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Where is the real John Kerry?
Barre Montpelier Times Argus, VT ^ | September 19, 2004 | STEPHEN C. TERRY

Posted on 09/19/2004 3:44:33 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

This John Kerry is not that John Kerry. This John Kerry has turned out to be an ineffectual, soporific presidential candidate whose main talent lies in torturing the syntax of his sentences so as to never get caught actually saying anything.

That John Kerry was an earnest young man, so full of conviction that his eyes burned with it, a young man newly returned from a war in which he had fought bravely enough to earn a chestful of medals before deciding that the war was all wrong.

I was in a Senate committee room on the now-famous day in 1971 that the young John Kerry appeared before the U.S. Senate to testify against the Vietnam War. It was a day that, amazingly, has emerged as a central issue in the 2004 presidential campaign – amazing because of all the other issues that would seem more urgent in these troubled times.

The other thing that amazes me is John Kerry's evident inability to communicate his ideas clearly and persuasively. What happened to the man who gave that powerful testimony more than three decades ago? I have been puzzling over that question for months as he stumbles along in his bid for the presidency. He doesn't seem to be able to explain clearly to American voters where he stands on basic questions such as the war in Iraq and international terrorism.

This is in stark contrast to the John Kerry I first saw in person on April 22, 1971, when he electrified the nation with his passionate and compelling anti-Vietnam War testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. At the time I was Sen. George D. Aiken's legislative assistant. Aiken was the ranking Republican on the committee whose members mostly opposed the war. Democratic chairman Bill Fulbright, the acerbic former college professor from Arkansas, had just launched a month-long hearing on "Legislative Proposals Relating to the War in Southeast Asia." At the last moment, Fulbright invited Kerry, a young former Navy officer from Massachusetts who was the leader of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

Kerry's group, which was camped illegally on the Washington Mall, had come to Washington to protest the war. Outfitted in combat fatigues, the veterans were planning a dramatic conclusion to their protest: They intended to throw away their medals on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol at what they called "the end of the reoccupation" of Washington. Their goal was to convince Congress to cut off funding for "this barbaric war."

The protest was causing deep anguish in the Nixon White House. While the protesters were camped out on the Mall, Nixon was mulling whether to send in police to rout the veterans. The vets' protest had the Capitol gripped in high drama as they lobbied congressional offices for their cause.

It was against this backdrop that Kerry was invited to testify before the committee on the morning of April 22. The hearing room in the Dirksen Senate Office Building was packed with TV crews and Kerry's fellow veterans. The two press tables, normally empty, were filled with print and TV reporters, including some of the media stars of the day – Mary McGrory of The Washington Post and Peter Lisagor of the Chicago Daily News. I recall them specifically because I was sitting with them at the press table, a courtesy allowed for an aide to a prominent member.

In the blaze of TV lights, Kerry opened with an impassioned statement against the war. It was the clearest indictment I had ever heard of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. He described soldiers who were drafted for a war they didn't believe in; he described a war that was fought for wrong reasons, based on wrong information. He described soldiers who returned home without help to get them to shake their drug habit or heal their wounds. Committee members sat rapt as Kerry informed them that "60 to 80 percent of the troops stay stoned (on pot) 24 hours a day to get through Vietnam." Others then moved on to heroin and opium, he said, and had returned home addicted to drugs.

While the most quoted portion of Kerry's testimony is the now famous line – "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" – I thought then as I do now that Kerry's attack on Richard Nixon for his failure to end the war was his finest moment. In those days, unlike now, Kerry got right to the point when he said, "People have to die so Nixon won't be the first president to lose a war."

When Kerry finished his statement 30 minutes later, the room burst into applause and then the members peppered him with questions, most of them friendly. Sen. Stuart Symington, D-Mo., a former secretary of the Air Force, asked Kerry how many medals he had earned and whether he had a Purple Heart because he was wounded in action.

"Yes," said Kerry.

"No more questions," responded Symington.

George Aiken wondered aloud whether "they (the North Vietnamese) might help us carry our bags" during the pullout. Kerry and the room erupted with laughter. Kerry responded that he thought the North Vietnamese would be more eager to see the United States leave than the South Vietnamese Army generals who needed American troops to keep them in power.

Through it all, Kerry answered each question forthrightly, never ducking a query. So powerful was his testimony that, at one point, Fulbright said: "I can't imagine anyone communicating more eloquently than you did."

So potent was his testimony that the Nixon White House immediately went into attack mode, not unlike the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. The Nixon tapes have since revealed that the president's aides, Chuck Colson and H.R. Haldeman, convinced the man who then commanded the American Legion to launch a counterattack on Kerry.

He was accused of dishonoring veterans. Nixon, it seems was convinced that Kerry was a political plant by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and that Kennedy was using Kerry to launch new political attacks on the White House over the issue of Vietnam. By 1974, U.S. involvement in Vietnam started to wind down, as the gradual withdrawal of troops reduced American involvement, and the end came in April 1975 when the last helicopter left the rooftop of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon. For the first time in its history, the United States had lost a war, and it happened less than a year after Nixon resigned the presidency in disgrace.

Kerry went on to be elected to the U.S. Senate and served there for nearly 20 years before he ran for president. He even served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, listening to witnesses testify from the chair where he once sat.

As I watch Kerry run for office in 2004, I keep looking for signs of the passion that stirred the nation in 1971. Does that John Kerry still exist? Or was it just a brief shining moment in the long struggle against the war in Vietnam?

Stephen C. Terry of Middlebury was legislative assistant for U.S. Sen. George D. Aiken, R-Vt., from 1969 to 1975.


TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: antiwar; campaign; election; fulbright; kerry; swiftboat; vietnam; vvaw; wot

1 posted on 09/19/2004 3:44:33 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
The real Kerry is a poseur gigolo.
2 posted on 09/19/2004 3:46:12 AM PDT by snooker (French Fried Flip Flopper still Flouncing, be careful out there.)
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To: All
**** Kerry went on to be elected to the U.S. Senate and served there for nearly 20 years before he ran for president. He even served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, listening to witnesses testify from the chair where he once sat. ****

The writer sort of sails right past these 20 years of commie loving, military spending hating Kerry.

3 posted on 09/19/2004 3:47:06 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: Cincinatus' Wife

we've seen the real John Kerry. nuff said ;-)


5 posted on 09/19/2004 3:48:07 AM PDT by madison46 (Bandwagon was full when it left the gate - I hope it remains too full for frogs & co.)
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To: snooker
***Or was it just a brief shining moment in the long struggle against the war in Vietnam? ***

It was a BIG LIE for personal/political gain.

Kerry lied and men died!

6 posted on 09/19/2004 3:48:23 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: madison46
we've seen the real John Kerry. nuff said ;-)

And it isn't the "home movies" he created.

7 posted on 09/19/2004 3:49:43 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Made in USA; All
Kerry still has one advantage: He's not Bush***Democrats need to get a grip on themselves. John Kerry is not down for the count. He still has a good chance to capture the presidency on Nov. 2, even though the percentage of Democrats who believe that has fallen from 66 to 43, according to the latest poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. This race is likely to remain tight right down to the wire, with the lead shifting back and forth. President Bush has gained momentum in recent weeks as Kerry was thrown on the defensive by the swift boat attacks. But there's no reason for Democrats to panic six weeks out. The presidential debates, which could tip the election either way, are still ahead, and events, especially in Iraq, could alter the political equation overnight. ***
8 posted on 09/19/2004 3:53:14 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

"In the blaze of TV lights, Kerry opened with an impassioned statement against the war. It was the clearest indictment I had ever heard of U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
He described soldiers who were drafted for a war they didn't believe in; "

"he described a war that was fought for wrong reasons, based on wrong information."

Now we know what his Iraq policy is!


9 posted on 09/19/2004 3:53:15 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: Just mythoughts
Now we know what his Iraq policy is!

You're damn straight!

10 posted on 09/19/2004 3:54:01 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

lol


11 posted on 09/19/2004 3:55:03 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

The REAL John Kerry? There IS no real John Kerry. Kerry is, at any point in time, whatever he thinks his audience wants him to be. He has no center, no guiding principle or influence, only an easily changeable veneer. Kerry is all things to all people at any time--- that is, he is nothing.


12 posted on 09/19/2004 3:55:22 AM PDT by NCLaw441
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
That John Kerry was an earnest young man, so full of conviction that his eyes burned with it, a young man newly returned from a war in which he had fought bravely enough to earn a chestful of medals before deciding that the war was all wrong.

BS. Kerry was giving anti-war speeches before he went into the service, served only to enhance his political resume, and lied through his teeth when hr got back. His entire existence is a fraud.

13 posted on 09/19/2004 3:55:44 AM PDT by Bob
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

The Real John Kerry...

This Presidential election really offers us a choice of two well-informed opposing positions on every issue.

OK, they both belong to John Kerry, but they're still there."

"John Kerry will undergo surgery to repair his right shoulder. He originally hurt it when he suddenly switched positions on Iraq."

"President Bush listed his income as $822,000. You know what John Kerry calls someone who earns $822,000? Not even worth dating."

"The Secret Service has announced it is doubling its protection for John Kerry. You can understand why - with two positions on every issue, he has twice as many people mad at him."

"Well the good news for Democrats, now over half the country can identify a picture of John Kerry. The bad news, the majority still thinks he's the dad from The Munsters." -

"John Kerry accused President Bush of catering to the rich. You know, as opposed to John Kerry who just marries them."

"They say John Kerry is the first Democrat Presidential candidate in history to raise $50 million in a three-month period. Actually, that's nothing. He once raised $500 million with two words: 'I do.'"

"Today, John Kerry announced a fool-proof plan to wipe out the $500B deficit. John Kerry has a plan. He's going to put it on his wife's Gold Card." -


14 posted on 09/19/2004 3:56:19 AM PDT by xtinct (Incite into Massachusetts Politics)
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To: NCLaw441

Makes you wonder what happened to that young man. He seemed very clear and direct and over the years he's become reserved and rambling. Something happened to Kerry between 1971 and 2004.


15 posted on 09/19/2004 3:57:25 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: NCLaw441
....Kerry is all things to all people at any time--- that is, he is nothing.

Everyone can see he'll take no stand against terrorists.

Kerry supporters can see, that instead of anybody but Bush, they're getting a big ZERO. They know Bush is better than that.

16 posted on 09/19/2004 3:58:33 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: Cincinatus' Wife
Speaking of the real Kerry, has anyone turned up with Kerry's SAT scores or Yale grades? Interesting that we don't hear about these as with Al Gore who had slightly higher SAT scores than Bush (but then flunked out of divinity school while Bush earned his MBA at Harvard).
18 posted on 09/19/2004 3:58:50 AM PDT by Babwa
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
What happened to the man who gave that powerful testimony more than three decades ago?

Nothing happened to him. He is the same lying, self-serving, backstabber he was in 1971.

19 posted on 09/19/2004 4:00:33 AM PDT by Casloy
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Kerry's history of self-promotion, opportunism and lies is "coming home to roost."

It's not as easy to get away with sleight-of-hand as it was back then.

Where is your Form 180, John? What are you hiding? I am questioning your patriotism.

20 posted on 09/19/2004 4:05:49 AM PDT by Ed_in_NJ ((considering upgrading to pajamas))
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To: goldstategop

When he was young, Kerry could be admired for the stand he took, even if one disagreed with it. He has lost that, exchanging it for political power. As for substance, though, what is there? When a person's "claim to fame" is a demonstration AGAINST something, rather than working FOR anything, what can such a person provide of a positive nature? In Kerry's case, nothing. His record proves it. I get the impression that his success lies in the accident of his birth to wealth in a liberal stronghold. 20 years in the Senate, and NO defining legislation bearing his name. What has he actually contributed to the good of this country, or of his state (oops, sorry, Commonwealth)? What does he stand for but himself? Talented? Perhaps, but where is the fruit of this talent? This is my problem with this candidate. He has not staked himself out on ANY position, preferring instead the comfort of taking every position, or no position. How, 6 weeks from an election, can anyone support him when has no firm plan on anything? The only answer, of course, is that he is NOT supported by anyone. He is a mere placeholder for hatred of President Bush.


21 posted on 09/19/2004 4:06:42 AM PDT by NCLaw441
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To: Ed_in_NJ
An educator an American and a Kerry voter.

***...Amid all this hopelessness, I gingerly offer an analysis which, while not quite tongue-in-cheek, may be double edged at best. It's the best I can do before Scotty beams me up. Antiwar writers from Cockburn to Jensen and Jacobs and others describe an antiwar movement in disarray, and they are certainly on point. But it helps to reassess some of the successes we have wrested from The Beast that is Empire. Jacobs points out that it would be foolish to think that any movement could "force Washington's hand into pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan before Inauguration Day, 2005." But stopping the war outright was an equally daunting task. Instead of moping, we should be taking credit for the alienation and isolation that put the U.S. in its current corner. ...Source

22 posted on 09/19/2004 4:07:06 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

This writer was another useful idiot!


23 posted on 09/19/2004 4:07:26 AM PDT by RAY (They that do right are all heroes!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife


Another VT RINO heard from...gak.


24 posted on 09/19/2004 4:12:11 AM PDT by kittymyrib
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
The Real John Kerry (somebody else posted this on another thread and I thought it was photoshopped, it's not..it's a Reuters pic).


25 posted on 09/19/2004 4:17:22 AM PDT by dawn53
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
This is in stark contrast to the John Kerry I first saw in person on April 22, 1971, when he electrified the nation with his passionate and compelling anti-Vietnam War testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Apparently Kerry and Klinton have at least one thing in common: they're both more comfortable telling lies than truths.

26 posted on 09/19/2004 4:18:25 AM PDT by libertylover (Keep Marraige Normal)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
It was a BIG LIE for personal/political gain.

Kerry lied and men died!


My thoughts exactly. And it can't be said too often:

Kerry lied and men died!

And, his lie was soley for personal/political gain. He didn't care who got hurt as long as he got what HE wanted!!

And, he still doesn't!!!!
27 posted on 09/19/2004 4:21:15 AM PDT by DustyMoment (Repeal CFR NOW!!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

(I went to your source link) - It's fun to see the lunatic left with their knickers in a wad, but scary to think that this dude is 'an educator.'


28 posted on 09/19/2004 4:24:27 AM PDT by Ed_in_NJ ((considering upgrading to pajamas))
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

There is no real John Kerry. He is a figment of his own imagination with no real foundation or guiding values. He is a very dangerous, NPD-disabled JFK wannabe who has nuanced himself into amorphousness.


29 posted on 09/19/2004 4:25:04 AM PDT by pt17
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Will the real Slim Shady please stand up - Kerry campaign theme song.


30 posted on 09/19/2004 4:38:42 AM PDT by jaykay (On the other hand, I have different fingers.)
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To: jaykay

Spooky!
I was thinking that very thing! ;-)


31 posted on 09/19/2004 4:40:38 AM PDT by Happygal (liberalism - a narrow tribal outlook largely founded on class prejudice)
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To: Ed_in_NJ

Too many LIBERALS are educators.


32 posted on 09/19/2004 5:07:45 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Kinda off the subject, but I've always wondered what happened to all the medals (oops -- I mean ribbons) that were thrown away that day. Is there a big box somewhere filled with Purple Hearts and such?


33 posted on 09/19/2004 5:14:33 AM PDT by nepdap
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

"Too many LIBERALS are educators."

A direct result of the teacher exemption during the draft!


34 posted on 09/19/2004 5:27:03 AM PDT by Roccus
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To: nepdap

I don't know.


35 posted on 09/19/2004 5:28:14 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Gosh. After reading this I have nothing but respect for John. /sarcarsm


36 posted on 09/19/2004 5:45:16 AM PDT by CaptRon (Pedecaris alive or Raisuli dead)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Still deciding what to order on last week's menu.


37 posted on 09/19/2004 6:20:22 AM PDT by Enduring Freedom (Socialism Is the Enemy of Mankind, Democrats Its Traveling Salesmen)
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To: NCLaw441
I agree wholeheartedly with you. JFK thought that the "youth movement" would last forever, and he thought his antiwar vet routine would enable him to harness that movement for his own empowerment. (I once had a college textbook circa 1976 on American history. The author, a professor with multiple degrees, was certain that communes were about to become the norm in the USA-that marriage, pairbonding, and individualism were about to become extinct among people under 40.)But the whole youth movement/hippie craze died, and JFK turned to more usual routes of empowerment. With patriotism and the military back 'in style' (at least as compared to 30 years ago) JFK thought he could finesse his status as a decorated war vet into power without anyone raising the isssue of his words and actions (Paris) so many decades ago. He thought this because he doesn't know how normal people think : His antiwar activities were never more than a means to an end , just as his war veteran routine is today. Not being sincere himself or capable of it, he doesn't understand that other people are more than a series of masks and poses to be discarded as needed.He thought everyone is like he is , and therefore they'd "understand" why he means what he says today and not what he said then (or is it the other way around?)
38 posted on 09/19/2004 7:23:35 AM PDT by kaylar
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To: Happygal

Not so spooky. I'll bet a lot of people saw the headline "Where is the real John Kerry" and thought "Real Slim Shady." Slim and Shady describe John Kerry so well after all.


39 posted on 09/20/2004 12:19:14 AM PDT by jaykay (On the other hand, I have different fingers.)
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