Kerry: Rich and Privileged; Bush: Salt of the Earth Everyman
PICKLER: After a week of campaigning for the less fortunate, John Kerry went on vacation with the fabulously wealthy.
Kerry is a rich man who promotes the Democratic ideal that government should do more to help the poor. He moves between both worlds, spending the past week traveling to downtrodden places like South-side Columbus, Ohio, and the affluent island playground of Nantucket.
Not since President Kennedy have Democrats been prepared to nominate a man of such riches. President Clinton didn’t own a home until he left the White House and President Carter was a peanut farmer. Both grew up poor in the South, as did President Johnson before them.
Kerry was educated at boarding school in Europe, prep school in New England and at Yale. He married two wealthy women and his second wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, is heir to the $500 million Heinz food fortune.
Like Kerry, President Bush is a Yale graduate who has benefited from his wealth and family connections. But Bush spends his down time trying to be more of an everyman, preferring to spend vacations at his Texas ranch clearing brush.
“Most Americans don’t sit in Martha’s Vineyard, swilling white wine,” he said at the ranch two years ago.
Somerby adds, “inevitably, you’ll think we made this up.” I checked and, sadly, he did not.