The second coming of JFK

By Tim Grieve
Published October 31, 2004 9:28PM (UTC)
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John Kerry spoke this morning at the Shiloh Baptist Church in Dayton, Ohio. As he often does in church, Kerry quoted from James -- "faith without deeds is dead" -- and he recalled John F. Kennedy's inaugural address: "Here on Earth, God's work must truly be our own."

When Kerry was done, the Rev. Selwyn Bachus preached the Gospel and offered a few words on the candidate's behalf. Invoking memories of Halloween and all those "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies, Bachus said Ohio has "experienced some nightmares" over the last four years -- jobs lost, seniors going choosing between drugs and food, young people losing opportunities -- and encouraged his flock to elect Kerry and "bring the nightmare to an end."


But again and again in his brief remarks, Bachus referred to Kerry as "Senator Kennedy." He was clearly embarrassed by the flubs -- he kept saying, "please forgive me -- and he tried to save himself by saying that Kerry would soon hold the same office Kennedy once did.

Kerry rose to the microphone after Bachus finished and tried to absolve him for his sins. Kerry said the shared "phonetics" of the Kerry and Kennedy names make it easy for people to confuse the two, and then he told of a time that Ted Kennedy himself introduced Kerry as "Senator John Kennedy."

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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