C’mon, We’re Not That Dumb

Sometimes you just have to shake your head:

John Kerry’s family dumped millions of dollars of foreign holdings as he launched his White House bid, gobbling up Made in the USA stocks in a huge politically savvy international-to-domestic shift.

The investments, mostly in the name of Kerry’s multimillionaire wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, sold stock in massive overseas players like Heineken, Sony, British Petroleum and Italian Telecom for red, white and blue companies like McDonald’s, Dell and Kohls.

In all, the Kerrys dumped as much as $16 million worth of international stock and bought between $18 million and $32 million in domestic holdings between 2002 and 2003, records show.

Okay, so far, so what? This kind of thing happens all the time in politics; innumerable politicians of all parties have traded in their Mercedes or Lexi for Chevys and Fords just before (or after) declaring their candidacy. It’s done to avoid being labelled as “helping them furriners,” and really, it’s no big deal. But then you read something like this:

Marla Romash, a senior adviser to Kerry, said the financial decisions aren’t political.

“The trustees and Mrs. Heinz Kerry have asked these investment managers, who make their own investment decisions, only to take appropriate steps to ensure that investments are responsible and financially prudent,” Romash said. “The trustees review these investments periodically with the managers to ensure that these investments are responsible as well as financially prudent.”

Oh, please. Ms. Romash, you’re lying, and it’s patently obvious that you’re lying. It’s not smart for a campaign spokescreature to assume that her audience is just mind-bogglingly gullible, particularly when it’s so easy to fact-check your ass:

[T]he timing of the sales appears to be an anomaly among a relatively consistent investment pattern.

Through most of Kerry’s federal disclosure forms, the Heinz Kerry trusts – which invest some of the massive inheritance after the death of her first husband, Sen. H. John Heinz III, more than a decade ago – show steady investments and sales of overseas assets.

In the spring of 2002, as Kerry seriously began weighing a presidential run, there appeared to be a marked increase in sales of overseas holdings.

Those stocks were sold because Sugar Mama’s hubby was running for president, and didn’t want to be embarrassed by his wife’s being invested heavily in foreign companies (on the other hand–what are Kerry’s overseas backers going to make of that?).

C’mon, Kerry campaign. Be honest enough to admit it. If we can’t trust you on something this obvious, why should we trust you at all?

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13 Responses to “C’mon, We’re Not That Dumb”

  1. Enrak Says:

    It is such an obvious lie. Finance 101 is about diversification. It is hard (impossible) to have a diverse portfolio invested 100% in U.S. stocks.

  2. tom Says:

    Isn’t BP the largest producer of natural gas in the continental U.S.?

  3. Robert Speirs Says:

    Why’s Kerry investing in US stocks during a time when he’s saying to everyone that the US economy is terribly mismanaged? If it’s financially, not just politically, prudent to switch to US stocks, isn’t Kerry admitting that the economy’s in pretty good shape?

  4. D Says:

    What amazes me far more about this story is how it continues the Kerry Campaign’s trend of taking rather unimportant events and findings and causing them to be completely blown out of proportion by dissembling and outright lying.

    Those goofy looking NASA photos would have just been a briefly embarrasssing moment (ha! ha! Now let’s move on folks) had the campaign kept quiet about them not being for public consumption. Ditto the “voted for it before voting against it” comment.

    AFAIAC, I do not care where his Mrs. parks her cash. I do care about these kneejerk Keystone Kops like response on the part of campaign operations. Since these clowns are likely to be senior members of a Kerry Administration they can be expected to turn bumps-in-the-road into semi-crises.

  5. Jim R Says:

    It’s not the lying, all politicians do it. It’s the hypocrisy of it. The glass house effect.

    Trashing companies that outsource work to foreign companies as part of your campaign platform, while your hand, no arm, is in the cookie jar. Trying to be an un-equal opportunity offender.

  6. Jane W Says:

    Have it their way. Kerry did it because he knew the Bush economy was coming back big.

  7. Nick Says:

    This also reminds of the criticisms that Cheney and Paul O’Neill faced. They demanded- absolutely DEMANDED!!!- that these guys divest themselves of their major holdings (Alcoa and the like) because there was certainly no way that they wouldn’t just use their position of power to further their stock riches. So, they divested. Then came the massive shakeout in the stock market. And then, incredibly, they were accused by the media of “getting out ahead of time” and “selling bad shares to the little guy”!

  8. Robert Says:

    Buying McDonald’s? But the French hate McDonald’s. The Golden Arches represent American cultural imperialism, would Kerry take action the next time some Frenchman torches an outlet.

    Perhaps THK should buy a respectable Democratic cloth coat.

  9. shell Says:

    re: NASA pictures

    What if Kerry had responded by laughing and saying, “Yeah, I look pretty silly, but I had a great time and… (insert platitudes about the importance of NASA)”? But that might actually make him seem like a likable, ordinary guy.

  10. David J Rainey Says:

    Monsieur Robert,

    Ze French looove ze l’arch d’or!

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/03_02/b3815047.htm

    David

  11. Larry J Says:

    It seems Kerry lacks the ability to laugh at himself. Those NASA photos would’ve only been a blip for a day had they just laughed at them. Instead, they had to lie and accuse others of “dirty tricks.” It’s bad enough to lie, but it’s stupid to lie about something so insignificant.

    One wonders if things like the stock sale are behind their refusal to release his wife’s tax records.

  12. Harry B. Says:

    The man used to ride a gorgeous $17,000 Ducatti road bike; almost hand-made and one of th world’s finest sport motorcycles.

    It got locked in the garage 2 years ago.

    The “man of the people” now rides a Harley.

    Yecchhh-

    Phony to the point of self-abuse.

  13. furious Says:

    By their divestment the Kerry’s worsened the US balance of trade, as acquisition of foreign capital is treated as a US export, just as Japanese acquisition of US capital is treated as a Japanese import.

    Besides, why would anyone give a shite about them balancing their portfolio internationally? Savvy investors would respect them more for balancing their porfolio than acting like transparent posers.

    Which reminds me, now would be good time for the Press to hector Mrs. Ketchup for full release of her tax returns. Maybe she can respond with the French/Spanish/Portuguese/Creole/Esperanto/Ebonics/whatever version of “SHOVE IT!”.

    –furious

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