John Kerry just an old fart at 80
As John Forbes Kerry turned 80 on Monday, the words of Louis Prima came to mind, from the song that serves as an epitaph for Liveshot’s lavish life.
“Just a Gigolo.”
“And there will come a day,” Prima crooned, “and youth will pass away/ What will they say about me?”
I know what I would say. First of all, I would mention what has made it all possible — his second wife’s first husband’s trust fund.
Then I would quote a few of his own most memorable statements over the years.
“I actually did vote for the 87 billion dollars before I voted against it.”
“Everybody knows I botched a joke.”
“I’m fascinated by rap and hip hop.”
So many punch lines, so little time. But on this solemn occasion, let us remember his greatest accomplishment. Most gigolos only make one major score in life. Then they go crazy, or drink themselves to death.
There’s an old saying about gigolos that applies to Kerry. He made his money the old-fashioned way. He married it.
But John Kerry did something that few, if any gigolos, have ever accomplished.
He married not one, but two heiresses worth perhaps a billion dollars between them. First Julia Thorn from the Main Line of Philadelphia, and then Teresa Heinz, herself a one-time gold digger who hunted down the heir to the Heinz ketchup fortune.
Living well is the best revenge, or so they say. And Kerry has long reveled in his private jets, and flitting from one yacht to another.
He’s had five mansions and never picked up a tab, not once. When he was inconvenienced by a fire hydrant outside his second wife’s first husband’s trust fund’s Louisburg Square mansion (a converted Episcopal nunnery) he simply had the fire plug removed.
If they put Kerry’s most memorable quote on his tombstone, it would have to be, “Do you know I am?”
Ultimately, though, the answer is yes, we all do know who you are. Which is why the end of “Just a Gigolo” is so appropriate to Kerry’s ultimate fate.
“When the end comes, I know, those were just a gigolo’s. Life goes on without me.”
As he rounds third, though, I recall most him is John Kerry, sportsman and sports fan.
He’s a hunter, you know. Remember how he recalled stalking something no one else has ever seen – a 24-point buck… on Cape Cod! Of course he couldn’t pull the trigger because… Vietnam.
In 2004, about to lose the presidential election, he bought a brand-new, starched hunting jacket. He wore it into a general store in southern Ohio and said to the local yokels:
“Can I get me a hunting license here?”
Because, you know, that’s the people those people talk.
When he was videotaped windsurfing off Nantucket in 2004, Kerry explained that he usually went out with some of the island “tradesmen,” because you know that’s the kind of man of the people that John Forbes Kerry is.
During the 2004 campaign, a runners’ magazine wanted to do a puff piece on him. So he claimed he once ran the Boston Marathon – but couldn’t remember the year. The only guy who ever ran the Marathon who couldn’t recall the year….
A motorcycle magazine interviewed him. Did he try to win votes in Wisconsin by rhapsodizing about his Harley, or claim to be an everyman by mentioning his reliable, affordable Kawasaki?
No, he bragged about his imported Italian Ducati. How John Kerry was it?
Kerry was even more clueless when he tried to portray himself as a Red Sox fan.
In the 2004 campaign, at campaign events, he would read off the scores from the pennant race:
“Detroit 3, Red Sox 5!”
It’s a baseball game, Senator, not a tennis match!
He claimed he loved going to Fenway Park and in the seventh inning singing “Sweet Adeline.” Not Sweet Caroline, Sweet Adeline. He mispronounced Manny Ortiz’s name.
Kerry also claimed to be a lifelong Boston fan. Yet another Democrat operative with a press pass asked him who his favorite player was as a kid.
Talk about a no-brainer. Ted Williams, duh. Hell, even Warren Spahn of the old Braves. Another Hall of Famer.
Kerry, though, answered Roy Sievers. Sievers was a damn good player, all right, but he played for the Washington Senators. Of course Sievers was Kerry’s favorite player – Kerry wasn’t really from here, he was from D.C. His father was a State Department lifer.
On this special birthday, it is worth noting that among Kerry’s fellow politicians, the ones who saw through him most quickly were those who came from real hard-scrabble backgrounds.
On election night 1972, President Richard Nixon took time out from savoring his 49-state landslide to make calls to make sure that Paul Cronin was stopping Liveshot from being elected to Congress from Lowell.
At his annual St. Patrick’s Day breakfast, Billy Bulger used to slowly repeat his initials:
“JFK – Just for Kerry,” he would say. “You know, he’s only Irish every sixth year.”
When the first Gulf War started, Kerry prepared two letters to send out to his constituents. If you were for the war, Kerry would send you a letter saying he too was for the conflict. If you were against the war, so was he.
One constituent in Newton got both letters. They ended up in the paper.
“It was touch and go for a while there with Senator Kerry,” Bulger said.
“He couldn’t make up his mind which side he was on.”
And now he’s 80. No one’s seen Teresa Heinz for a long time, but it’s probably too late for Kerry to make one final play for billionairess Taylor Swift this weekend at Patriots Stadium.
So instead, in his dotage, on the back nine, Kerry continues his public service, and all he asks in return is a private jet to attend this week’s latest climate conference in some sunny place for shady people.
Last week he was in Dubai trying to break new ground when suddenly he… broke wind. There was no question who cut the cheese, or should I say fromage, to use his native tongue.
Kerry was thundering about “those things that are killing people on a daily basis when suddenly a sound was heard… can somebody say emissions or greenhouse gases.”
The crowd began cheering. Could there be a more accurate exclamation point for Kerry’s career?
The New York Post wrote an editorial about the Forbes flatulence. The headline in the print edition was: “A Conference of Farts.”
And now he’s 80. The headline should have been “A Conference of Old Farts.”
Louis Prima asked for all gigolos: What will they say about me?
For John Kerry, the answer is, “P.U.”