Here is the latest story that is becoming the newest spin cycle swirling through the left flank of the blogosphere:
Critics of Teresa Heinz Kerry’s unorthodox and outspoken views have the fabulously rich wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry reaching for her $550 million can of whup-ass. Originally reserved to counter GOP sniping at her hubby, Heinz Kerry is now open to spending some of her ketchup fortune on a counterattack. “The assumption,” says a friend, “was always that the attacks would be on him, not her.” But now: “The attacks on her have exponentially increased the likelihood of her tapping the fortune.” Heinz Kerry, previously married to ketchup heir Sen. John Heinz, who died in a plane crash, has been ridiculed by Republicans for recent statements promoting Botox treatments, prenuptial agreements, and feeding rabbits to kids. One critic compared her to egomaniac Donald Trump, calling Mrs. H.K. “the Teresa.” If Republicans don’t shut up, warns one of her friends, she’ll give Kerry a war chest that would dwarf anything President Bush could collect. “It would be George Bush’s worst nightmare,” says the friend.
Giggle. If you believe this, I have a bridge to sell you. This story is a typical planted gossip piece that you should start expecting to see a lot of, and it actually should be interpreted as this:
1.) Kerry thinks he has a shot at getting the nomination, and now he needs to find a way to spend his fortune without looking like a hypocrite. Why would he look like a hypocrite? We’ll get to that in a second.
2.) This is just to stoke the fires of the memeufacturers to make sure they remember to break out the election year mantra- “Republicans are mean and bullies, so we have to be mean and fight at their level.” This is what Democrats say to themselves so they can excuse themselves for doing things like, well, running the Bush/Byrd lynching commercials. Or letting Terry McAuliffe speak in public. Remember, this is key to the way they think: “Republicans are evil, our cause is just, the end justifies the means, and it matters not what we do, but we must regain control. Anything wrong or illegal that we do will be overcome by the goodness of our return to the throne.”
Personally, I have no problem with Kerry spending his wife’s inheritance of 500 million dollars- hell, it is their money, they can do what they want with it. Unfortunately, Kerry needs an excuse before tapping into his wife’s wealth, so we have to pretend she is ‘fired up’ over those mean Republicans making fun of her. Why do we need to make this up? Maybe Kerry can tell you why we need to start spinning on this one:
“Every month in Washington, D.C. the special interests spend $100 million to get us to do something or to stop us from doing something. It’s time we broke the power of the big special interests and made the political system work for the average working Americans who make this country great. We’ll never have a government that truly represents all of the people, if we don’t at long last succeed in reforming our campaign finance system. Since coming to Washington in 1984 this has been one of my most important goals. Elections must be more than auctions, and money must no longer drown out the role of citizens in our democracy.”
Is there a more powerful and unregulated special interest than a shameless self-promoter with a half a billion dollars?
And btw, Ms. Heinz Kerry- if you think people are being mean to you, you ought to hear what Howard Dean is saying about your husband.
*** Update ***
John Hawkins has some thoughts on the ‘Democrats just need to fight tough like Republicans’ meme.
What? What? A Democrat, about to spend millions of his own money to win office?
That never happens!
Next thing you know, the Republicans will be calling the Democrats “the party of the rich.”
Kerry spending money and/or getting the nomination is Bush’s “worst nightmare.”
Much as I loathe Kerry, I hope he does get the nomination since I’m convinced that Bush would beat Kerry like a cheap drum. Worst nightmare? Throw me into that briar patch!
Ha! Dubya is vulnerable. About every 40 years or so, a senator makes the leap all the way from the Senate to the White House (Kennedy, Harding.)
We’re overdue, you know, if you don’t include presidential elections before 1920.
And John Kerry was talking about special interest money, not his wife’s money. That’s not hypocrisy because there will no favors that Kerry has to pay off.
And by the way, $550 million isn’t that much for a presidential election, which run $150 to $200 million these days. I mean, she’s not going to want that significant percentage of her wealth on it. Would you? She’ll spend $50 million tops.
M. Scott Eiland
The new campaign finance laws doubled the personal contribution limits to $2000 per person per candidate. GWB was able to swamp everyone in fundraising and completely ignore the limitations imposed on those receiving federal matching funds under the old rules. What do you think is going to happen when that contributor base sees Teresa Heinz trying to buy her trophy husband the Presidency? There isn’t enough ink in this country to write all of the checks that will be coming in to the Bush campaign if this scenario plays out, and a lot of them will be twice as big as the ones from 2000.
It would be deeply amusing to see Kerry suffer the fate of Michael Huffington and Al Checchi, two rich nonentities who spent tens of millions to get a big fat goose egg when running for political office.