Enemy of the Week

Ski Trip

"Break a leg" is not in J.F. Kerry’s lexicon. This and more hot toddies.

By 3.19.04

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Not since the days of King Kong has someone so thickly coifed slithered down the spud state's Bald Mountain. And he did it with all the daring and uprightness he used to display ride-ride-riding the wild surf in pre-Vietnam San Diego. Purportedly he was on a snow board, though the Boston Globe reporter's notes we checked indicate "snow bored." At least there was no danger that John Kerry's warmth might melt the snow and cause avalanches and untold loss of life. But his campaign is suddenly concerned that he is the first candidate of stature with his own chill factor. Hey, hey, JFK, how many voters did you repel today?

There's widespread talk of implosion. But how can that be? Doesn't the word connote an inward turning toward an inner core? Perhaps "poofing" is the more appropriate term. Now you see him, now you don't. By convention time the burden will be on Democrats to persuade voters that John Kerry ever existed. It'll be easier to prove Osama is still among us. After experiencing neo-JFK the nation will be ready to give tank-suited Michael Dukakis a second look.

The venerable Secret Service has joined the ranks of those who don't know who John Kerry is (though apparently he knows the mother of one of his protectors). The only thing that keeps the agents going is remembering who Bill and Hillary are. Before the Kerry vacation is over they'll have all requested transfer to Iraq, the one foreign nation yet to endorse Kerry's candidacy. (True, that may depend on which government you recognize.)

According to early returns, Kerry has far outpaced the Democrats of '96 in garnering overseas endorsements. While he's grateful for most of them (couldn't that Malaysian gone through official PLO channels?), he was positively overwhelmed by the show of support from Spain's new PM. His name is Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, and sooner or later he is going to be mistaken for Salvador Allende. Europe has not seen his likes since the days of Danny the Red.

Here's what we know about his so far. Zapatero is a Mama's boy. As the Washington Post memorably explained it in a box headlined "Why We Call Him Zapatero," unlike your standard macho Spaniard who takes his father's last name, Zapatero thought his mother's catchier. We're not convinced. Maybe it would help if John Kerry were suddenly to be renamed John Forbes. Then at least we'd get a flat tax and a friendlier business climate.

We shudder at the thought of what Zapatero will do Iberia's clime. For starters he's happier to vanquish G.W. Bush than those who attacked Spain. In the press conference in which he endorsed Kerry, he sniffed that he'd received so many congratulatory calls that he didn't know if Bush was among those callers. Does he distinguish between Bush and the United States? The Washington Post reported that at a Columbus Day parade last year, Zapatero sat down when the Starts and Stripes passed by. "It's not my flag," he reportedly said. True enough. His is solid white, unless we're confusing it with his bandanna.

Can the Kerry-Zapatero romance last? According to intelligence static, Zapatero is determined to make Spain the gay marriage capital of the world. Are San Francisco and Portland ready to be outsourced? Can we as a nation afford a new trade war? Can Francisco Franco afford to remain dead?

Let us not be diverted by foreign entanglements. There's plenty more to preoccupy us right in our own backyard. With spring comes the revival of weeds. We thought this once dandy lion was pulled four years ago. But he's back, defacing our political garden. First he lets on that he'd be happier than heck to serve as Kerry veep. Then, when even Kim Jong Il has distanced himself from the rude Democrat, he goes on national television to defend Kerry as the ideal mix of Douglas MacArthur, George Patton, and Marshal Zhukov.

Now he's practically begging to be named Enemy of the Week. How absolutely pathetic. Okay, we'll do it, but this time only. Make it official: John McCain is EOW. We'll have the Weekly Standard plant a cactus in his honor.

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