Skip to comments.Kerry and Barry in 2004
Posted on 06/14/2004 7:16:09 AM PDT by Valin
With summer starting and November virtually around the corner, the time has come for John Kerry to finally choose his running mate.
A lot of suggestions for possible choices are being bandied about. Some Democrats are pushing for Senator John "there goes tort reform" Edwards. Others, who were apparently comatose or heavily medicated throughout the entire Democratic nomination battle, are high on General Wesley Clark. Personally, though, I think everyone's missing the freshest and most intriguing choice of all: former Washington, D.C. mayor Marion Barry.
Now, I know Barry's not exactly a conventional choice. Most presidential candidates favor running mates who have federal political experience rather than federal penitentiary experience.
But Barry could prove the exception given what he has to offer the Kerry campaign. He is, first of all, politically indestructible. How many other politicians can boast getting caught smoking crack on an FBI videotape, then capping off a prison sentence by being elected mayor for a fourth term? Even spin master Bill Clinton had to pretend he didn't inhale.
What is more, Barry would provide a good plebeian balance to Kerry's rather patrician image. Campaign literature could highlight this difference by featuring pictures of the two men: Kerry sitting by the fireplace sipping sherry and puffing on a pipe, Barry sitting in a strip bar taking cash under the table and puffing on a crack pipe. It would be a genius way to reach out to a number of different constituencies at once. And all those critics accusing the Kerry campaign of being too upper crust and white bread would finally have to eat their words.
Barry would also be an asset to the Kerry campaign in the pre-election debates because he has a knack for putting a positive spin on even the most negative information. He is, you may recall, the man who pointed out, "If you take out the killings, Washington actually has a very, very low crime rate." He was similarly upbeat when questioned about the size of his security entourage. "People have criticized me because my security detail is larger than the President's," he said. "But you must ask yourself: are there more people who want to kill me than who want to kill the president? I can assure you there are." You just can't argue with logic like that.
Finally, Kerry and Barry would make a good pair for the simple reason that their names rhyme. Kerry and Barry. Kind of like a comedy team, only not funny.
Actually, it's a wonder more candidates don't make use of this snappy-sounding name-pair strategy. Given that many Americans have trouble remembering who the Vice President is, let alone who's running to overtake him (oh, don't look so shocked, 80 percent of the population failed to notice when Dick Cheney spent most of 2001 in a bunker), having a catchy sounding ticket could make all the difference in making a lasting impression on the electorate.
But isn't Marion Barry finished, you may be wondering? Hasn't he retired from politics, given up the game, called it a day?
The answer, to the amazement of everyone except the residents of D.C.'s Ward 8, is no. Okay, so he had a slight setback in 2002 when park police found crack and marijuana in his car. But Barry's never been one to let a little thing like illegal narcotics stop him. Only the day before yesterday, he announced that he is running for D.C. city council again. So, he's obviously still raring to go, or at least willing to fake it, which tends to work just as well in these situations.
Really, the only thing left to do is to convince John Kerry that Marion Barry is his man. And I don't think this should be hard to do.
If Kerry's half as vain as he's rumored to be, he'll welcome the chance to pose beside a running mate several years his senior. It'll make him look spry and youthful. This, in turn, will save him a bundle on cosmetic procedures.
Kerry is also a savvy enough politician to realize that with all the attention recently focused on Ronald Reagan's funeral and the ensuing retrospectives about the golden years of the Gipper's Republican rule, Kerry has lost some political ground. But Barry can help here too. After all, as Barry once explained of himself, "I am clearly more popular than Reagan. I am in my third term. Where's Reagan? Gone after two! Defeated by George Bush and Michael Dukakis no less."
Yes, pretty soon it'll be all over the news: Kerry and Barry in 2004.
Just remember, you heard it here first.
Marni Soupcoff's column appears on Monday at TAEmag.com
Time again for Great Marion Barry Quotes:
"The contagious people of Washington have stood firm against diversity during this long period of increment weather." -- M. Barry, Mayor of Washington, DC
"I promise you a police car on every sidewalk." -- M. Barry, Mayor of Washington, DC
"If you take out the killings, Washington actually has a very very low crime rate." -- M. Barry, Mayor of Washington, DC
"First, it was not a strip bar, it was an erotic club. And second, what can I say? I'm a night owl." -- M. Barry, Mayor of Washington, DC
"Bitch set me up." -- M. Barry, Mayor of Washington, DC
"I am clearly more popular than Reagan. I am in my third term. Where's Reagan? Gone after two! Defeated by George Bush and Michael Dukakis no less." -- M. Barry, Mayor of Washington, DC
"The laws in this city are clearly racist. All laws are racist. The law of gravity is racist." -- M. Barry, Mayor of Washington, DC
"I am making this trip to Africa because Washington is an international city, just like Tokyo, Nigeria or Israel. As mayor, I am an international symbol. Can you deny that to Africa?" -- M. Barry, Mayor of Washington, DC
"People have criticized me because my security detail is larger than the president's. But you must ask yourself: are there more people who want to kill me than who want to kill the president? I can assure you there are." -- M. Barry, Mayor of Washington, DC
"The brave men who died in Vietnam, more than 100% of which were black, were the ultimate sacrifice." -- M. Barry, Mayor of Washington, DC
"I read a funny story about how the Republicans freed the slaves. The Republicans are the ones who created slavery by law in the 1600's. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves and he was not a Republican." -- M. Barry, Mayor of Washington, DC
"What right does Congress have to go around making laws just because they deem it necessary?" -- M. Barry, Mayor of Washington, DC
"People blame me because these water mains break, but I ask you, if the water mains didn't break, would it be my responsibility to fix them then? WOULD IT!?!" -- M. Barry, Mayor of Washington, DC
"I am a great mayor; I am an upstanding Christian man; I am an intelligent man; I am a deeply educated man; I am a humble man." -- M. Barry, Mayor of Washington, DC
Was Barry convicted of a felony? Would that not preclude his running? Aside from the mere fact to suggest this is absurd.
Are those for real?!?!
Those are absolutely priceless.
Yes, Kerry pick Barry for VP. The guy is a super quote machine! Hahahaha...
Although many of these quotes are somewhat related to things Marion Barry has said or done during his long tenure in public service, only a few are authentic: During a 23 March 1989 speech to the National Press Club, Barry did claim that, aside from the increase in homicides, the District of Columbia actually had a low crime rate; talking to reporters after his 1988 traffic accident, Barry did aver that he was a "night owl,"; and after being nabbed by FBI agents for smoking crack with a female companion, Barry did protest: "Goddamn setup . . . I'll be goddamn . . . bitch set me up." Barry has been criticized for the size of his security detail, and a 1997 recall movement was prompted in part by the city's slow response to broken water mains, but there is no record of Barry's having made the ridiculous statements cited above in response to these controversies.
barry's campaign slogan will be " drug coverage for everyone!"
Some people look at the world and say why. Marion Barry looks at the world and says...where's my crack pipe?
Now is the time, Berry Kerry 04!
Kerry and Barry, perfect together. To paraphrase another low life politician named Kean.
Go Berry Go!
I thought Sore Loserman was a pretty snappy-sounding name pair.
Would that not preclude his running?
Somewhat suprised by this. In the private sector a felony conviction will preclude your hiring. As a politician, I guess it is considered a skill..
George W. Bush will be reelected by a margin of at least ten per cent
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