Cash ‘n’ Kerry (Patriots Playoff Edition)

January 15, 2013

So there was Sen. John Kerry (D-Am I Secretary of State Yet?) at Gillette Stadium rubbing elbows in the owner’s box with Robert Kraft and, presumably, girlfriend Ricki Noel Landed – sorry, Lander – and rubbing etc. on the field with Bill Belichick.

Clearly this called for some scrutiny by the local dailies and, true to form, they dug right in.

The Boston Globe’s Glen Johnson went this way (web only):

DownloadedFileStaff says John Kerry paid fair market value for tickets in Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s suite

The CBS Sports cameras made their traditional game-day pan of the owner’s box at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, catching not just Robert Kraft but also one of his highly recognizable guests: Senator John Kerry.

That prompted instant questions about how Kerry ended up in such rarified air, and whether the secretary of state-to-be paid his fair share to attend.

His staff insists he did.


To the tune of a whopping $191 – “what the team determined to be fair market value .”


Meanwhile, the Boston Herald’s Track Gals (without Megan!) went this way:

W4ST8035.JPGReaders real sports about John Kerry’s Bill blitz

So you think you’re pret-tay, pret-tay funny, don’t you?

Our request yesterday for an amusing caption for this photo of Sen.John Kerry bear-hugging Patriots coach Bill Belichick on the sidelines before the AFC semifinal at Gillette Stadium was met with a few funnies.

We’re partial to one sent in via Twitter by political strategist 
@Jake1839, who imagined the secretary of state-in-waiting whispering into BB’s ear, “I’m gonna need defense advice when I get to Washington.”



As we said, true to form.

Local Dailies Kerry On with Senate Speculation

December 16, 2012

It’s no secret that the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald inhabit entirely different political landscapes here in the Bay State.

Exhibit Umpteen: Their respective takes on who might succeed Sen. John Kerry (D-Reporting for Due-ty) if he gets what is widely regarded as a well-deserved nod for Secretary of State.

From Saturday’s Boston Globe piece by Glen Johnson:

A number of US House members, including Representatives Edward J. Markey and Michael Capuano, are also possible Democratic candidates in a special election.


From Friday’s much more expansive Boston Herald column by Howie Carr:

Picture 2


That’s what you now see when you try to access the Herald website. Except none of the links – Full Site, Basic Mobile Site, Get App – actually link (at least not at 1:39 Saturday morning).

Luckily, the hardtyping staff is one of the Herald’s up to 17 home delivery subscribers, so we can tell you that this is what Carr wrote:

Let’s go down the congressional list. Ed Markey’s wanted this seat since 1984, but he could never risk his safe seat, lest he lose and starve to death. One of his only jobs in the Dreaded Private Sector was driving an ice cream truck. Now Mr. Frosty will have a free shot.

Ditto, Mike Capuano. He’s morphed from an unrepentant Somerville hack into a twitchy, MoveOn mouthbreather. Remember his exhortations to his union thugs on the Common about spilling a little blood?


The hardguessing staff anticipates more than a little blood in what looks like an inevitable Senate bakeoff.

Today’s the Day the Chinstrokers Have Their Picnic

October 12, 2012

Two local dailies, two different worlds of vice presidential debate post mortems. At the Boston Herald, it was joltin’ Joe time.

First up, Howie Carr:

Joe Biden makes case for . . . term limits

Hey Joe Biden, what’s so funny?

The only real takeaway from this debate is we really need term limits for politicians. Joe Biden was first elected to the Senate in 1972 at age 30. Somewhere around 1992, he should have had to go out and get a real job.

Nothing like having to answer to a boss to make you a little more humble. What’s up with the smirking? It seemed like Clint Eastwood was back up on stage, this time in character from “Gran Torino.”

“Get off my lawn!”

Not to mention don’t sit in my chair.

Next, Holly Robichaud:

Off-the-rails VP a boost for Paul Ryan

OMG. Vice President Joe Biden was an embarrassment not only to the Democrat ticket, but also for the country.

Clearly he was attempting to make up for the inadequate performance of President Obama by attacking Paul Ryan’s every syllable.

He overcompensated with the phony laugh and the constant interruption. It was hard to get over Biden’s wild-eyed look to hear what he was saying. The best word to describe his performance is: unhinged.

Wow. Not sure Holly’s all that hinged herself.

Even though it was two-on-one, Margery Eagan managed to hold her own with this minority report:

Goofy Joe Biden gets the job done

Joe Biden, the 69-year-old granddad best known for his gaffes and goofs, committed conduct unbecoming a vice president last night. He mocked Paul Ryan. He grinned and laughed too much. It was dismissive and annoying. It reminded me of Al Gore’s exasperated, exaggerated sighs at George W. Bush . . .

But good ol’ Joe did what Obama needed him to do. He attacked Ryan’s facts repeatedly (“With all due respect, you’re full of malarkey”). And he had a far better abortion answer for pro-choice women. (“I refuse to impose (my pro-life personal views) on others, unlike my friend here, the congressman,” who would criminalize abortion.)

Biden bought his boss some time. Panicked, demoralized Democrats can only hope Obama shows a quarter of Biden’s fight at his next debate.

Panicked, demoralized Democrats can also check out the Boston Globe, where Biden got a more modulated (read: less rapid) welcome from the chinstrokers.

Start with Derrick Jackson:

Is Biden’s performance enough to stop the slide?


With so much of Thursday night’s vice presidential debate centered on foreign policy, incumbent Joe Biden had a clear path to victory. His depth of knowledge separated him from Republican challenger Paul Ryan. The cheers at a Hampton Democratic Committee viewing party were ample evidence that Biden said much of what these Democrats had wanted to hear from President Obama last week.

So we’ll take that as a yes.

Tom Keane issued a split decision:

Biden on policy, Ryan on style

In theory, vice presidential debates shouldn’t matter that much — only 18 percent in a recent Rasmussen Poll said it would be “very important” to their vote — and that’s the way it should be. Neither guy, one hopes, will be president and the basic task of each is to demonstrate, if disaster strikes, that he would be up to the job. Biden has proven before that he would be, and Thursday night Ryan seemed competent on a national stage.

Yet this particular debate did matter and especially for Biden. He had to stem the Mitt Romney surge that over the last week has remade this race. He may have helped slow it, but probably it hasn’t been reversed.

So we’ll take that as a draw.

And just for fun, we’ll throw in this Glen Johnson analysis:

Paul Ryan shows he is no pushover in debate

Presidential campaigns are akin to gestational periods, with months of campaigning giving voters time to slowly form their impressions of a candidate.

Against that backdrop, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin stepped onto likely his biggest stage yet on Thursday night and showed an American electorate still getting to know the Republican vice presidential nominee that he is no pushover.

In a contentious 90-minute debate with Vice President Joe Biden, Ryan engaged in a frontal assault on a politician nearly three decades his elder. And he didn’t cower even when the discussion started with and kept coming back to foreign affairs – a supposed weakness for an economic policy wonk like him and strength for a former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee like his opponent.

So we’ll take that as an okay, and leave it at that.


Rakin’ Akin Edition

August 24, 2012

Missouri Senate hopeless Todd Akin (R-Legitimate Rape) is the rift that keeps on on riving.

From yesterday’s Boston Herald:

Gail Huff touts Scott Brown’s independent spirit

Elizabeth Warren’s attempts to link Scott Brown to the rumpus over U.S. Rep. Todd Akin’s polarizing statements on rape will work to his advantage by distinguishing him from his own party’s anti-abortion platform, the U.S. senator’s wife said yesterday.

“I think it’s a gift to Scott because once again it shows that he’s an independent-minded man that’s not going to follow the doctrine or the dictation of anyone else, including his own party,” said Gail Huff, who is on leave from her television reporting job to campaign for her husband.

“He has two daughters, 24 and 21 years old. He understands better than anyone how important it is that women have the right to make their own decisions. …Here’s another example where he stood up to his party and said, ‘You know what, you’re wrong.’”

(Web video along the same lines here.)

The New York Times, which is sort of the fifth Beatle of the Boston newspaper scene, was even more lovey-dovey:

[Mr. Brown] was the first Republican senator to call on Mr. Akin to quit his race for the Senate. As Mr. Brown told a group of women here on Tuesday, he was feeling a little heady from the experience.

“Gail and I were laying in bed last night and talking a little bit, as we do every night,” he said, “and I said: ‘Honey, can you imagine? Here I am, Scott Brown from Wrentham, and I’ve got a truck that’s got 238,000 miles on it and, you know, something like this comes up and I’m the first guy in the country to even bring it up and tell the guy to step down,’ ” Mr. Brown said.

Yeah . . . except he wasn’t.

From the Boston Globe:

[Brown] spoke out less than 24 hours after Akin made his comment, under an hour after Romney condemned it during an interview with the National Review, and 15 minutes after President Obama ventured into the White House Briefing Room to declare that the American people disagreed with the Missouri congressman.

That’s par for the course for Brown (R-Papaya King), who routinely overstates his routine accomplishments.

File under: What else is new?


Globe Rips Off Herald Edition

August 6, 2012

From Glen Johnson’s Boston Sunday Globe Political Intelligence column (headline: “Warren draws criticism over comment on Wall St. Support”):

Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Warren, a proud champion of the middle class, nonetheless claimed support from the very same Wall Street crowd she so frequently targets for criticism.

“Every now and again, I meet with someone who’s been very successful on Wall Street, who says, ‘I want to support your campaign because I believe you will save capitalism,’ ” Warren said during an interview with the National Journal’s Jim O’Sullivan published July 29.

By Monday, the comment was pinging around the Internet and Twittersphere, accompanied by a fairly snarky reaction.

Pinging around the Internet and Twittersphere?


Warren’s quote was Page One of the Boston Herald last Tuesday, as the hardreading staff duly noted:

Elizabeth Warren Saves Capitalism Edition

U.S. Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren (D-Capital!) kicked off her Wall Street waltz with this quote in National Journal, according to Hillary Chabot in yesterday’s Boston Herald:

“Every now and again, I meet with someone who’s been very successful on Wall Street, who says, ‘I want to support your campaign because I believe you will save capitalism. I believe in capitalism, and I understand there have to be rules. And they have to be consistently enforced.’ ”

That earned Warren this front page photo in the feisty local tabloid:


More from Johnson’s piece:

That prompted Warren to backpedal . . . as she made a campaign stop in Somerville.

“I passed along a comment that was over the top, and it was silly for me to do so,” she told reporters. Warren repeated the statement to each question on the topic.


Old news, Glen – not to mention unattributed.


[Last Wednesday’s] Herald had not one, but two columns (conveniently side-by-side) whacking Warren for the walkback, among other things.

First up, Joe Battenfeld:

Warren’s cop-out may represent a turning point in her campaign, because it’s the first time she’s actually disavowed something in such record speed.

But don’t expect Warren to go all silly on us. She is still claiming American Indian heritage, and that she created “much of the intellectual foundation” for Occupy. And she still claims she’s the sheriff who cleaned up Wall Street, despite what a few “over the top” executives may say.

Next up, Howie Carr:

How does Granny Warren do it? I mean, do you know how much time it must take, saving capitalism and simultaneously providing the “intellectual foundations” of Occupy Wall Street, which wanted to destroy capitalism?

Talk about keeping balls in the air. She’s both an Indian and “Okie to her toes.”

C’mon, Globe editors – and Glen. Credit where credit’s due, eh?