The nice people at GQ sent us a copy of Michael Crowley‘s “hit piece” on John Kerry, referenced earlier on Fishbowl and the subject of a Lowdown showdown between Kerry’s press secretary David Wade and Crowley, who, inter alia, he accused of drinking Chardonnay.
Well, it’s no mystery why Wade is upset: the 3,770-word piece definitely doesn’t do Kerry any favors, though Crowley makes a good case for why Kerry isn’t doing the Democrats any favors (and also has definite opinions on whether Kerry did Kerry any favors). To wit:
But Kerry — who Democrats almost unanimously say is keenly interested in running for president again in 2008 — keeps reminding people of the bad old days, when the country had a choice and chose Bush.
Ouch. Speaking of choices, Kerry is apparently not first on many true-blue lists:
When asked in a November NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey whom they would support in the 2008 primaries, Kerry was Democratic voters’ fourth choice. Hillary Clinton blew everyone away with 41 percent. Kerry’s former running mate, John Edwards, got 14 percent. Even Al Gore, who’s almost surely not running, tallied 12 percent. Kerry? He clocked in at a measly 10 percentâ€”lower even than the number of people who said they deï¬nitely would not vote for him again in the next Democratic primary.
So yes, Crowley makes a good, and thorough, case — more so than Wade, whose gossip-page bluster looks even emptier after reading the piece. “You read GQ to pick suits and ties, not to pick a commander-in-chief,” he says — yet Wade was a pretty enthusiastic participant in the article, in which Wade is pretty extensively quoted and consulted (Crowley did not speak to Kerry, though a request was made). Also, over at the MediaMob Matt Haber unearths a reference to a September 2004 GQ interview with Kerry in which the Senator claimed to “love” GQ and always have it “around the house.” Not the brightest moment in flackery, especially since it bespeaks the absence of an actual substantive comeback.
It’s an excellent, well-written article (and even makes Kerry’s boringness less boring), and will no doubt be bandied about in the blogosphere when it is released. Crowley gets extra points for including a Harry Potter reference, quoting a media strategist as saying “People inside the Beltway want him to, like they say in Harry Potter’s world, disappearate.” It is with great sorrow, however, that Fishbowl adds its own hit to the hit piece, because we couldn’t help but instantly catch the error: it’s disapparate, Crowley. Disapparate.
Otherwise, great story! Fifty points to Gryffindor.
John Kerry Has Fallen…And Keeps Getting Up [GQ via Style.com]
GQ gives its read on Kerry, and it doesn’t suit him [NYDN]
Kerry Takes Nuanced Stance on GQ [MediaMob]
Media Minutiae: Crowley on Kerry [FBNY]