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Whopper of the Week: John Kerry Did he pretend to be Irish?
Slate ^ | March 7, 2003 | Timothy Noah

Posted on 01/22/2004 2:08:48 PM PST by Hon

Whopper of the Week: John Kerry Did he pretend to be Irish? By Timothy Noah Posted Friday, March 7, 2003, at 3:34 PM PT

"[John] Kerry acknowledged that some voters in Massachusetts, the nation's most Irish-American state, may have had the impression that he had Irish roots. He said that he knew of no Irish ancestry and that he had always tried to correct misstatements whenever he learned about them.

"Numerous publications, including the Globe, have stated that Kerry is Irish-American.

"'I'm sure some people see the name and say, "Hey, I think it's this or that," but I've been clear as a bell,' Kerry said. 'I've always been absolutely straight up front about it.'

"Kerry 'has never indicated to anyone that he was Irish and corrected people over the years who assumed he was,' [spokeswoman Kelly] Benander said."

—Michael Kranish, "Search for Kerry's Roots Finds Surprising History," in the Feb. 2 Boston Globe.

''For those of us who are fortunate to share an Irish ancestry, we take great pride in the contributions that Irish-Americans …"

—Senate floor statement by John Kerry, March 18, 1986, as quoted in Frank Phillips' and Brian C. Mooney's "1986 Statement Counters Kerry's Stand on Heritage," in the March 6 Boston Globe.

"As some of you may know, I am part-English and part-Irish. And when my Kerry ancestors first came over to Massachusetts from the old country to find work in the New World, it was my English ancestors who refused to hire them."

—Draft remarks prepared for Kerry in 1984, quoted by Phillips and Mooney in the March 6 Globe. Kerry was lieutenant governor of Massachusetts at the time.

"[I]n 1982, at the state Democratic convention in Springfield, his campaign gave his convention floor workers emerald-green T-shirts and hats featuring the logo, 'Up Kerry'—a takeoff on the rallying cry for the first president of the Republic of Ireland, Eamon de Valera, whose supporters cried, 'Up de Valera!' "

—Phillips and Mooney in the March 6 Globe.

(Excerpt) Read more at slate.msn.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 2004; irish; kerry; mojohomeofdwhopr; traitor
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Let's see--he first ran as a proud Vietnam vet in Massachussets and got clobbered, so he became an anti-war activist.

He ran as an Irishmen until he decided it might help him more on the national level to be Jewish.

What a guy!

1 posted on 01/22/2004 2:08:49 PM PST by Hon
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To: Hon
He's obviously French - the rest is background noise.
2 posted on 01/22/2004 2:10:08 PM PST by Dilbert56
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To: Hon
Begorrah!
3 posted on 01/22/2004 2:10:44 PM PST by sirshackleton
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To: Dilbert56
Up Kerry

Up Kerry's (sounds even better)

4 posted on 01/22/2004 2:12:14 PM PST by ErnBatavia (Some days you're the windshield; some days you're the bug)
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To: Hon
I just figured it out. The "F" in his name stands for FRAUD! John FRAUD Kerry -- the neo Jewish guy who threw someone else's medals over the fence.
5 posted on 01/22/2004 2:12:54 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Hon
"Draft remarks prepared for Kerry in 1984,

So when are "draft" remarks to be held against someone?

Strange, he rarely talks about his swiss boarding school days and his father being a diplomat in post-war Berlin.

6 posted on 01/22/2004 2:13:45 PM PST by Shermy
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To: All
"US Senator John F. Kerry's insistence that he has been "clear as a bell" in never having claimed Irish ancestry is undercut by a statement introduced the day after St. Patrick's Day 17 years ago in which he identified himself as Irish-American.

"For those of us who are fortunate to share an Irish ancestory, we take great pride in the contributions that Irish-Americans, from the time of the Revolutionary War to the present, have made to building a strong and vibrant nation," Kerry told Senate colleagues in a March 18, 1986 statement. Kerry's remarks, recorded in the Congressional Record, were part of his introduction of a St. Patrick's Day message by then-Boston mayor Raymond L. Flynn that the senator wanted printed in the publication.

Kelley Benander, a Kerry aide, said the senator did not make the statement in person, but rather his staff prepared a written statement that was submitted to the clerk for recording. She said Kerry never saw the statement.

"John Kerry did not deliver these remarks nor did he see this line," Benander said. "Anyone familiar with Capitol Hill knows that it is common routine for statements to be inserted in the Congressional Record rather than being delivered on the Senate floor. These particular remarks were drafted by a staffer who made an understandable and common but erroneous assumption."

Benander said Kerry, as a US senator, has made numerous statements and speeches about Irish-American political figures and issues in which he never claimed to have Irish heritage.

Ronald F. Rosenblith, Kerry's chief of staff at the time the 1986 Senate statement was printed, blamed a staff error. "This is not the type of statement that Senator Kerry would have seen, and the error was an unfortunate staff mistake," Rosenblith said.

Much discussion of Kerry's ethnic heritage has emerged in recent weeks, after a Globe story revealed that, despite widespread perceptions that he had Irish ancestry, Kerry's roots were Austrian through his father, Richard Kerry. His mother came from Boston blue-blood background.

Some observers have suggested the lack of clarity about his family origins reflects Kerry's ill-defined identity and tendency to leave misimpressions that are politically advantageous to him. Others find the story of Kerry's background, which includes an Austrian immigrant grandfather who committed suicide at a Boston hotel, a poignant and painful personal tale of a man learning only late in life about where he came from.

Kerry's claim of Irish ancestry in the Senate statement contradicts his strong assertions to the Globe last month that he never suggested he had Irish blood and sought to correct any published reports that said otherwise.

"I'm sure some people see the name and, `Hey, I think it's this or that' but I've been clear as a bell," Kerry told Globe reporter Michael Kranish, who had researched his genealogy. "I've always been absolutely straight up front about it."

It is not the only time Kerry's supposed Irishness has turned up in statements attributable to him. A draft of remarks prepared for Kerry when he was Massachusetts lieutenant governor includes this passage: "As some of you may know, I am part-English and part-Irish. And when my Kerry ancestors first came over to Massachusetts from the old country to find work in the New World, it was my English ancestors who refused to hire them."

The four-page draft, which the Globe has obtained, is untitled and undated but refers to civil rights-related events of 1984, his final year as lieutenant governor.

After the Globe's inquiry, Benander said she spoke late yesterday to both Kerry and Jonathan Winer, the former aide who penned the remarks. They recalled the draft, but "neither ever remember it being used," she said."

http://www.houseofplum.com/plumcrazy/archives/000549.html
7 posted on 01/22/2004 2:14:04 PM PST by Hon
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To: Hon
John Forbes Kohn.
8 posted on 01/22/2004 2:17:48 PM PST by cynicom
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To: Shermy
"So when are "draft" remarks to be held against someone?"

He CLAIMS that these were draft remarks. That although they are the ONLY written record, he didn't actually say them.

I find it a little hard to believe. Anyway, it is not the kind of mistake one would make--even in a draft version.
9 posted on 01/22/2004 2:21:43 PM PST by Hon
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To: Hon
Old story. Kerry has been extra vigilant for a long time not to give anyone the wrong impression of his ancestry.
10 posted on 01/22/2004 2:22:04 PM PST by beckett
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To: Hon
Didn't he say he was Jewush as well?

Preety soon he will start calling himself "Juan Francisco Kerrey." and claims he is latino.
11 posted on 01/22/2004 2:24:26 PM PST by The South Texan (The Democrat Party and the leftist (ABCCBSNBCCNN NYLATIMES)media are a criminal enterprise!)
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To: All
"Many political writers in Massachusetts and in national publications have perpetuated the widespread assumption that Kerry is part Irish.

The Globe made references to his Irish ancestry on eight occasions since 1984, often listing him among the contingent of Irish-American political figures who dominate Massachusetts Democratic politics. Among the most recent was during his tough reelection battle in 1996, when a detailed Globe profile referred to Kerry's father as having hailed ''from an upper-class Boston family of Irish and Scottish ancestry.''

In fact, according to the Globe article last month about his family roots, Richard Kerry's father was an immigrant of Jewish heritage from Austria, who converted to Catholicism and changed his name from Kohn to Kerry. Frederick Kerry committed suicide in Boston in 1921.

Kerry said he had always tried to correct any misstatements in the news media that described him as Irish or part-Irish when he became aware of them. But none of the Globe's references were ever corrected, including the 1996 report.

The reporter who wrote the 1996 story said recently that he saw Kerry several times right after the story appeared and the senator made no mention of the mistake."

-- page A1 of the Boston Globe on 3/6/2003
12 posted on 01/22/2004 2:25:57 PM PST by Hon
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To: Hon
Give him a test:

Mr. Kerry, QUICK: What is an Irish seven course meal?

13 posted on 01/22/2004 2:27:24 PM PST by BenLurkin (Socialism is Slavery)
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To: Hon
Thanks.

Anyway, he "looks" Irish to me. Put him in a fisherman's sweater, he could sell Irish Spring.
14 posted on 01/22/2004 2:27:43 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Hon
When I lived in Mass, I always thought of Kerry as a member of the Forbes family (not related to Malcom Forbes or Steve Forbes). But not at all as another Kennedy-like Irishman.

The Forbes' own a large part of northern Cape Cod, and he was from that clan.

The one guy I personally knew from the Forbes clan was a real Forbes, not a middle-named Forbes, and a DEC computer engineer (he had to work for a living). He also was genuine a-hole, 'cause he had the name, the DNA, and the geneaology, but not the money.

15 posted on 01/22/2004 2:28:52 PM PST by angkor
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To: beckett
"Kerry has been extra vigilant for a long time not to give anyone the wrong impression of his ancestry."

LOL

"Kerry's campaign has pointed to a 1993 interview with television host John McLaughlin, to buttress the assertion that the senator has been clear about lacking Irish ancestry. However, even those remarks are not precise.

When McLaughlin asked Kerry if he has Irish ancestry, the senator responded, ''No. I'm a mixture.'' McLaughlin then asked, ''Well, your father's Irish. Right?'' and Kerry answered ''No. My father came from Austria.'' But when McLaughlin pressed him, saying ''Does your father have some Irish in him?'' Kerry answered: ''I don't know the answer to that. We're looking and I don't know.''

http://vietpage.com/archive_news/politics/2003/Mar/6/0147.html

And even this he screwed up. His father wasn't from Austria--his grandfather, Kohn, was.
16 posted on 01/22/2004 2:29:26 PM PST by Hon
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To: Hon
bump
17 posted on 01/22/2004 2:30:42 PM PST by Some hope remaining.
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To: Hon
bullocks
18 posted on 01/22/2004 2:32:02 PM PST by reed_inthe_wind (I reprogrammed my computer to think existentially, I get the same results only slower)
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To: Hon
Cummon! He already told us last year that he's Jewish and his real name is Kerrystein... just in time to garner Jewish votes, of course... coincidence...
19 posted on 01/22/2004 2:33:34 PM PST by pabianice
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To: Hon
Message to Lurch: "Pog Mo Thon."
20 posted on 01/22/2004 2:38:19 PM PST by Prince Charles
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To: Hon
This coming from a guy who said this week that President Bush was out of touch and doesn't know what is going on in the living rooms across America.
21 posted on 01/22/2004 2:40:24 PM PST by Dolphy
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To: pabianice
"He already told us last year that he's Jewish and his real name is Kerrystein... just in time to garner Jewish votes, of course... coincidence..."

If you search the internet you'll see how many versions of this he has spun out.

In some, Kerry says he found out 15 years ago. In others, just two years ago. In others still, he didn't know it until the Boston Globe showed him the information.

Same with his grandfather's suicide. His story seems to depend on what kind of mood he is in, or what he thinks you want to hear.
22 posted on 01/22/2004 2:41:12 PM PST by Hon
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To: The South Texan; Hon
Didn't he say he was Jewush as well?

No, he didn't, but somebody that was searching his roots found out he was -- and that his grandfather had committed suicide.

That was on FR months ago.

23 posted on 01/22/2004 2:45:02 PM PST by Howlin
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To: Hon
I'm confused here; is she claiming that, even though it was in the draft of the remarks, because he didn't actually SAY them, they weren't there/it's not true?
24 posted on 01/22/2004 2:47:45 PM PST by Howlin
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To: ErnBatavia
What did he kerry himself?
25 posted on 01/22/2004 2:51:45 PM PST by colorado tanker ("There are but two parties now, Traitors and Patriots")
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To: Howlin
More precisely, Kerry says he has known for more than 15 years that he had a Jewish grandmother, but claims he only found out his grandfather was Jewish when a Boston Globe reporter showed him his research last year.

Kerry claimed he had tried very hard to research his father and grandfathers's genealogy for many many years, but apparently a (Lt. Governor and then) Senator doesn't have the research assets that a cub reporter (who found this pretty quickly) does.
26 posted on 01/22/2004 2:54:41 PM PST by Hon
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To: Hon
He said that he knew of no Irish ancestry

As an O'brien descendant, I say thank-God.

27 posted on 01/22/2004 2:56:33 PM PST by SouthernFreebird ( Go Panthers !)
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To: Shermy
I understand the 'draft' remarks were published in a govt. publication.
28 posted on 01/22/2004 2:56:37 PM PST by expatpat
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To: Howlin
"I'm confused here; is she claiming that, even though it was in the draft of the remarks, because he didn't actually SAY them, they weren't there/it's not true?"

As you know this is just the defense of one of the remarks which have been attributed to him, in which he seemed to be claiming Irish heritage.

Best I can tell, as the article says, the Boston Globe got a hold of some statment that was written in 1984 under Kerry's Lt. Governor letterhead--which talked about his English and Irish heritage.

The claim is that this was a draft that was never used. But even if that is true, how could his staff make such a mistake? Especially when we are told that Kerry has always been so careful not to give the wrong impression.

It looks more like Clintoneque weaseling to me.
29 posted on 01/22/2004 2:58:33 PM PST by Hon
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To: expatpat
"I understand the 'draft' remarks were published in a govt. publication."

Could be. But you might be mixing it up with his other lie--I mean, gaffe:

"Quote: ''For those of us who are fortunate to share an Irish ancestry, we take great pride in the contributions that Irish-Americans …" (Congressional Record, March 18, 1986).

Charge: Kerry was accused of using such comments to make his Irish-American constituents think he is one of them when, in fact, he isn't. The Republican National Committee included the 1986 statement in a compendium of Kerry quotes titled Will He Say Anything To Get Elected?

Context: Kerry never delivered the statement orally. He claimed that his staff wrote it and, without showing it to him, submitted it to the Congressional Record to commemorate St. Patrick's Day."

http://slate.msn.com/id/2089125/

But in effect it is the same excuse. His darn staff!

30 posted on 01/22/2004 3:07:44 PM PST by Hon
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To: Hon
Let's see--he first ran as a proud Vietnam vet in Massachussets and got clobbered, so he became an anti-war activist.

What?! Are you telling me John Kerry was in Vietnam?

31 posted on 01/22/2004 3:08:34 PM PST by Azzurri
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To: Hon
The story is OLD. Jeez, you cite a 1993 story to refute my contention that it's old? Guess what? 1993 was over TEN YEARS AGO!

Criminee.

And by the way my original post was only meant to point out that the story at the top of the thread is OLD. It was posted on FR last year.

32 posted on 01/22/2004 3:08:59 PM PST by beckett
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To: beckett
In case you hadn't noticed John Kerry had not just won the Iowa caucus and was considered the front-runner for the Democrat nomination ten year ago.

BTW, the Boston Globe seems to think this is somewhat topical, since they ran an article (some of which I have quoted) on the same subject on their front page on 3/6/2003 -- which was six months before Kerry announced.

But I guess you are right. If it didn't just happen it's not important. Criminee!

33 posted on 01/22/2004 3:13:14 PM PST by Hon
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To: Hon
but apparently a (Lt. Governor and then) Senator doesn't have the research assets that a cub reporter (who found this pretty quickly) does.

Madelein Albright had the same problem. - Tom

34 posted on 01/22/2004 3:13:44 PM PST by Capt. Tom (Don't confuse the Bushies with the dumb republicans. - Capt. Tom)
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To: angkor
The Forbes clan has a very nice island off of Woods Hole. Lots and lots of Forbes around here.
35 posted on 01/22/2004 3:16:55 PM PST by ladyjane
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To: Hon
Kerry is a Viet Nam vet? I thought he was Italian
36 posted on 01/22/2004 3:17:28 PM PST by antaresequity
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To: antaresequity
JOHN FONDA KERRY
37 posted on 01/22/2004 3:19:33 PM PST by larryjohnson ( USAF(Ret))
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To: All
Part Irish, part Jewish, part English......who cares?

Nothing is changed!

He remains TOTALLY a leftist, blow dried, French looking, French speaking - incompetent flip-flopping asshole.

Semper Fi

38 posted on 01/22/2004 3:20:41 PM PST by river rat (Militant Islam is a cult, flirting with extinction)
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To: beckett
When one is running for President, everything that was once old, is new again, as Gov. Dean found out in Iowa.
39 posted on 01/22/2004 3:22:34 PM PST by Eva
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To: Hon
I have an idea, why don't we ask Chris Lehane, who was once Kerry's campaign manager?
40 posted on 01/22/2004 3:24:13 PM PST by Eva
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To: antaresequity
" Kerry is a Viet Nam vet? I thought he was Italian "

Washington Post,June 1,2003 Page A01 Puff Piece on Senator Poufy Hair

" It wasn't enough that John's pet parakeet could say," Hello,". He taught it to squawk in Italian and French."
41 posted on 01/22/2004 3:29:51 PM PST by Wild Irish Rogue
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To: Hon
That's it. I was close, though, wasn't I?
42 posted on 01/22/2004 3:38:27 PM PST by Howlin
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To: Hon
A Jewish Frenchman would not be voted Senator in Mass.
43 posted on 01/22/2004 3:40:32 PM PST by mabelkitty
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To: SouthernFreebird
As a Kelly, I'll drink to that.
44 posted on 01/22/2004 3:44:21 PM PST by mabelkitty
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To: mabelkitty
I think you are right. And I think that is why Kerry only "admitted" this when he decided to seek higher office.

Like I said, his whole career has been like this. When he first ran for Congress, he ran as a war hero--but that didn't go over too well in MA in the early 70s.

So he changed his tune and became against the war.

It's as obvious as it is pathetic.
45 posted on 01/22/2004 3:45:15 PM PST by Hon
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To: mabelkitty
(Gen.) Clark's 1/2 Jewish. Interesting days.

He discussed this last night.

46 posted on 01/22/2004 3:48:27 PM PST by AmericanInTokyo (I argue as passionately on FR against ILLEGAL ALIENS as I would if Gore, not Bush were President.)
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To: AmericanInTokyo
Yeah, like Kerry, Clark discovered he was Jewish when he decided to run for the Presidency:

"Wes Discovers Jewish Roots

September 22, 2003

Guess what? This whole thing is getting out of hand. From the Jewish Times, headline, "Wesley Clark's Jewish Roots." I kid you not.

"Raised a Southern Baptist who later converted to Roman Catholicism, Gen. Wesley Clark knew just what to say when he strode into a Brooklyn yeshiva in 1999, ostensibly to discuss his leadership of NATO's victory in Yugoslavia.

"'I feel a tremendous amount in common with you,' the uniformed four-star general told the stunned roomful of students. 'I am the oldest son, of the oldest son, of the oldest son -- at least five generations, and they were all rabbis.'

"Clark's Jewish father, Benjamin Kanne, died when he was 4, but he has kept in touch with his father's family since his 20s, when he rediscovered his Jewish roots. He is close to a first cousin, Barry Kanne, who heads a pager company in Georgia."

Is it almost predictable now that every Democrat of prominence is going to find Jewish roots in their past? Remember Madeleine Albright? John Kerry all of a sudden found out that somewhere deep, dark in the bowels of his family is a Jewish relative. And even Hillary found some Jewish relationship way, way, way back. Some ancestor was a distant cousin to Moses or some such thing.

What do these people think of the Jewish community? It's a total pander. It never ends. Soon, they are going to find that they've got some black relatives. They'll dig up relatives to match whatever minority happens to be ruling the roost at the time. If it happens to be one-armed amputees from Bosnia, General Wesley Clark will find out he's got some relationship to one-armed amputees from Bosnia. Why have we never heard of Wesley Clark's Jewish roots until he became a presidential candidate? Am I being cynical? You're damn right I am, folks - and happily so."

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_092203/content/stack_b.guest.html
47 posted on 01/22/2004 3:52:29 PM PST by Hon
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To: All
Say, do Lieberman, Kanne (Clark) and Kohn (Kelly) complain about those damn Neo-Cons (Jews) running the GOP too?
48 posted on 01/22/2004 3:56:16 PM PST by Hon
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To: Hon
Yep.
49 posted on 01/22/2004 4:03:45 PM PST by Kermit the Frog Does theWatusi
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To: Hon
I don't think there's any question that he pretended to be Irish in order to get votes. It would be interesting to see how many Irish votes he will lose now the truth is out. I think the Irish are a lot like Jews in their voting preference for their ethnic comrades.
50 posted on 01/22/2004 5:32:03 PM PST by expatpat
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