Revealed: THK is a GOP Operative!

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If you're raised Catholic (as I was) and forced (as I was) to attend Mass on a weekly, sometimes daily basis, you develop all sorts of ways to pass the time during interminable church services and, especially, during the potentially endless homilies delivered by priests whose oratorical skills fall short of the standard set by drunken Little League banquet speakers.

You count rafters, use telekinesis to untie your shoelaces, do an entire covert isometric workout program, meditate on which saint statues are taller, and, most of all, dream up weird scenarios that (I learned later) were shockingly akin to drug trips: You pretend you're The Prisoner, being psychologically tortured or, more desperately, you devise an interesting back story for the speaker, so that his excrutiatingly boring utterances develop a subtext that suddenly makes them interesting.

Somewhere during Teresa Heinz Kerry's long, meandering speech that only drew plaudits from party loyalists, I became convinced that she is, in fact, a Republican operative in deep, deep, deep cover. In this scenario, she never broke with her first husband's party, but in fact secretly pledged to help it through subterfuge.

It was the only way I could make it through her talk, which was the sort of rambling, disconnected spiel that multimillionaire philanthropists routinely give in their living rooms during charity events (where the audience is every bit as captive as schoolkids during a weekday Mass). She came across as slightly odd–the space age Madame Mao suit didn't help–self-indulgent, and goofily disengaged from mere mortals.

Despite being ostensibly personal, there were no meaningful, intentional revelations and the fact that she speaks five languages–ballyhooed by her supporters as an enduring sign of God's grace–is largely irrelevant to post-Jackie Kennedy politics. After all, we've got a president who can barely speak one language but still manages to show up for work at least a couple of times a week. "Above all," rhapsodizes Salon, which has become less and less interesting over the years as it has become more openly a subsidiary of the Democratic Party,

Heinz Kerry came to tell the American people why her husband should be president of the United States. Earlier this week, she was misunderstood when she remarked that no mortal is qualified to be president, although her husband "was pretty close to it." But now she spoke without qualifications.

Only a true believer could swallow that and even true believers have probably already forgotten anything specific in her speech. It's more accurate to say that Heinz Kerry came to tell the American people why she should be First Lady, and I don't think anyone has a better sense of that than before she spoke (though they might be dreading the possibility slightly more than before).

And it wasn't that she spoke "without qualification"–she spoke without editing, structure, a sense of purpose, an appreciation for the audience. "Qualification" doesn't quite get at how shapeless and formless her talk was. Though, to be fair, it did come across that she thought her husband should be the next president of the United States. That surprise endorsement did come through.

If the Heinz Kerry speech served one useful function for the Dems, it's that it lowered the bar for the last two days of the convention, which so far has been a pretty dreary, uninteresting, and unmoving spectacle. That's no small contribution on her part, but it seems very different from the one people expected.

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  1. HoustonF — Absolutely! Hillary did not look happy during THK’s speech. None of that goofy grin she affects when she’s trying to look happy.

    As for Teresa herself (as I posted on the other thread), when I used to see her in two second clips I thought she was sassy and a little sexy. After 30 minutes of pleading for women’s rights (which I thought American women pretty much already had) and doing the Bill Clinton wink and smirk, she was just tiresome.

  2. THK’s speech was overlong and her affect was quite odd, but man is the _Reason_ reaction here (not only to this speech, but to the whole convention) lazy, tiresome and predictable.

    Blah, blah blah.

  3. skippy,

    Reason’s reaction, both to THK’s speech and to the whole convention, is much more interesting than THK’s speech or the convention has been. Indeed, both THK’s speech and the convention have been “lazy, tiresome and predictable.” When something exciting, invigorating and unpredictable happens at the convention, be sure to tell the readers here at Hit & Run about it, so we don’t miss something big, okay?

    P.S. On another topic, judging by various media outlets I?ve looked at today, THK’s speech doesn’t appear to be playing well. She may have done Kerry’s campaign some genuine harm in a similar way to, but not as serious as, the squeal that did in Dean’s campaign.

  4. Nick:

    I know your pain. I was forced to go every Sunday, too. I felt especially cheated when I had to put extra time in for a holy day (Feast of the Immaculate Conception?? Mary was conceived? Who gives a fuck??)

    The congregation was always bored. The priest was bored. The organist was bored. It was all one big fucking bor-gasm.

  5. Mr. Nice Guy (& Nick): but you never laughed so hard or so well as when you were trying to stifle a laugh in church, did you?

  6. Kind of OT, but since we’re getting all catty about THK…

    Her little outburst at the PGH Tribune columnist earlier this week really highlighted what Howie Carr referred to as their “Preppy Sense of Entitlement” and their utter lack, despite all that ketchup money, of a sense of Noblesse Oblige.

    You’d think a woman with that much money and — so we’ve been led to assume — class would have been able to either charm her heckler (“Why, [BIG SMILE] Mr. Reporter, by ‘Unamerican’ I mean the mean things you’ve written about me and my family”), or she could have pulled a Reagan — smiled, held her hand up to her ear, and pretended she couldn’t hear the question.

    Instead, she erupts, then comes back and erupts again. Like two dads arguing at a Little League game.

    If she thought the PGH Tribune reporter was annoying, wait ’til the Big Boy media begin baying for her income tax returns.

    –furious.

  7. I used to look at the stained glass windows and try to find things. There was this one window that had a thing that could, with some imagination, resemble a robot with a large gun-arm, and behind the robot was a silo, so I imagined the robot going to the silo to wreak havoc. I would also try to run entire episodes of ‘Full House,’ in my head (figuring that since Mass was only an hour, two episodes would do it) but the episodes always seemed to go really fast.

  8. Glad to see someone else saw the same speech I saw.

  9. Darnell the Smell,

    You dorealize that the reason two episodes weren’t enough is because of the commercials, right?

  10. I have a feeling she’ll be glad when her silly husband has gotten this presidential thing out of his system and she can go back to her former relatively anonymous life.

    The things we do for love!

  11. Since we’ve already heard endlessly that she can speak several languages, her starting the speech by showing us she could speak several languages struck me as akin to the Mad TV manchild character Stuey saying, “Look what I can do!” That image kept me entertained at work while I listened to the audio on the computer. When the audio cut out about 5 minutes into her talk, I didn’t bother trying to reconnect.

    She’s a silly pompous rich woman who would be a silly pompous rich first lady if Kerry wins. Not that that’s a solid reason not to vote for Kerry, but simply the way it is.

  12. As I listend to a recap of her speech this morning, I thought to myself “Which possible first lady would I rather be trapped in an elavator with”?

    It didn’t take me long to decide on Laura Bush.

    I mean, I can relate on some level to a librarian. We could chat about books and such – or maybe the Patriot Act. Or even just chat about books we’ve recently read and such.

    With Theresa Kerry in the same elevator? Sheesh, I don’t have the slightest thing in common with her. Well, except that I used to like Heinz ketchup. I’m not so sure now.

    Who would you rather get into a fender bender with?

  13. Nice to know that democrats are anti-slavery [in the U.S. only] for women voting [in the U.S. only] and opposed to any superiority of the U.S. over the mature European powers.

  14. I’m glad somebody mentioned the Cassini mission as an example of high-minded American greatness.

    “Who would you rather get into a fender bender with?” That’s an unfortunate question. Laura ran over and killed an ex-boyfriend when she was young.

  15. I would give attribution but I can’t remember where I saw it written, but there are at least two of us (me and the original author) who hear this tune everytime THK opens her mouth:

    “New York is where I’d rather stay,
    I get alergic smelling hay,
    I just adore a penthouse view,
    Dahling I love you but give me Park Avenue!”

  16. Apart from the insubstantiality of THK’s speech (and what do you expect from a first-lady-candidate anyway?) I kind of like her. Everything she knows is wrong, but she’s exotic, educated, widely-traveled, and apparently refuses to adopt a false affect for any reason, even to elect her husband. Guess I’m a sucker for the accent. And she looks pretty darn good for 65 years old. After I have a mug of beer with JFK, I’d love to have a flute of Krug with her.

  17. I was surprised how bad the speech was. I heard her interviewed on NPR earlier yesterday, and she was engaging, quick, smart and not at all arrogant. Maybe it’s the prepared speech thing, or maybe they told her to “take it slow” and she heard “act catatonic.”

  18. Nick,
    You brought back many repressed memories of St. Mary’s. At least you probably missed the homily where the priest blasted Martin Luther. Missed THK though.
    Don

  19. I still think Hillary may be a mole.

    Remember — father prominent Illinois Republican.
    President of Young Republicans in college
    PRIVATE meeting (for instructions?) with Barry Goldwater!

    Still makes me wonder….

  20. Man, absolute WORD on the Salon take. What a total rag that thing has become.

  21. Teresa Heinz would make a great attack dog. And here I thought that was the role of the Vice Presidential candidate! I don?t think anyone has every used a Presidential Candidate’s wife as an attack dog before, but, hey, I guess that’s the kind of out of the box thinking we can expect from a Kerry Administration.

    But she’s dead weight on the ticket as a traditional First Lady. If she?s going to pull her own weight on this ticket, she?s going to have to go negative. If she?s not willing to do that, then, maybe, Kerry should consider dumping her for someone else before the election; you know, someone from a strategic state?

    Is Teresa Heinz from Pennsylvania? Maybe Kerry could, like really quick, marry someone from Florida? You know, someone who lives in a trailer, always goes to church, doesn’t have a stylist and, in general isn’t quite so scary. What?s Paula Jones doing these days? She can?t be that busy.

  22. Man, absolute WORD on the Salon take. What a total rag that thing has become.

  23. Teresa Heinz would make a great attack dog. And here I thought that was the role of the Vice Presidential candidate! I don?t think anyone has every used a Presidential Candidate’s wife as an attack dog before, but, hey, I guess that’s the kind of out of the box thinking we can expect from a Kerry Administration.

    But she’s dead weight on the ticket as a traditional First Lady. If she?s going to pull her own weight on this ticket, she?s going to have to go negative. If she?s not willing to do that, then, maybe, Kerry should consider dumping her for someone else before the election; you know, someone from a strategic state?

    Is Teresa Heinz from Pennsylvania? Maybe Kerry could, like really quick, marry someone from Florida? You know, someone who lives in a trailer, always goes to church, doesn’t have a stylist and, in general, isn’t quite so scary. What?s Paula Jones doing these days? She can?t be that busy.

  24. Kudos for the Prisoner reference.

    Perhaps Heinz is a Manchurian First Lady. Hillary I can picture in the Angela Lansbury role.

  25. Kudos for the Prisoner reference.

    Perhaps Heinz is a Manchurian First Lady. Hillary I can picture in the Angela Lansbury role.

  26. Hmmm.

    I like her simply because she enrages the African-American community. It definitely is hilarious. She was born in Africa and is now a naturalized (I think) citizen. That makes her “African-American”. Of course that irritates the hell out of many African-Americans.

    Whom I enjoy needling immensely on this issue.

    me: “Teresa may be the very first African-American First Lady.”
    friend: “Shut the hell up!”
    me: “Well she was born in Africa. That’s more than can be said of many African-Americans right?”
    friend: “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!”

    lol

  27. It never fails to amaze me how we each see things not as they are but as we are…What has W’s wife said that has mae her so superior to the speech calling for unity, love, compassion, help to those in need etc ? Nada. zip.

    In fact, these comments are by those who would never vote for a Democrat so instead they waste time being snippy and child-like.
    Her speech appealed “only” to the party loyalists? What the hell do you think conventions are for? there are those not so ingrained in their views that will, I expect, like her and what she had to say. grow up and applaud the stuff the GOP will soon dish out.

  28. It never fails to amaze me how we each see things not as they are but as we are…What has W’s wife said that has mae her so superior to the speech calling for unity, love, compassion, help to those in need etc ? Nada. zip.

    In fact, these comments are by those who would never vote for a Democrat so instead they waste time being snippy and child-like.
    Her speech appealed “only” to the party loyalists? What the hell do you think conventions are for? there are those not so ingrained in their views that will, I expect, like her and what she had to say. grow up and applaud the stuff the GOP will soon dish out.

  29. I’m glad you enjoy your pun so much, ed.

  30. I’m glad you enjoy your pun so much, ed.

  31. Hunt’s should use that speech in its ads.

  32. It’s OK Gillespie, your Halliburton options will still be worth something if Kerry wins.
    Are YOU the mole? I mean, there is no logical explanation for your thoughts.

  33. Is that the libertarian credo these days? Individualism and wealth-without-apologies for me, but not for thee?

    It’s a shame Ms. Heinz-Kerry didn’t pick up the pace a bit. I don’t think her speech would have been all that bad in a New-Age-philantropy kind of way if it had been delivered at more than 10 words a minute. Maybe some media consultant convinced her that her accent would be too baffling at full speed.

  34. Anyone watching the C-Span feed catch Hillary’s looks during the speech? She definitely does not like THK.

  35. Anyone watching the C-Span feed catch Hillary’s looks during the speech? She definitely does not like THK.

  36. The software is double posting.

  37. Just for the record, Nick, the president actually does speak a passable Tex-Mex version of Spanish.

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