Interview with John Kerry

MenStyle.com has an interview with John Kerry. Here’s a portion:

Q: You served honorably in Vietnam. The men with whom you served were onstage with you when you accepted your party’s nomination. So how did the Republicans paint you as an enemy of the soldier?
A: Because they spent a huge amount of money lying. And we thought the truth was sufficiently out through the free media. That was one of the mistakes. You needed to put an enormous amount of money behind the truth to counter every lie. And there wasn’t sufficient . . . it wasn’t sufficient.

Q: But you were there in Vietnam. You held a gun.
A: Trust me, I know. But again, everybody believed that the truth was out there. The data indicated that it was. The data was wrong. And therefore, it was a mistake. It would never happen again, if I ever did anything again, I can assure you.

Q: I canvassed friends, and what I heard most was “Please tell me he’s not going to run again.”
A: You know, different people have different feelings. Some people react and say, “Oh, you lost. Why try again?” Well, John McCain ran and lost, and he’s trying again. Ronald Reagan ran four times. Richard Nixon lost the presidency, then ran for governor, lost the governorship, and then six years later, he was president. For six months in ’03, everything I read said I was dead. I felt I could win and would win, and I won the nomination. And I came within a hair of beating a wartime president with a pretty decent economy and a 50 percent approval rating. I think that’s a campaign to be proud of, not defensive about.

Q: You served honorably in Vietnam. The men with whom you served were onstage with you when you accepted your party’s nomination. So how did the Republicans paint you as an enemy of the soldier?
A: Because they spent a huge amount of money lying. And we thought the truth was sufficiently out through the free media. That was one of the mistakes. You needed to put an enormous amount of money behind the truth to counter every lie. And there wasn’t sufficient . . . it wasn’t sufficient.

Q: But you were there in Vietnam. You held a gun.
A: Trust me, I know. But again, everybody believed that the truth was out there. The data indicated that it was. The data was wrong. And therefore, it was a mistake. It would never happen again, if I ever did anything again, I can assure you.

Q: I canvassed friends, and what I heard most was “Please tell me he’s not going to run again.”
A: You know, different people have different feelings. Some people react and say, “Oh, you lost. Why try again?” Well, John McCain ran and lost, and he’s trying again. Ronald Reagan ran four times. Richard Nixon lost the presidency, then ran for governor, lost the governorship, and then six years later, he was president. For six months in ’03, everything I read said I was dead. I felt I could win and would win, and I won the nomination. And I came within a hair of beating a wartime president with a pretty decent economy and a 50 percent approval rating. I think that’s a campaign to be proud of, not defensive about.

Q: So you really are into this wellness thing. Do you have a food indulgence?
A: Oh, god. Chocolate-chip cookies. I think I’m the illegitimate son of the Cookie Monster.

Q: Careful. The other side will say you’re implying something about a Sesame Street character.
A: Let’s just say I’m related to the Cookie Monster. We don’t want to give them something else to distort.

Q: There’s a perception right now that the middle class is getting screwed. Isn’t that red meat for Democrats?
A: It’s not a question of red meat. It’s just one of the most legitimate issues in the country. What’s been happening to average American families and workers is a disgrace. Wages have been either frozen or going down, their health-care costs are going up, benefits are harder to get, pensions are disappearing or at risk, tuitions are up. In the last Congress the Republicans made it more expensive for kids to go to college. Energy costs have been up. I mean, you add it all up and people are working longer and harder to get the same distance, and our policies need to reflect that we’re not going to sit around and let that happen.

Q: I grew up among Republicans. One thing I see with them is a sense of belonging. They’re proud to identify themselves as Republicans, even when the chips are down. But my friends who tend to vote Democratic seem to be reluctant to identify themselves as Democrats. They just say, “Nah, I’m independent.”
A: Because for about 25 years, the Democrats were branded—literally, in marketing terms, branded—by the Republicans, with a huge expenditure of money, as being either out of touch or out of step. And it scared a lot of folks off. Now we have an enormous opportunity to rebrand, and more and more Democrats understand that as a tool. The word branding I don’t think entered the lexicon of the Democrats until two years ago.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a comment