Campaigning in California, Sen. J. F. Kerry said the following before an audience of largely young college students:
"You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."
In a nano-second, the whole world of media and blogosphere exploded like an unexpected IED.
The debris has not settled and cleared yet, since the ensuing crossfires from all sides continue to be exchanged. Sharp explosive retorts delivered in assumed righteous indignation and equally assumed justified anger fill the air.
So, let’s all move way from the scene of carnage and take a long and detached view.
Even if we assume that John Kerry hates or despises the military to the core of his soul, he is not going to articulate that publicly whether with subtle or not so subtle intent, or even comic inference. That would be as close to a political hara-kiri as one can get especially in these waning days of the frenetic campaigns. He is not the polished politician that everybody labels him to be if he does not know this.
So, let us take it for what it obviously is. He simply misspoke, using a badly constructed and limply delivered sentence. And culling from his subsequent pronouncements, an equally bad analogy of comparing not studying hard to the situation of a president who is waging a failed and protracted war in Iraq.
So, why is this happening to him?
He is supposed to be the clever and polished debater/speaker as proclaimed and shown during his last run for presidency.
Maybe, he was just plain tired and not thinking too sharply?
We, I’m sure, would have expected that kind of extemporaneous speech gaffe to come from a less gifted politician. Like a George W. Bush? Who, by the way, in his response, referred to the troops as “plenty smart”.
Since many of the people who read and analyzed the above Kerry statement believe that he was referring to the military as “stuck in Iraq”, including parents of soldiers, veterans, and many of their neighbors, he should just apologize to those inadvertently slighted. And get this entire thing behind and move on.
That shouldn’t be hard to do, even for a highly educated, intelligent, and experienced senator. Unless, there really is something more that Kerry is not publicly stating.