into a tight spot on “Radio Row” as he huddled with Air America host Al Franken and Fahrenheit 9/1

director Michael Moore. Franken and Moore sweated visibly in that cramped knot of humanity while Jackson looked cool and dry to the touch.

Aiming for a closer look at this feeding frenzy, a middle-aged, matronly journalist waded into the swarm of lenses, microphones, and flapping gums. In so doing, she carelessly jostled a young radioman’s laptop and chair.

“Would you mind? That’s my equipment,” he said to her.

She wheeled around, shot him a disdainful look and hissed: “What an ego.”

Astonished, he shrugged his shoulders, pointed to his plastic chair and tiny, cluttered desk, and replied, “And I live in such luxury?”


Aspiring First Lady Teresa Heinz Kerry made headlines Monday after she told Pittsburgh Tribune-Review editorial-page editor Colin McNickle to “shove it.” He had asked her to clarify her statement (in a speech on civility, no less) that, “We need to turn back some of the creeping, un-Pennsylvanian, and sometimes un-American traits that are coming into some of our politics.”

“I didn’t say that,” Heinz Kerry said, in reference to her “un-American” comment, even though an audiotape demonstrated that she did say that. When McNickle asked her to elaborate on what she meant by “un-American,” the ketchup queen snapped: “You said something I didn’t say. Now shove it.”

Perhaps more disturbing than the impromptu tactlessness of the woman who hopes to be one pillow away from the presidency is how key Democrats heard her comment, thought about it, then applauded it anyway.

“This was sheer frustration, aimed at a right-wing rag, that has consistently and purposely misrepresented the facts in reporting on Mrs. Kerry and her family,” said Heinz Kerry spokeswoman Marla Romash.

Senator Hillary Clinton (D., N.Y.) told CNN yesterday, “I think a lot of Americans are going to say, ‘Good for you. You go, girl.’” (Clinton exuded more rose petals when she recently told Newsweek, “The Republican Party does not believe in universal suffrage…They believe in and worship power.”)

And none other than Senator John Forbes Kerry himself–who reportedly wants the Boston confab to showcase love and happiness–laughed off his bride’s rude treatment of a newsman. Said the Massachusetts Democrat, “I think my wife speaks her mind appropriately.”


The Left clings to the concept of global warming, even when Mother Nature doesn’t. Posters, bumper stickers, and other propaganda promote global warming as an immediate threat, rather than the overhyped, fading worry it really is.

Atop a local cab, an ad declares, “Global warming just isn’t cool.” It likely was purchased to appear here this week.

President Clinton’s well-crafted, crisply delivered address last night warned of the dangers of our planet aboil. Similar words emerged from an otherwise restrained an unusually humorous Al Gore (“…America is a land of opportunity where every little boy and girl has a chance to grow up and win the popular vote.”). As he asked delegates last night: “Are you worried that our environmental laws are being weakened and dismantled to allow vast increases in pollution that are contributing to a global climate crisis?”

Clinton, Gore, and other global warmers should get out more often.

Consistent with the East Coast’s relatively cool summer, at least so far, Boston Monday afternoon featured delightful, mostly sunny skies, a pleasant, dry breeze, and a daytime high of Fahrenheit 72. (That’s eleven degrees below normal). While the California delegation enjoyed a soiree at the New England Aquarium last night, and other conventioneers were serenaded by Little Feat, temperatures danced in the mid-60s.

If that’s global warming, bring it on!

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.


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