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John Kerry: the Democrats' bipolar punk

By Dena Ross
web posted March 22, 2004

In Friday's issue of the New York Post, expected Democratic presidential nominee, John Kerry, was pictured snowboarding in Idaho. After taking in that picture, I half expected to turn the page and see a spread of Al Sharpton in the mosh pit at a Courtney Love concert. My guess is that Kerry used this photo op to cater to younger, probably-would-have-voted-for-Howard-Dean (if anyone at all) voters.

However, what went on behind the scenes of Kerry's snowboarding adventure was much juicier and entertaining than seeing him look like a skater boy. According to the Drudge Report, while on the slope and being monitored by Secret Service agents, one of them got in his way and he fell down. When asked by a reporter about the fall, Kerry said, "I don't fall down," the "son of a bitch knocked me over."

Insult slinging is nothing new to John Kerry -- who spouts the words "crooks and liars" at anyone who disagrees with him, which could be anyone these days considering how he seems to change his opinions on policies as often as he changes his underwear. On Monday he's for the Patriot Act and NAFTA, by Wednesday he's staunchly against them. Something tells me this guy would align himself, if only briefly, with NAMBLA if he thought it could help him get elected president.

Currently, he's trying hard to land two key blocks of voters, young adults and most importantly, blacks. Apparently, Kerry wants to be the next black president, with Bill Clinton being our first. I am still surprised that when Kerry made these remarks to a Harlem audience he wasn't smacked upside his perfectly coifed head by some older black woman, who might have had the same thoughts that are running through my own mind. What could John Kerry possibly have in common with black voters? Or middle class voters? What could Mr. Teresa Heinz, who was just off vacationing in his $5 million home have in common with poor voters? Bill Clinton, of all people, had more in common with the lower class than Kerry ever will. Monica anyone?

In all fairness, Dubya is not exactly collecting his cans and bottles to get his deposits back from the grocery store. However, he doesn't pretend to be something he's not. He's led a privileged life, but he also respects the working class and blue collar workers, most notibly post 9/11. He's been a successful businessman and his leadership skills as a president have been tried and tested during times of crisis. He makes decisions and sticks with them. His contender on the other hand, not only flip-flops on all the issues, but his most noted sucess is getting rich women to marry him.

Will Kerry win the election and become America's new, hipper, black (or was it Latino this week?) president? Will the public see past his bipolarity on the issues and the insults he seems to throw at everyone in his way and elect him anyway? Let's just hope for the sake of the country that Kerry changes his mind about his presidential run, just like he changes his mind on just about everything else.

Dena Ross works for the online magazine Beliefnet and has worked for Nickelodeon Magazine.

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