"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
‘He’s like Ares, the little thug, the only god the Athenians never built a temple to but he got the dirty job done — in this case the war of being anti-war.’ A New York writer on Howard Dean, quoted by Tina Brown
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The Globe, which today endorses Kerry in New Hampshire, has a profile on the senator that features a number of interesting photos of his early years, including pictures of him as a teenager watching the America's Cup races at Newport with the original JFK.
And here's a pic of Kerry shaking hands with Sandinista Daniel Ortega, as Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa looks on with the same glazed smile he wore at the Dean meltdown the other night.
Two weeks ago, I mocked the way Kerry and Edwards had twisted themselves into pretzels over Iraq. But it seems that, given a choice between Bush and Bush-hatred, many Democrats are looking for something a little more nuanced, if only because nuanced incoherence is more politically viable than going for the Michael Moore vote. Clark chose to crawl way out on a limb after Dean. In Iowa, that branch got sawn off. From a European point of view, the BBC and the Guardian can fantasise about Bush losing to a fully paid-up Chomsky/Moore conspirazoid, but the Dems seem to have decided to give Planet Earth one last try.
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One wonders: Will Kerry at some point try to boost his religious appeal by going to Mass for the cameras?
Would Archbishop Sean O'Malley approve of the divorced-and-remarried, staunchly pro-choice senator taking Communion?
Both Senators Kerry and Kennedy are reported to have received at Archbishop O'Malley's consecration. Archbishop O'Malley has said it is not his policy to deny Communion – but that Catholic politicians who take a public pro-choice position should of their own volition refrain from taking the Sacrament.
Here's Kerry on the topic of his religious views, during a recent NPR debate:
"Can you give us an example of a political decision you made as a result of religious conviction despite the fact that it was unpopular?...
KERRY: Well, my life has been impacted, as I think most people here would tell you. I was an altar boy. There was a period in my life where religion was a huge part of my life, and I even thought perhaps as a young man of going into the priesthood.
KERRY: That changed.
My experience in Vietnam had a profound impact on my views and to a certain degree made me question for a period of time. And then I came back to a practice that had a deeper and more fundamental understanding of my own relationship.
But I have always separated it from public life. I've always viewed that as critical. I think I am who I am. My entire person is affected by my belief structure, by the values given to me both through my parents and religion. But I don't make decision in public life based on religious belief.
Nor do I think we should. I think there is a separation of church and state, and whatever the doctrine of your state (sic) is has to guide you, but you don't make it based on that.
Their first meeting was a quick hello on the Capitol steps, where Jack Heinz himself introduced them. Several years later, after she had been widowed (and he was dating women like Morgan Fairchild) they met again in Rio, where the first President Bush had sent her for the Earth Summit. They laugh uproariously as they recount their first, raucous dinner there, over who knows how many caipirinhas, she says, with New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg along as unwitting chaperone. (Lautenberg says he doesn't remember the meal as all that amusing, but of course, watching other people discover they have so much in common is not everybody's idea of a great night.) During dinner, Mrs. Heinz muttered "Pas possible!" under her breath, and was kind of impressed when Kerry answered her in French. Later, he asked if he might accompany her to mass the next morning, and then surprised her by singing along with the hymns in Portuguese. But when jokingly asked if he regularly attends mass or just wanted to see Mrs. Heinz --again, Kerry stops laughing and seems truly offended: "I was an altar boy, and there was a point in my life when I thought I might even be--I was very serious."
According to one Kerry aide, the senator occasionally goes to Mass:
Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts occasionally attends Catholic Mass, but is "very private about his religion," said aide David Wade. "If he's in someplace like Davenport or Dubuque, with a big Catholic community, he'll go to church."
Kerry, the spokesman said, is a Catholic who attends Mass once a week, but "not someone who wears his religion on his sleeve."
Vogue quotes the senator addressing a roomful of Democrats: “We’ve got to prove we’re as God-fearing and churchgoing as everybody else.”
The National Catholic Reporter's Washington correspondent mulls the Catholic bona fides of the presidential field:
Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is Catholic. Except he's really Jewish. Sort of.
The Boston Globe (what would we do without them?) traced Kerry's ancestry and reported that his paternal grandparents were Austrian Jews who changed the family name from Kohn to Kerry when they became Catholics in the early 1900s.
The good news for we triumphalists, however, is that Kerry sought an annulment from his first wife after wedding ketchup heiress Teresa Heinz. The bad news is that Mrs. Kerry-number-one didn't cooperate with the marriage tribunal. And without meaning to cast the first stone, that does suggest the Catholic-Jewish senator from Massachusetts is living in sin. Very comfortable sin.