From (amazingly) ABC News. Comments imbedded:
Teresa Heinz Kerry urged her home-state delegates to the Democratic National Convention to restore a more civil tone to American politics, then minutes later told a newspaperman to “shove it.”
Okay, confession time, at first glance, my response was, “Gee, I can’t really blame her for that.”
“We need to turn back some of the creeping, un-Pennsylvanian and sometimes un-American traits that are coming into some of our politics,” the wife of Sen. John Kerry told her fellow Pennsylvanians on Sunday night at a Massachusetts Statehouse reception.
Mrs. Heinz-Ketchup is following the game plan of the DNC, blasting anybody who dares criticize their candidate in very harsh terms–but then blaming everyone but themselves for the “negative” tone of the campaign.
Minutes later, Colin McNickle, the editorial page editor of the conservative Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, questioned her on what she meant by the term “un-American,” according to a tape of the encounter recorded by Pittsburgh television station WTAE.
An entirely reasonable question. Pity it took the editor of a ‘conservative’ paper to ask it of Theresa first. Guess Ron Fournier was busy.
Heinz Kerry said, “I didn’t say that” several times to McNickle. She then turned to confer with Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and others. When she faced McNickle again a short time later, he continued to question her, and she replied, “You said something I didn’t say. Now shove it.”
That’s not going to go over well.
Safe to assume we can expect a full-blown Begala-level hit job on Colin McNickle today to try and out-volume any criticism of Madame Heinz’s outburst. But with the presence of video showing Madame calling her husband’s political opponents “un-American,” I wonder if the spin will take.
Yeah, probably. After all, when’s the last time you hear the name “Sandy Berger” outside of Fox News or talk radio?
UPDATE: Well, that didn’t take long. Kevin Drum is already on McNickle’s case for working for (gasp!) a “Scaife-funded” newspaper that has criticized and investigated the Heinz Foundation money trails (Shocking! Just shocking!).
I’ll start taking Drum seriously on this one the minute he starts calling MoveOn.org a “Soros-funded” pack of barking moonbats.
But hey, it’s not important that a potential First Lady and current sugar mama of a presidential candidate called her husband’s political opponents “anti-American.” It’s much more important who asked her a question about that statment.
Just imagine the reaction if Laura Bush had said, “We need to turn back some of the creeping, un-Pennsylvanian and sometimes un-American traits that are coming into some of our politics.” That statement would be the one and only issue for the rest of the campaign.
UPDATE UPDATE: A reader points out that Theresa said “un-American,” not “anti-American.” That’s correct (my mistake above), but I don’t see much of a difference in epithets there. It’s a scurrilous charge either way.