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Jewish World Review April 30, 2004 / 9 Iyar, 5764

Tom Purcell

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Kerry really needs ‘Regular Guy ’ lessons | It's no wonder John Kerry's campaign is struggling so badly. He doesn't know the first thing about a good haircut.

The past few weeks haven't been going so well for John Kerry. Despite President Bush's vulnerability on Iraq — despite his relatively low approval ratings — Kerry is still trailing him in the polls.

It's not hard to understand why. Most people see Bush as a straight shooter and a regular guy. He isn't a regular guy, of course. He was raised in privileged circumstances, just like Kerry was. He was given an excellent education at the best schools, just like Kerry.

But where many see Bush as a straight shooter and a regular guy, most are befuddled by Kerry, and with good reason.

Real regular guys would never say they voted for an $87 million package to support military operations and reconstruction at the same time they voted against it.

Regular guys would never say they threw away their medals, then say it was just the ribbons not the medals, then say that ribbons ARE medals.

Regular guys would never dine in fancy New York restaurants, where they would bump into world leaders (though I knew a guy in Pittsburgh once who swore he met Manual Noriega years ago in a Taco Bell).

Most importantly, regular guys would never spend $1,000.00 for a lousy haircut. According to the Drudge Report, Kerry flew a French hairstylist into Pittsburgh a week back to style his coiffure. That proves to me that Kerry really is out of touch with the common man.

Pittsburgh is the land of the hairdresser. There are only two professions in that entire regular-guy town: welding and hair styling. Pittsburgh is populated with thousands of competent hairdressers who smoke Marlboro Lights, drive 1987 Camaros with the T-tops off, and spend most of their free time yelling at their boyfriends on their cell phones.

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But Kerry wouldn't know that. He's been living in the trappings of wealth for too long. He's been a coddled senator in a small, liberal state too long. He's been living in the land of legislative nuance and word parsing for too long.

And Republicans are having a field day with this.

According to a recent Washington Post piece, Republicans are skillfully executing a strategy to portray Kerry as a spoiled rich fellow, who is out of touch with regular guys. And their plan is working like a charm.

Commerce Secretary Donald Evans got the ball rolling when he said that Kerry looks French. Well, he does look French, and — sacrebleu! — he named his $750,000 yacht the "Scaramouche."

Republicans routinely remind Americans that Kerry and his wife Teresa own multimillion dollar homes at the beach, on the slopes, in Georgetown and in Boston. And that Kerry's wife compares him to a "fine wine" and even designed an official scarf for her husband's presidential campaign.

To be sure, Republicans, who aren't generally good at street-smart politics, are cleaning Kerry's clock. Every time Bush bumbles his words at a press conference, regular guys don't mind. But every time Kerry says something such as "my family owns an SUV, but I don't," regular guys are thinking, "huh?"

It's too bad Kerry isn't more capable at defending himself, because our country is facing some very serious issues. The hope would be that a hearty debate would be shaping up by now — that Americans would be able to really think through our strategy on the war on terror, for instance.

But that isn't what is happening. No, it's early in the campaign yet and old Kerry is already allowing himself to be pigeonholed as a rich, out-of-touch flip-flopper. He's unable to keep smaller, peripheral controversies from sucking all the oxygen out of his campaign. He's sinking so fast, some of his fellow Democrats are turning on him.

If only Kerry had the sense to let a Pittsburgh hairstylist cut his hair. A Pittsburgh hairstylist can out-cut any hoity-toity French woman, and it would have only cost him $20 bucks.

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04/23/04: On Polio and pulling together
04/16/04: Misery
04/09/04: Bush's Secret Weapon: Bo Derek
04/02/04: On baseball and politics
03/26/04: Guy talk
03/22/04: Kerry meets his master
03/17/04: When Americans pretend to be 'Irish'
03/12/04: Didya hear the Anti PC Irish Joke about ?
03/05/04: I Wish I Was Russian
02/27/04: Vinny the Number Cruncher takes on Greenspan
02/20/04: The birds and the bees, updated
02/13/04: Dr. Laura plays Cupid
02/06/04: The Investigation
01/23/04: Weighty adjustment
01/16/04: Bucks for betrothals
01/09/04: Decisions, decisions
01/02/04: Making New Year's resolutions for others
12/27/03: Holiday Pork
12/19/03: FOUND! The captured-Saddam transcript
12/12/03: Peace, Man
12/05/03: Who are you, Miss Manners?
12/01/03: Joyless, selfish children
11/21/03: Thanksgiving, updated for our times
11/14/03: Hang in there, tubby America, your day in the sun will come
11/07/03: Morale at Veterans' Day
10/31/03: The Big Picture
10/24/03: A sorry bunch
10/17/03: Conversation with a typical poll respondent?
10/10/03: Men and women and brains
10/03/03: Iraqi Pork
09/26/03: They would not leave
09/19/03: A radical idea
09/12/03: Food Guide Pyramid has a "stupidity factor"?
09/05/03: Flag waving and football cheering
08/29/03: People who have it all, too often don't
08/25/03: Attack of the 'virus twits'
08/08/03: Why not have a whole slew of the world's dignitaries and leaders come by to visit you?
08/01/03: Do you really want to live until 500?
07/18/03: "Ain't-my-fault" lawsuits are becoming more creative
07/18/03: The real story never makes for good summertime drama in Washington
07/11/03: Government bureaucrats, not elected officials, are really the ones determining what people and organizations can and can't do
07/03/03: Overworked Americans
06/27/03: The Metrosexual Male
06/20/03: Crime Etiquette in Washington, D.C.
06/13/03: My Father, the Thief and the MGB
06/05/03: An Open Letter to Bill and Hillary
05/30/03: We are a busy people
05/23/03: Liar, Liar
05/16/03: Laffer all the way to the bank
05/09/03: My mother's house
05/02/03: Teaching the Iraqis how to protest
04/25/03: Iraqi TV
04/21/03: Explaining Democracy to the Iraqis
04/11/03: Major increases to the beer tax? That's a cheap shot right to the beer gut
04/04/03: War humor
03/31/03: Dolphins, PETA and the USA
03/21/03: Traffic Wars
03/14/03: Ronald Reagan's St. Patrick's Day
03/03/03: My Family's Tragic Secret: We're French
02/21/03: I'm worried about my people
02/14/03: George Washington Makeover
02/07/03: Making quiet sacrifices
01/24/03: "Gimme the, goo-goo, gah-gah, remote!"
01/21/03: "Misunderestimated"
01/10/03: Republican night life
01/06/03: Exercise pills
12/31/02: They provide unending joy to those who are wise enough to let them in
12/13/02: Hurried Man Syndrome
12/06/02: In DC, snowstorms have important ramifications --- or, at least, they should
11/26/02: Police advertising
11/15/02: An Interview with Osama
11/01/02: How to vote in America
10/25/02: On edge in Washington, D.C
10/11/02: Giving new meaning to "selling your body"
10/04/02: Bush's Angels
09/27/02: Conservatives, Liberals, Dick Armey and Barry Manilow
09/20/02: Are SUV drivers are the new GOPers?
09/13/02: Bubba is Dubya's man
09/06/02: The Freedom to Picnic
08/16/02: Ah, the $izzle of anti-terrorist pork
08/09/02: Vacationless prez and gutless Americans
07/26/02: Study gives women permission not to hide their emotions
07/15/02: Patriot food
06/28/02: Eavesdropping on a San Fran classroom
06/21/02: The crowded skies
06/14/02: Contemporary Father's Day: A conversation for the ages
06/07/02: Legal rights for animals?
05/19/02: Advice for prom goers this year: Hold onto your money
05/10/02: Don't take her for granted
05/03/02: Letter to the parents of a tubby teen
04/26/02: Zacarias Moussaoui gets expert legal advice

© 2003, Tom Purcell