Who can forget this golden moment from Iowa ’04 (note bird dog running away from direction Senator Kerry is shooting), or a similar event that had John Kerry marching out of the Ohio woods in fatigues, a 12-gauge in his hand? I hate to make fun of the Senator, who probably did have some idea of how to handle a rifle based on his time in Vietnam, but those attempts to woo NRA types and Second Amendment apologists were, pardon my language, fucking lame.
I can almost guarantee that Kerry’s stunts lost him more votes than he gained. They pissed off vegetarians, and stunk of desperation.
Don’t get me wrong, though I would probably prefer a president who got no joy from shooting things, I am not going to withhold my vote solely because a candidate is a real I-stalk-it-I-shoot-it-and-I-eat-it hunter (to contrast with the “Dick Cheney, I go to a prestocked ranch, get drunk, and shoot my pal” school). I do think twice, however, when a candidate obviously panders—especially when it’s to a constituency that likely won’t vote for him or her anyway.
So, I am hoping that what seemed like a throw-away moment from Thursday night’s Democratic candidates’ debate bodes well for the anti-pandering set—at least when it comes to guns:
Mrs. Clinton was one of three senators who did not raise their hands when asked if they had, as an adult, had a gun in their home; the others were Mr. Obama and Mr. Edwards.
If any of these three show up in the Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, Nevada (?), or South Carolina woods wearing starchy new LL Bean camo and a shit-eating grin, carrying a shotgun and a dead bird, however, don’t just chalk me up as disappointed, chalk up that candidate’s goose as cooked.
Labels: 2004 election, 2008 election, Barak Obama, debates, Democrats, gun violence, Hillary Clinton, Iowa, John Edwards, John Kerry, NRA, Ohio, Second Amendment, Vietnam