John Kerry, campaigning
down in the great state of Louisiana (peace be upon it), took one look at
the marshes and thought of — wait for it — Vietnam!
Standing at the bow of a 25-foot power craft called “Fishing Magician”
inspecting coastal erosion in southern Louisiana reminded Kerry of his days
as commander of a Navy “swift” boat 35 years ago.
“I looked out at the shoreline and I commented that parts of it looked a lot
like the rivers and coastline that I went through in Vietnam,” the
Massachusetts senator said.
He told about 100 supporters sweltering in the heat on the banks of the
Mississippi that he had spent a lot of time “in a habitat that looked a
little like this” as a young Naval officer. He said the 50-foot gunboat he
commanded was built “right here in Louisiana.”
We know politicians are self-aggrandizing panderers, but this just takes the
cake. However, I will say that deep southern Louisiana has, in fact,
attracted a large number of Vietnamese immigrant fishermen, who came to live
there precisely because it reminded them of back home. So Kerry’s not
entirely off the mark. Except you know he had that remark ready to go before
he landed in New Orleans.