Kerry doesn’t look French

It’s time for conservatives to drop this silly conceit about Sen. Kerry’s looking French. It is true the man has a pompous, impenetrable self-regard that is French-like, but he doesn’t look French. He looks like a craggy, Lincolnesque American, which must make his utter incompetence and failure as a presidential candidate especially painful to him and his friends, if he has any.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 05, 2004 07:18 PM | Send


I have to post this: Tina Brown recently said Senator John Forbes Kerry “looks like a talking tree with bad seventies hair”. We all remember the talking tree from LOTR…..I see it !!!

Posted by: j.hagan on January 5, 2004 11:11 PM

There’s no comparison. Treebeard has far more personality and charm than Kerry.

Also, Kerry was getting so much criticism over his Seventies hair that he finally trimmed it.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on January 6, 2004 12:53 AM

I noticed that Kerry cleaned himself up with a new haircut, and better make-up at the last debate. Seems the Senator got wind of Brown’s comment. Funny how something like that would trouble him more than important issues of the day.

Posted by: j.hagan on January 6, 2004 1:21 AM

Let’s be fair. If Kerry is criticized over his haircut, and changes it, that doesn’t mean that his haircut “troubles him more than more important issues.” It means he needed to do something about his haircut, and did it. If Kerry buys a new pair of shoes, or if he stops during the day to eat lunch, would we say that his shoes or his hunger “trouble him more than more important issues”?

The same kind of argument is commonly made about any position a person takes that the speaker disagrees with. “Why do you focus on _this_ issue when there are all these other issues that matter more?” But that’s not an argument. People can only attend to one issue at a time. Just recently a poster attacked me in an e-mail for being “fixated” on race differences. When I pointed out to him that race differences happened to be the subject of the current thread, and that we had threads on lots of other subjects as well, he replied that the fact that I had once written a long article on race differences proves that I’m “fixated” on the issue.

I wonder if books on rhetoric have a name for this type of fallacy.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on January 6, 2004 8:00 AM

If Mr. Auster’s fallacy does not have a name, it should.

As for Kerry, he looks like what he is (ethnically, at any rate): Irish! If that’s a politically incorrect observation, too bad. HRS

Posted by: Howard Sutherland on January 6, 2004 9:13 AM

Mr. Sutherland must have missed the surprising news about Kerry’s ethnic background that came out last year. Despite his name Kerry, despite the fact that he’s Catholic, despite the fact the he comes from Massachusetts, despite the fact that he has a thick Kennedyesque head of grey hair, he’s not at all Irish. His ethnic background is half Boston Brahmin and half Jewish. The news last year was that while he himself had known for the last fifteen years that his paternal grandmother, a Catholic, had been born Jewish, he found out last year that his paternal grandfather was Jewish as well. His grandfather, born Fritz Kohn in what is now the Czech Republic, had changed his name to Frederick Kerry in 1902, immigrated to the U.S. in 1905, and committed suicide in Boston in 1921.

Here’s one account:

And here’s a more detailed account of the discovery, which was made by a Boston Globe reporter researching geneological records in Europe.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on January 6, 2004 9:21 AM

Since Kerry’s father must have known the background of his own parents (though one cannot be sure of that), it would appear that he concealed his Jewish background from his own children, which seems bizarre. It’s hard for us today to understand the tremendous burden that Jewishness once placed on Jews, and the intense need felt by some Jews or people of Jewish background to deny their Jewishness. An uncle of mine in the 1950s and ’60s began to “pass” as a gentile (he was blond and blue-eyed), and apparently ended his relationship with my mother and my other uncle because he wanted to get away from his Jewish background. The idea that an American Jew at that late period felt compelled to conceal his Jewishness in order to have a business career and social life seems comical. However, in earlier periods, and especially in Europe, it was no joke at all.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on January 6, 2004 10:26 AM

Fooled me, that’s for sure. I had missed that story. I think Kerry looks quite Irish, but perhaps I think so because his name is Kerry! Maybe Fritz Kohn had seen some Irishmen and thought he looked a bit like one, and so picked Kerry as his American alias. It’s unfortunate that Boston seems not to have agreed with Mr. Kohn/Kerry, though.

Since I was fooled so easily by Kerry’s “Irish” looks, I may not have much credibility, but I have to agree with Mr. Auster that there is nothing very French about Kerry’s looks.

Boston Brahmin, Jew, Irishman, Italian… I don’t really care what Kerry is. Nothing could make me vote for him for anything. HRS

Posted by: Howard Sutherland on January 6, 2004 10:51 AM

Mr. Sutherland was not alone in being fooled. In addition to Kerry’s name, religion, and state, his thick hair and sallow sad appearance may have given the impression of the “dark” Irish.

Though Kerry denies having ever claimed he was Irish, on at least one occasion he included himself among “we Irish.”

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on January 6, 2004 11:05 AM

In one of the Kerry runs for Senate his people put a shamrock on his various signs seen around Mass. I don’t recall if he ever explained this one way or another. I think he let stand the passive belief he was Irish in a very heavy Irish State.

Posted by: j.hagan on January 6, 2004 1:56 PM

Another thing. John Kerry opposes George W Bush’s immigration policy, but only because it doesn’t go far enough.

Posted by: Andrew Hagen on January 7, 2004 9:32 PM

John Kerry as Treebeard:

Posted by: Evan Halquist on February 10, 2004 3:29 PM

Without having read the Treebeard article, I just want to say that I think the comparison is off. Treebeard, while slow and stiff, is kindly and thoughtful. Kerry, while also slow and stiff, is ominous, filled with self-superiority and contempt.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on February 10, 2004 3:36 PM

As a pedantic Irishman, may I state for the record that ‘Kerry’ is not an Irish surname -‘Carey’ is. Kerry is the name of an Irish county or ‘Carrai’ in Gaelic.
I have yet to meet an Irishman with the surname ‘Kerry’.
Find it unacceptable to term him as catholic either, given his stance on abortion.
Indeed, find it strange that the Democrats are still seen as the party of Irish America, given that Ireland is and always has been so politically conservative. Still, the thinly veiled prejudice of Mr. Sutherland and Mr. Auster must continue to play its part and a bigot is always readily fooled, especially by himself.

Posted by: Pat Doherty on February 13, 2004 7:46 PM

What is Mr. Doherty talking about? What bigotry are I and Mr. Sutherland guilty of?

Also, may I suggest to Mr. Doherty that it’s not cool to post at a weblog for the first time calling the people there, including the host, bigots.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on February 13, 2004 8:05 PM

Funny that Leno should say “John Kerry looks French” with a smirk the other night on T.V. In fact, John Kerry looks amazingly like Jay Leno.

Posted by: Dex Wheeler on April 20, 2004 3:02 AM
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