President-elect John Kerry is settling in quite nicely, thank you. Graciously, one might say. Just to erase any doubt, in Ohio his campaign is making doubly sure every vote was counted in his favor. Last week a new Commerce Secretary was nominated, with Kerryesque assurances from the man naming him that the new choice would especially look out for woman and minorities. As a foretaste of his responsible fiscal goals, word leaked that Kerry had declined to spend at least $15 million of his election funds. Unlike our own, Kerry's dollars remain strong abroad. He is free to visit his French properties anytime.
If any doubts remained as to who is now in charge, the annual Kennedy Center awards this past weekend put them to rest for good. Even Mrs. Kerry deigned attend, and in the company of her husband. Heading the laureates was Mr. Warren Beatty. He won for the usual Clintonian-Kerryist reasons. As his wife explained to a palpitating audience, Warren and women go way back. So no hypocrisies, please. This, mind you, was said in the presence of their young children, and the kids' Uncle Jack Nicholson, none of whom covered either eyes or ears. As the Washington Post noted, Jack was just being Jack (assuming that's possible if the Lakers aren't playing). By that it meant Jack made various jokes about Viagra and Cialis. In front of the damaged children.
Least but not last, Kerry internationalite Elton John also scored a Kennedy Center honor. Fortunately for all concerned, Sir Elton took note of the new tone in Kerry America and declined to dub any of the reporters covering the event "rude, vile pigs," an endearment he'd picked up in Taipei a few months back. John-pal Billy Joel entertained the distinguished guests with a rendition of his ballad, "The Bitch Is Back." Colin Powell performed a somewhat suaver rap.
How sad that Mr. Tom Brokaw, self-described eyewitness to history, was not on hand to witness this latest demonstration of its end. Tom remains greatly missed, even as he fades from memory less than a week into retirement. It was more fun when we eyewitnessed history together, watching the same tapes of major events that he did. Now we can't be sure he even turns on the TV, unless it's to watch videos of his greatest hits. If you know what might be on those tapes, drop us a line.
Not everyone is as confident as we are that we've entered the Kerry era. Maybe it requires feminine intuition. Ms. Tina Brown, for instance, filed a column last week that said not a thing about Mr. Kerry not to mention Messrs. Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Rove. It was all about Prince Diana and how manipulative and scheming she really was. The great Maureen Dowd has gone even further. True, she did commiserate with Mr. Brokaw regarding the outrage that he has been succeeded by another white male. Though Mr. B. did nothing to groom a non-white, non-male heir, he assumed no one better looking would ever come along. Ratings for Mr. Brian Williams suggest he was wrong. Which must break Ms. Dowd's achy heart to smithereens. Her last offering spoke ruefully of all the Christmas presents she'd wasted over the years on men who are now with different women. She seems to have given up on politics entirely. As one wag observed, she is looking inward.
Democrats will need to look elsewhere for guidance. One of their leaders appeared on "Meet the Press" to describe how he intends to help his party move to the middle. Whereupon he denounced Republicans as ruthless tools of the Robber Barons and turned on Justice Clarence Thomas with all the glee of Simon Lagree. As for his own pro-life views, he let it be known that there is only one woman in this world that he regards as his sister, and that would be Sen. Barbara Boxer. This anti-life figurine needs no introduction, but he sure does. He's Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid. For this Enemy of the Week, we got rid of Tom Daschle?