Our own James Carroll:
The site of the nightmare from which America found it so difficult to awaken is becoming a place in which tourists sleep; the unlikely friendship of two American politicians made it possible. “John Kerry and John McCain did a noble service to this country,” Senator Kennedy told me. “I know that kind of talk doesn’t ring any bells anymore, but it’s true. A noble service.” In Vietnam, they are revered as the men who ended the war. And the most potent symbol of the new era is what has become of the Hanoi Hilton. As for the hotel replacing the prison, McCain told me, “When I saw it, they asked me what I thought. I said, ‘I hope room service is better than it was when I was here.’ ” ?
I like the way the Phoenix sums it up.
John Kerry, once again, deserves the Democratic Party’s nomination. Kerry’s experience is just too strong to be discounted. His experience in national and international affairs is unmatched in Massachusetts by anyone other than his senior Senate colleague, Ted Kennedy.
As chair fo the Small Business Committee he has been proactive in making sure both minority and women’s interests are represented. These endorsements how whose side he is on:
“One is Sen. John F. Kerry, who has been unerringly right on the issues. His voting record on issues of importance to African Americans has earned him a 100 percent “A” rating from the NAACP.” (Bay State Banner 9/3/08)
National Organization for Women’s PAC: “Senator Kerry’s record of support for women’s rights legislation is extraordinary and NOW is proud to support his campaign for re-election,” said Kim Gandy, NOW President.
(Kerry press release, 9/12/2008)
Multiple endorsements from Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Nurses Association, Firefighters, Massachusetts AFL-CIO, building trades, service employees locals, teachers and communications workers unions is pretty defacto evidence that he is the strongest candidate for Massachusetts working people.
He was endorsed by the Boston Globe and I do have a small disagreement with the statement in their endorsement:
Kerry tends to return to glory days that only the most dedicated political buff would recall: his role chairing hearings into the darkly twisted BCCI banking scandal, or drug trafficking by Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega.
I would like to see Kerry return to those days more, as the players in Iran-Contra and BCCI are on the loose in the Bush administration and their allies.
He gets deserved attention for riding for the Pan Mass Challenge, for his work for disabled veterans, and for his advocacy for stem cell research. One of the best kept secrets in Mass is his ongoing dedication to a progressive approach to working with people with developmental disabilities. This is where the support for Kerry becomes personal for me. While most people know about this riding for the Pan Mass/Jimmy Fund charity he also rides for the Best Buddies – a program dedicated to integrating people with disabilities into normal society.
(Mark Shields/CNN, 1/24/2005)
Let me tell you about a John Kerry much different from that glib stereotype. Seven years ago, Kerry personally recruited Brendan O’Donnell, then 19, to become an intern in his Senate office in Washington. Senate internships are coveted positions, often reserved for the children of well-connected or deep-pocketed campaign donors. Brendan O’Donnell’s mother, Kathryn, was an honored elementary teacher and a widow. Her husband and Brendan’s father, Kirk, was an enormously talented lawyer-politician had died unexpectedly the previous September. In the cold calculus of power, neither Brendan O’Donnell nor his family could do anything politically for John Kerry or anybody else.
What I forgot to mention is that Brendan is learning disabled. In 1999, he explained his condition this way in a statement John Kerry later quoted on the Senate floor: “I think there should be a different name for learning disabilities … to me, it’s not a disability — it’s just that I have something which causes a storm in my mind. When I look at something, I have to take my time and take it all in.” But take it in he does, performing all his assigned tasks in the Senate office with enthusiasm and dispatch.
Don’t try to tell Brendan O’ Donnell that his boss, Sen. John Kerry, is aloof, self-absorbed or emotionally detached. He knows better. Brendan once spoke about individuals with learning disabilities: “We are the same as everyone else, and if someone takes the time to teach us, to work with us, and to help us understand, we can do whatever we want.” He is right, and Sen. John Kerry has cared enough personally to take that time. Sorry if that shatters your stereotype like it shattered mine.
My wife and I do adult foster care (an inadequate phrase if there ever was one) for a man with major developmental disabilities and John Kerry seeks him out at events, chats with him — no pictures he banters, and treats him as an equal — proof of a basic decency that rarely gets reported in the press.
Speaking of the press: I liked Yvonne Abraham’s column, which could be taken a couple ways pro and con. I read it as mostly positive –in fact the negative attention that Kerry has received in the Mass press over the years reinforces my support.
Yvonne Abraham gets it: “You’re John Kerry, and you’re running for US Senate. But even though you’ll win, you can’t win. And for no good reason.”
My inner “I never had a dinner” Jerry Williams voice is pleased.
I appreciate the grassroots work I have seen at web sites like Kerryvision and others although I dont really have time to look at them very much
I remember meeting Kristen of Kerryvision for the first time after a Kerry speech and shared her disgust at the way Kerry was being either ignored or demeaned in the media. She put her frustration to work to document whatever she could –gotta hand it to her –It is the Kerry that you dont get to see or hear in media http://www.kerryvision.net/
I could go on about net neutrality, KBR government contracts, children’s health care etc but disabilities and media spin are my pet issues today.
Bottom line is that are lucky to have Kerry.
I remember the day we got our Boston Herald-Traveler with a sensational front page picture of Kerry protesting the Vietnam War. My late father, a somewhat cynical WW-2 Silver Star and purple heart decorated Marine said, “He’s telling them to go f— themselves. Good for him.”