The Hidden Resentments of John Kerry….

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revealed through his hotel campaign riders, now up at Smoking Gun. The man who isn't our president wants nothing to do with any tomato-based product. The tomato is, as Smoking Gun points out, "the fruit behind his wife's nine-figure ketchup fortune." This could of course be a coincidence as unfraught with hidden meaning as his equal dislike of the humble, fiberfull celery.

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  1. Quite a different picture from the fictional campaign on the West Wing these days.

  2. Gee, or maybe there’s just someone in his retinue who’s allergic to tomatoes.

  3. God, food demands like a 5-y.o. Wants his appa joose and no likee celery or tomaters.

    “String beens” and “stationery bike” — hee! Spell check would have caught “vingraette” and “prefereably organinc”, though.

  4. The list is kind of amazing. I don’t understand how someone could be so self absorbed and demanding that they would insist on all this crap at their hotel. What is wrong with the mini-bar? I think Theresa can cover it considering the few billion she got from her dead first husband.

  5. I’m amazed that anyone is amazed at stuff like this. When you spend your life on the road, and you have people prepare and schedule nearly every minute of your life, you let them know what your preferences and schedules are. I bet that every single person here whining in amazement, if they ever went on the campaign trail, would compile a similar list.

  6. I think Theresa can cover it considering the few billion she got from her dead first husband.

    A “nine-figure ketchup fortune” would only be a few hundred million. So I can see where the girl might have to skimp here and there. 🙂

  7. He is so dead.

    “John? Vere are you? John!”

  8. “You know vhat ze Senator vould say?”

    “I’m a Senator, too.”

    “You know vhat ze Senator vould say?”

    Sigh.

  9. Note that this is on behalf of JK, addressed to his own staff. It’s easy to imagine that Kerry mentioned a preference and his assistant passed it on.

    It probably grew from a large number of questions asked by his advance team. The hotel asks, “What newspaper would you like delivered?” and the intern responds, “Oh crap, I don’t know.”

  10. Veer away from heavy sauces, Senator.

    Veer.

    Veer!

  11. When you spend your life on the road, and you have people prepare and schedule nearly every minute of your life, you let them know what your preferences and schedules are.

    i agree

    and further, if you are in the business of catering to such large and prominent groups (be they national campaigns, musical acts, sports teams, etc.) knowing your customers’ preferences would seem to be a good business decision – assuming you are seeking their repeat business or to gain from their referals.

    other than the heinz/ketchup/tomato connection which may be mildly amusing, i think Stormy Dragon probably has it right – the real explanation for these requests/riders are much less interesting.

  12. Please. How absurd. The reason he wants no tomato products provided for him ahead of time is because he gets the inside track on the good stuff. You know, the stuff that the ketchup execs make for their families and friends—while the masses get that gooey tripe that is 20 parts soylent green, 1 part tomato substitute, and 45 parts refined sugar/corn syrup.

    You can be sure that he arrives with all that stuff (Heinz executive line) packed in his suitcase.

  13. I don’t understand how someone could be so self absorbed and demanding that they would insist on all this crap at their hotel.

    Far be it from me to stand up for John Effing “Reporting For Duty” Kerry, but . . .

    A lot of this is probably their staff indulging in an ugly combination of ass-kissing and petty tyranny.

  14. It’s not even an “ugly combination.” I mean, it’s not like it says “Breakfast: Midget Roasting on a Spit.” The guy wants Special K and 2% milk, for god’s sake.

    Ah, maybe I’m just defending him because I, too, hate celery. Vile weed.

  15. I too hesitate to defend John Kerry, but when you have preferences and can afford too indulge them, why not?

    And if those preferences involve demands being made, what the hell, if you can do it without being an absolute dick*, well, they are called “the serving staff” aren’t they? Most establishments do want their patrons to be completely satisfied or some reasonable facsimile thereof.

    *The foregoing defense withdrawn if I find out that JFK is an absolute dick as opposed to just a relative dick.

    And what the hell? The poor buggar might be allergic to tomatoes for all I know.

  16. Seriously, is it that weird to tell the people who serve your food what you like and what you don’t?

  17. No celery or tomatoes? I think he hates bloody marys.

  18. In one sense you are right Joe. There is nothing wrong with preferences. God knows Kerry isn’t the only guy who does this. It just seems noxious to me to have such a detailed list of everything you want, like you are Louis XIV or something. One or both of two things is true, either Kerry is a Strasand like jackass who treats working people like crap or as RC Dean points out his staff is full of petty ass kissers intent on making sure everything is perfect for the boss.

  19. Did I miss something? I didn’t see any ‘hates celery’ commentary in the actual document, an don the last page, he seems to be requesting celery under some circumstances. So what gives with the ‘John Kerry hates Celery!’ headline?

  20. A little embarrassed to say that I read that far, but . . .

    The celery and tomato prohibition is flagrantly flouted on page four, on which BOTH are specifically requested. Granted the requests on page four are for the “hold room” and the car or van, which likely entail a more diverse palate than that to be sated in his lonely Starwood hotel room, but still it seems to risk an incitement of Kerry’s tomato/celery-based rage.

    Bloodymarygate, indeed.

  21. “One or both of two things is true, either Kerry is a Strasand like jackass who treats working people like crap or as RC Dean points out his staff is full of petty ass kissers intent on making sure everything is perfect for the boss.”

    Or maybe he’s just a guy who has a bunch of money and chooses to spend it on making sure that his quirky preferences are taken care of when he travels. I’m not defending Kerry per se, but every rich fuck who goes on trips.

    Making a luandry list of shit you want in your hotel room isn’t “treating working people like crap”, as John supposes—it’s asking them to do what you pay them to do. If they don’t like doing it, then they’re free to go get hired by some other rich fuck who doesn’t happen to have so many quirky prefs.

    If it seems “noxious” to you that people have these laundry lists for when they travel, well, that’s understandable, since most of us don’t have the privelege of partaking. If you want shit like you like it, then you have to go out and make the choices yourself. Here, he’s instead using his money to skip this step.

    What’s next, you gonna lambast rich fucks for not driving themselves around? God, how dare they treat that chauffuer like shit by asking him to do his job!

    Rich fucks using their money to pay someone else to do something they don’t wanna do (such as drive, set up the hotel room with the stuff they want, or bathe themselves) is only noxious if you accept the premise that rich folks shouldn’t spend their extra money to make less-rich folks do things for them that they don’t want to do.

  22. I don’t know, John. If you check into 130 diffferent hotels over the course of 200 days, you probably end up typing something up.

    Cheney’s was a little funny because Fox News had to be turned on. But it’s not really that odd that candidates would have one of these things.

    And it’s not really that odd that Kerry’s menu would flip flop on the tomatoes and celery. Heh.

  23. Yeah, if I had to travel that much, and I had the clout to make those sorts of requests/demands/anti-tomato-tirades, I’d probably do it. The longest I’ve traveled for in my post-college-dorm days has been a month-long stay in London. For proximity-to-docklands / price reasons I spent part of the time in a Holiday Inn Express and an Ibis (literally the European arm of Hotel 6) in Greenwich, but there were a few things that I learned. Having your own access to laundry facilities and food prep facilities is a luxury that most of us take for granted. Having some control over your menu and some of the creature comforts makes that sort of non-stop travel less unpleasant, if not truly bearable.

    I say, with the possible exception of the Fox News thing, let the poor bastards be.

  24. I’d say the requirement of “reverse osmosis filtered” bottled water (a la Te-RAY-sa) beats the requirement of Fox News hands down.

    Now I’d like to see one of these lists for Shrub. Always good to have more shit to make fun of him about.

  25. Now we know what it takes to fuel a vibrant personality like John Kerry’s!

  26. I would stick to a similar list if I were campaigning. Some tomato-based foods, and insanity peppers, make me sweat like an old man with a heart condition. I like to eat this stuff at work, so the bosses think I’m bustin some ass, but dripping with sweat during a debate would make one look completely unnerved. That’s not a very presidential appearance.

  27. No celery or tomatoes? I think he hates bloody marys.

    Or maybe John Edwards liked them a little too much.

  28. The bottled water preferences are funny. Kerry is afraid someone might snap a pic of him drinking some French water, and Tarayza thinks reverse osmosis is feature rather than a fix.

    (OK, she doesn’t actually say that. And I don’t really have a strong opinion on reverse osmosis. If you think its great and anyone who disagrees is obviously ignorant to the true benefits that are now available for only pennies a gallon, then I change my opinion. Reverse osmosis is grand. This is great, now I don’t have to return in two hours to see if anyone called me a moron. But I better…just in case)

  29. I’m outraged by Brian Doherty’s biased and ill-informed post. The truth is there’s not that much fiber in celery.

    But of course the SCLM won’t tell you that.

  30. Far be it from us to deny the man his little pleasures… We don’t want to give him a long face, do we?

    joe,
    What are your bare minimums when you check into a hotel? We want to keep a smile on your face as well. (Although we suspect yours is tattooed on, or congenital.)

  31. My cousin was an advance man for Columbia Records in the ’80’s. All his bands had lists like this. In fact, all his bands had lists 20 pages long, including really nutzoid stuff like “remove all yellow objects from room” and “make sure room approved by Feng Shui practioner.” He actually preferred the lists because it allowed him some confidence that the rooms and food wouldn’t make the Sensitive Artists flip out before the concert. The guys who didn’t provide lists usually found some reason to explode at the staff, which cost Columbia money.

    Another factor in this is that I’m sure the staff at each event asks this sort of thing routinely, so the campaign staff figured out a way to avoid having to answer the same questions 8,000 times. That said, it’s still funny that he hates tomatoes, given the source of his wife’s gigantic piles of cash.

  32. I actually know a Democratic volunteer whose job was to obtain JFK’s peanut butter and jam supplies (bottom of page 1) when JFK came to Cleveland

  33. You folks should look at some of the rockstar riders posted by TSG. Now that’s real entertainmet.

  34. It sounded like he was avoiding acidic foods in general — probably he’s got some sort of stomach problem that gets aggravated by them.

  35. Between this and Cheney’s list- Who cares? Geez. Blog filler. The Smoking Gun can have some interesting stuff, but this ain’t it.

  36. You folks should look at some of the rockstar riders posted by TSG. Now that’s real entertainmet.

    How is it that Soozie Whatsername, the fiddler for the E Street Band, gets a separate rider, but all the other band members below Clarence get stuck on a single rider for “the band”? Granted that’s a band with plenty of dead weight, but still. At least they all have dinner together; that’s an egalitarian touch.

  37. I once bought some shit when Method Man and Redman played at my University. They basically wanted like 200 pcs of Popeye’s chicken and sides and a big jar of Vitamin C. Why can’t John Kerry be that easy to shop for.

    I also did the same for Elvis Costello, and he definitely had some snooty John Kerry-ish food demands.

  38. If I was on the road, my rider would probably be something like “meat and diet red bull”. Maybe my lack of attention to detail is why so many people are surprised to learn I’m gay.

  39. Hmmm, not that this isn’t worn out already, but the tomatoes are rejected along with spicy food, and it also says “(for the time being)”. That probably just means he was having some stomach issues and wanted to limit his acid intake. I wouldn’t rule out an ulcer for somewhat running for president.

  40. “JK (for the time being) will not be eating spicy food or anything containing tomato, citrus or chocolate.”

    He is clearly suffering from some sort of stomach acid problem, and tomatoes can aggravate such a condition. This has nothing to do with a dislike of tomatoes.

  41. John Kerry walks into a bar and the bartender says
    “Why the long face?”

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