Slinging a smooth stone

Has Kerry, the wanna be president, choosen the wrong John?


C.F. David,


The Boise City News

The man who covets the oval office, John Kerry, has made his selection for a running mate, Sen. John Edwards, of North Carolina. Edwards, who has all the photogenic qualities of a poster boy for the Boy Scouts, had coveted the presidency too. But his campaign ran out of steam...and money.

Kerry, like John F. Kennedy some 40 years before him; is a Liberal Junior Senator from Massachusetts, and has selected a former primary opponent from the south as his running mate, (J.F.K.-L.B.J. in 1960).

Kerry, who, according to biographies, idolized President Kennedy, seems to think of himself as J.F.K. personified; and of course even shares Kennedy's famous initials.

While many political pundits downplay the importance of a vice-presidential candidate, and point to running-mates of unproven experience, (Dan Quayle is oft-mentioned). It doesn't matter who stands behind the president? I beg to differ. The vice-president, whomever he or she may be, are still a proverbial heartbeat away as leader of the free-world. A proper, well thought selection is important.

Vice-presidents, though often living in the realm of the forgotten have often been touched by fate's fickle finger and history has changed as a result.

In 1865, with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, a Tennessee Democrat, became president. Acting before congress came back into session Johnson quickly recognized many of the prewar southern leaders who then enacted “prewar control” over the recently freed slaves. Johnson, by his actions, primed the nation for a century of bloodshed and a millennium of distrust between whites and blacks.

Johnson, a Democrat, had been chosen by the Republicans because of his decision to oppose secession. I wonder if they ever questioned their decision?

In 1901, when William McKinley was assassinated, former New York governor Theodore Roosevelt became president. Corporate America and those who squandered our nation's natural resources were put on notice. The trust-busting, Roosevelt was breaking up conglomerates and establishing national parks.

In 1963, John Kennedy, though having run on a platform planked with equality for the Negro, was dragging his feet, fearing that the potential loss of the south might make him a one-term president. However, with Kennedy's assassination, it took Lyndon Johnson, a crafty political good-old boy from the Texas Hill Country, (who may have stolen his 1948 senate primary election), to shove through sweeping social programs.

Johnson, who ran in opposition to the Vietnam War quickly overheated it, by using a questionable naval engagement in the Gulf of Tonkin to authorize a troop buildup.

Also, some people, including a lot of Texans; pointed accusatory fingers at L.B. J. when J.F.K. was shot. (So much for politically unifying Democrats from the south.)

I chose these three men who didn't survive their terms, removed by an assassin's bullet for the men that followed; and the decisions and actions they took. There are others whom have succeeded presidents due to death or resignation; most were abject failures and there were no real successes.

In my opinion, Sen. Edwards would be the better choice for president. Kerry can't make a solid decision; and will very likely be a weak and impotent leader. In the era in which we live, this is a far more dangerous trait than someone who makes a hard decision and moves on it without enough information.

I've wondered if Kerry shouldn't have perhaps chosen another John as a running-mate; Perhaps John Edward, the so-called psychic on the Sc-Fi channel. If he had Mr. Edward standing nearby perhaps he could “channel” with his hero J.F.K. and get advice on such things as:

H How to go through the first term in relative political safety in the Democratic Party while not angering too many Republicans either.

H How to placate a minority bloc of voters, by giving them nothing while keeping their undying support.

H How to cure daily migraine headaches. (This however, involves conspiring Secret Service agents, a black book, and clandestine encounters with women. Careful John, Teresa ain't the lady Jackie was.)

The word for the week is furtive.

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