One little word can make all the difference

kerry.jpgU.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., made waves last year when — at a campaign rally for flagging California guberantorial candidate Phil Angelides — he said that students who don’t study hard and get good grades “get stuck in Iraq.” What he clearly meant to say was “get US stuck in Iraq — a dig at President Bush’s average academic performance Yale, even though Kerry earned similar grades there — but Republicans quickly jumped on the comment as an insult to the troops, and damage was done.

Well, a single word’s omission came back to bite Kerry in the butt again this week, as U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., issued a statement praising Kerry, who’d just announced he’ll not run for president again in 2008. “From his earliest days in Vietnam to the Presidential Election in 2004, John Kerry has fought his country and his ideals,” Obama’s statement read.

“Fought FOR his country and his ideals?” Sure. But it’s kinda better this way, isn’t it?

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.