Skip to comments.Who Among Us Does Not Love Windsurfing? [Free Republic mentioned]
Posted on 09/05/2004 8:46:21 AM PDT by Sarastro
YOU'D think John Kerry could be excused for wanting to spend a summer afternoon on the water.
Instead, David Letterman mocked him for windsurfing instead of campaigning. Jay Leno played the flip-flop card, quipping that even Mr. Kerry's hobby depends on which way the wind blows.
Zell Miller, who could himself be accused of being flip-flopper-in-chief, derided Mr. Kerry's swim trunks as "silly little bicycle pants."
Conservative blogs lumped the windsurfing in with Mr. Kerry's other elite hobbies - skiing, biking, flying between vacation homes. ("He married the all-inclusive package," sneered one posting on freerepublic.com. "EVERYTHING is included.")
Like the helmeted Michael Dukakis peeking out of the tank, or the first George Bush bewildered at the grocery scanner, the photo of Mr. Kerry windsurfing played into the negative stereotype his opponents are trying to play up - in this case, that of the out-of-touch, elitist Massachusetts liberal.
The stereotypes of the sport are unfair - there are lots of plumbers and construction workers windsurfing off Cape Cod and in the lakes of Iowa. (Better put: Who among us doesn't like windsurfing?) "I would have expected it to go over well, the stodgy, overserious guy trying to do something hipper," said Robert J. Thompson, a professor of media and popular culture at Syracuse University. "It's not like he was going out having a row with the Harvard crew team."
Still, there was the sense that no one would have mocked Mr. Bush photographed in the same position, even though the two men could have a Zell Miller duel over who has the deeper pedigree. But despite his legacy at Yale and the weekends in Kennebunkport, Me., Mr. Bush manages to pull off the common-man routine without question. Earlier this year when both he and Mr. Kerry were pictured riding top of the line bicycles, and both fell off, Mr. Kerry was the one ridiculed for the expensive bike.
"Often things that they both do still redound to Kerry's disadvantage - the Ivy League education, the biking," said Thomas Frank, author of "What's the Matter With Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America." Mr. Frank noted that he had just attended a Republican party at the New York Yacht Club, the varnished-wood redoubt of elitism. "But somehow the image of the yacht really clings to Kerry," he said. "Largely because Republicans have made the stereotype so natural. If a liberal drives an S.U.V., it's the car of the elite, if a Republican drives one it's instantly the car of the common man. They have a whole stereotype that they've spent years building."
Professor Thompson confesses that he does not think it has anything to do with windsurfing, or skiing, or even the mansions. After all, no one made fun of John F. Kennedy for all those yachting photos.
"The thing about windsurfing is, there's wind," he explains. "It blows through your hair. John Kerry looks like a guy who could ride in a convertible with the wind rushing through all that hair, but the truth is, his hair just looks goofy when he's out there on that windsurfer. I can't believe I'm saying this, but it just boils down to the hair." Quick, somebody warn Hillary.
They may have said plenty, but did GW look like a dork, like Kerry does? I don't think so. Kerry's image is his own dorky fault.
And it was a crummy little house in Midland, Texas, not a castle. The notion that Dubya grew up in a life of luxury is a myth. Even as an adult he shared an apartment in Houston with a roommate before moving back to Midland and meeting Laura.
Who is trying? Kerry doesn't need any help in creating negative impressions. It goes right along with his occupation of Gigolo to his elderly spouse.
The dorkness of being Kerry, discussed in Slimes.
You forgot his Segway dismount.
If the NYT goes neutral regarding Kerry's campaign, stick a fork in him, he's done.
Who's that ugly guy he's with?
the NY times failed ot mention that the biggest reason people scoff at the windsurfing expeditions is that kerry missed over 80 percent of the senate votes.
he is a lazy little beanpole
Kerry has been photographed a lot on the water. But you never see his hair wet. It just adds makes an unnatural personae even more so. C'mon, yer on the water. Ya gotta get wet sometime! Must be part of the whole "I never fall down" thing.
Funny that they draw the line at Harvard rowing. Windsurfing is for everybody, rowing is for the elite! HA
Being an elitist is an attitude, not financial.
Bush is baseball, apple pie, and Chevrolet. Kerry is polo, watercress sandwiches, and BMW.
Nothing wrong with windsurfing to relax - but what does it say when you take the press along on all your supposed leisure activities?
Bunny suit, pitching a baseball, trying to catch a football, limp wristed salutes, etc. all add up to one thing. He's a DORK.
he does have funny hair. I agree with that professor on that. His hair is just so ...poofy
CONGRATULATIONS, Watery Tart !
And when Kerry was trying to resonate with the southern pickup truck crowd, he would say from the stage, "and who among us does not love NASCAR?"