Advice for John Kerry


Geraldine Sealey
April 29, 2004 1:52AM (UTC)

Former Time writer Robert Sam Anson met Kerry during the 1971 rally where Vietnam vets threw away their medals in protest, and he became Kerry's friend. In light of the recent hullabaloo over what Kerry did at that rally 33 years ago -- did he throw medals? or ribbons? or someone else's medals? -- and Kerry's inability to quickly and effectively take control of the nonsense, Anson gives Kerry some advice in the latest New York Observer. Kerry is suffering from "a condition that strikes liberal Presidential candidates the moment they begin to taste it -- 'it' being the shock that they might actually hear 'Hail to the Chief' whenever they walk into a room, if they play their cards right. And that means: don't seem too liberal, and explain away, deny, revise, trim or flat-out lie about all past events, beliefs and statements that got you the Democratic nomination in the first place," Anson says.

Anson writes: "The solution? Well, for starters, friend of days gone by, lay your hands on a tape of your 1971 Senate testimony; have Bob Shrum turn it into a TV commercial. Air it morning, noon and night.

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Stop apologizing for the good things you've done. You were a hero, O.K.? During the war, and after. Maybe especially after. Besides, you'll have ample opportunity to apologize for real screw-ups as the campaign moves along.

And take a good look at what's happening in Falluja. Are the Marines getting anywhere sitting around waiting for the bad guys to make nice? All that's happening is that the fellas in the checkered scarves are getting good target practice."


Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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