The Corner

Cleaning Up After Mrs. Kerry

is going to be a full-time job for someone at the campaign. You may recall her response to the anonymous White House aide’s remark that her husband “looks French”: “They’ll probably say he’s French, he’s Jewish… he’s a monkey. I just find it sad.” Jay Nordlinger commented on her remarks here and here. Wrote Jay: “Whoa, whoa: Jewish? monkey? . . . The Democrats had an actual Jew on the ticket in 2000. I don’t recall my party going all brownshirt on him.”

Her spokeswoman, Chris Black, has now responded: “She would be shocked that anyone would misconstrue what she said.” The story in the Forward continues: “‘Ask the people taking offense what they think she meant,’ Black added, accusing them of ‘trying to distort’ Heinz Kerry’s meaning and ‘making mischief.’ As for ‘monkey,’ it’s a term of teasing Heinz Kerry trades with her grandchildren. Think ‘Curious George.’” Okay. . . So she’s warning people that the Republicans are going to make sweetly teasing remarks about her husband? That’s what makes her sad? I think Chris Black is going to deserve a pay raise by the time this campaign is over.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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