March 10, 2004


Who could ever have predicted this?

John Kerry says he no longer considers Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to be a statesman, but rather "an outlaw to the peace process" in the Middle East who has been rightly shuffled aside.

In a 1997 book, Kerry described "Arafat's transformation from outlaw to statesman." But in an interview with The Associated Press on Monday he said he no longer views Arafat favorably.

Presumably Arafat isn’t among the foreign leaders Kerry has been hallucinat ... er, talking to recently:

John Kerry claimed yesterday that certain "foreign leaders" have told him that they're rooting for him to defeat President Bush.

"I've met foreign leaders who can't go out and say this publicly, but boy, they look at you and say, 'You've got to win this, you've got to beat this guy, we need a new policy,' things like that," Kerry told a crowd while campaigning in Hollywood, Fla.

Oh, sure they did:

The Kerry campaign, however, has been unable to provide the names of any foreign leaders he's met in the last twelve months.

Another line from the above-linked NY Post piece: “Kerry also predicted Republicans would try to "tear down" his reputation.” Not likely. If anything, Republicans are going to build it up.

Posted by Tim Blair at March 10, 2004 12:00 AM

Since Kerry refuses to tell us who exactly is whispering sweet nothings in his ear, the GOP is referring to him as the "International Man of Mystery".

Posted by: spongeworthy at March 10, 2004 at 12:05 AM

What do you expect from someone with a lower jaw like the leading edge of a malibu surfboard?

Posted by: Habib at March 10, 2004 at 12:08 AM

'Sides which, y'all wanna check out this site; that ol' boy is electable, y'know?

Posted by: Habib at March 10, 2004 at 12:11 AM

You have to be pretty tone-deaf as a politician to publicly say this kind of stuff in an election campaign. There aren't many Americans, even in the Democratic party who like the idea of foreign governments influencing US elections.
Besides, in the 2000 election, a lot of European leaders really wanted a Gore victory, mostly for continuity's sake and because Bush's foreign policy views were mostly unknown. Didn't do Gore much good, did it?

Posted by: Catbert at March 10, 2004 at 12:27 AM

Well, we know one of Kerry's fans, anyway--remember the Financial Times article of March 4-5 about how eager Kim Jung Il is to see kerry in office?

Posted by: Bruce at March 10, 2004 at 12:55 AM

Lets see, Kim Jong Il, Aristide, Hussien, the Iranian Mullahs,etc. I'm sure they all want Kerry to win- not to mention the French. Practically anyone who wants to see the US either A) Destroyed or B) Reduced to UN lapdogs want Kerry to win- he's their guy!

Posted by: Soonerdude at March 10, 2004 at 01:56 AM

Maybe Kerry was reminiscing back on the days of his meetings with foreign leaders like the Viet Cong in Paris.

I think Kerry may have finally been cured of all his flip-flopping, though.

Posted by: Randal Robinson at March 10, 2004 at 02:10 AM

The Dissident Frogman was way out ahead on this one.

Posted by: Bran at March 10, 2004 at 02:43 AM

The Universal John Kerry policy statement:

'As a Vietnam Veteran I served in Vietnam. By the way I was in Vietnam.'

Posted by: Ross at March 10, 2004 at 05:01 AM

Kerry doesn't need Republican help in tearing down his reputation.

Posted by: Tongue Boy at March 10, 2004 at 07:03 AM

Tim implies that Kerry spoke admiringly of Arafat in 1997. In context, it is clear that he was anything but. Here is the full sentence:

"Terrorist organizations with specific political agendas may be encouraged and emboldened by Yasser Arafat's transformation from outlaw to statesman."

Maureen Dowd has nothing on Tim Blair when it comes to dishonest quotation.

Posted by: Mork at March 10, 2004 at 08:05 AM

It is clear that Kerry thought at the time Arafat had transformed into a statesman even by the 'full' quote from the link. It was the Indiana Gazette that provided the shortened version not Tim.

Mork--Grasping at straws and providing fanciful attributions since 1998.

Posted by: Gary at March 10, 2004 at 08:43 AM

So here's me watching CNN and that clueless political 'expert' Bill Schneider is trying to spin Kerry's "everyone likes me better" gaffe by saying that (paraphrase): "only [Tony]Blair wants Bush reelected because his own political future is tied to Bush's". Even the anchor, to her credit, looked a little skeptical.

I'm thinking of Howard, Aznar, Berlusconi, Sharon, the Eastern European heads of state, the other Coalition countries' heads of state, and I can't believe the Democratic Party that I supported most of my adult life has come to be this delusional.

This election will be close but more like Bush-Dukakis close than Bush-Gore close.

Posted by: JDB at March 10, 2004 at 09:11 AM

Kerry wakes up in the morning,potters outdoors sticks his thumb in the air to find which way the wind blows then sticks said direction finder up his rectum to fix the co-ordinates.

Posted by: d at March 10, 2004 at 11:50 AM

Oh, having done that, sticks direction finder in mouth and speaks and lo, shit spews forth.

Posted by: d at March 10, 2004 at 11:51 AM

"John Kerry says he no longer considers Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to be a statesman, but rather "an outlaw to the peace process" in the Middle East who has been rightly shuffled aside."

Translated that means "OMG I need the Jewish vote / money for my campaign, time to denounce Arafat!"

Posted by: Brad at March 10, 2004 at 01:26 PM

Michael Totten has a good post up about the Kerry/Arafat quote. I don't think this is a big deal in the grand scheme of Kerry reversals unless someone comes up with a photo of Kerry and Arafat in bed.

But the part of this post about the "foreign leaders" is illuminating.

Posted by: Sortelli at March 10, 2004 at 02:44 PM

One would think Dubya could take the 200-odd million in the campaign war chest and "stimulate the ecomnomy" since Kerry seems determined to self-destruct.

Except that there's a large percentage of the American population for whom this stuff is appealing - the "anyone but Bush" crowd, the "blame America first-ers", various hate groups... for all of them this stuff resonates deeply.

Posted by: Greyhawk at March 10, 2004 at 04:23 PM

Given there was a time a few years back when Arafat really did seem to be warming to the idea of the peace process, followed by his dumber than dumb knock back of Baraks offer at Camp David, I think Kerry's opinion-reversal is entirely reasonable.

Posted by: Stewart Kelly at March 10, 2004 at 06:52 PM

Orson calling Mork, Orson calling Mork, come in Mork.

This will probably carry little weight with you because it comes from RWDB of renown Mark Steyn, and may not fit with your drinking-straw worldview, but anyways:

On January 22, 1991, [Kerry] wrote to Wallace Carter of Newton Centre, Massachusetts:

"Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition to the early use of military force by the US against Iraq. I share your concerns. On January 11, I voted in favour of a resolution that would have insisted that economic sanctions be given more time to work and against a resolution giving the president the immediate authority to go to war."

Nine days later, he wrote to the same Mr Carter in Newton Centre:

"Thank you very much for contacting me to express your support for the actions of President Bush in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. From the outset of the invasion, I have strongly and unequivocally supported President Bush's response to the crisis and the policy goals he has established with our military deployment in the Persian Gulf."

Decisiveness is a longstanding Kerry hallmark, eh? Or was this just an administrative oversight?

Posted by: Orson at March 10, 2004 at 08:29 PM