The truth about John Kerry's sports flubs.

The stadium scene.
Sept. 28 2004 2:53 PM

Fumble on the Kerry

The truth about John Kerry's sports flubs.

(Continued from Page 1)

A few Web sites (scroll down to "Kerry's Dumb Comment") have noted that Dowd's column was the first print reference to "Who among us doesn't like NASCAR?" All subsequent quotes, including four in the Times, seem to stem from it. Dowd wasn't at the event where Kerry supposedly said "Who among us ... " She learned about it in a casual conversation with Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg, who said Kerry said it on Feb. 17 at a union rally in Milwaukee.

What Kerry actually said at that rally was "There isn't one of us here who doesn't like NASCAR and who isn't a fan." Because of the roundabout way in which the quote got into print, it didn't get the normal vetting, i.e., playing back the tape. Stolberg now says it's possible that she made a mistake and that Kerry never said "who among us."

Advertisement

The Kerry campaign, though, can hardly cry foul, having helped create the intense competition over the "First Fan" title. Once you get the full context, Kerry seems to know more about sports than the Football Fans for Truth would have you believe, but less than a seasoned candidate should. For instance, Kerry's full NASCAR line might not have included "who among us," but it wasn't nearly as sharp as the president's cheesehead barb:

This president went to Florida just the other day to start the NASCAR races. There isn't one of us here who doesn't like NASCAR and who isn't a fan, but I'll tell you what. Instead of just saying "Gentlemen start you engines," and during that race listening and looking at a race while 350 manufacturing jobs were lost, $171 million was added to the deficit of our country. ...

I'll stop there. The only way that paragraph evokes NASCAR is how it circles around and around, begging for a caution flag. Kerry can show off that he knows his way around a ski slope or a gun range, but Bush has the vernacular and the stats to prove that he's a true team-sports aficionado. Kerry should give up and let Bush retain the title of Armchair Quarterback in Chief. Or maybe he could just end the debate with "one of us traded Sammy Sosa, please vote accordingly."

TODAY IN SLATE

Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Uh-Oh. The World’s Oceans Have Broken Their All-Time Heat Record.

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company

Food

How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

The NFL Should Lose Its Tax-Exempt Status, Which It Never Should Have Had Anyway

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
Moneybox
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 18 2014 6:52 PM Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters  Colorado Democrats and Republicans are testing theories for reaching women that will resonate far beyond the Rocky Mountains.  
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
Outward
Sept. 18 2014 4:15 PM Reactions to a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Reveal Transmisogyny
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.