Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 15, 2004
POLITICS: Dated, Dean, Married Kerry . . . Then What?
Looks like the "did John Kerry cheat on his wife?" story isn't going anywhere at the moment, after peaking with cover stories in the NY tabloids on Saturday. . . which is as it should be; sure, Kerry could be lying to us, but he's now unequivocally denied the story (such as it is), and all the "evidence" is unsourced hearsay speculation. The man's entitled to the benefit of the doubt. I'm not ready to declare the story an unsubstantiated smear until we see if Drudge comes up with anything else, but until he does, we should presume that Kerry has been faithful to his second wife.
Which is not to say that the picture of Kerry's family life is entirely flattering. Remember all the howls of derision from the Left at Newt Gingrich having served divorce papers on his wife while she lay sick in the hospital? NewsMax commented on this last spring (based on reporting done in this Joe Klein article in the New Yorker):
[T]he press has been far kinder to Democratic presidential front-runner John Kerry, who, according to published accounts going back more than a decade, began extricating himself from his first marriage to Philadelphia heiress Julia Thorne at the same time she was battling a case of depression so debilitating that it drove her to the brink of suicide.
NewsMax notes that Kerry wrote to the New Yorker to complain about the article, although it doesn't address whether he actually disputed any of the facts in Klein's article . . . again, the picture of a man's character is broader than any one incident, and there have been good presidents before who had pretty ugly personal lives. But it's something to consider. Anyway, don't hold your breath waiting for the people who mocked Gingrich to come down hard on Kerry.