View Full Version : democratic frontrunner rocked by scandal

12th February 04, 11:54 PM

It's a rocky road to the White House


SENATOR John Kerry is discovering that the internet can be a false friend. A boon for party fundraising, it has also proved to be fertile ground for scandal.

Yesterday the internet journalist Matt Drudge aired rumours of a "recent" scandal in Mr Kerry’s personal life that would, if substantiated "rock Democrats" and throw the race for the party’s presidential nomination into chaos.

Mr Drudge suggested that the Kerry campaign could be crippled by the revelations and implied that his status as the all-but-certain nominee should no longer be taken for granted. Mr Drudge, who broke the story of Monica Lewinsky’s liaison with President Bill Clinton, reported that mainstream media outlets were investigating the story.

The words were carefully chosen.

"Intrigue surrounds a woman who recently fled the country, reportedly at the prodding of Kerry," the report said.

The site also claimed that General Wesley Clark told reporters this week "Kerry will implode over an intern issue" and added that the "Kerry commotion" could be the reason his rival, Howard Dean, reversed his decision to drop out of the race after next Tuesday’s presidential primary in Wisconsin.

The Dean camp immediately rejected that claim last night. But the former Vermont governor’s supporters were not so reticent. Hundreds of Dean supporters flooded the comments section of his official weblog with messages expressing their delight at Mr Drudge’s allegations. "Thank god for interns!" and "Go, Drudge Go". The Kerry campaign vehemently denied the allegations, with one source saying the report was "so patently false" and "without foundation".

Mr Kerry is merely the latest Democrat presidential candidate to be embroiled in rumour and scandal. History, however, suggests that such rumours, even if substantiated, need not necessarily derail his campaign. In 1992 stories of Mr Clinton’s affair with Gennifer Flowers broke during the primary season. However, after Mr Clinton and his wife Hillary appeared together on 60 Minutes and admitted that there had been problems in their marriage, Mr Clinton was able to rebound and claim second place in the New Hampshire primary.

Having been written off when the allegations about Ms Flowers were first published, Mr Clinton was able to portray himself as the "comeback kid" and left New Hampshire with more momentum than his rivals.

However, not all presidential candidates have been as fortunate to escape from scandal as Mr Clinton was. In 1988, Gary Hart’s campaign was destroyed by his affair with the actress Donna Rice. Mr Hart had been the front-runner for the party’s nomination when rumours of his infidelity surfaced. Mr Hart challenged reporters to "put a tail on me - you’ll be very bored". However, pictures soon surfaced showing Ms Rice sitting in Mr Hart’s lap onboard the yacht Monkey Business, and it emerged that the Colorado senator had ensconced the actress in a Washington DC townhouse. He withdrew from the contest, paving the way for Michael Dukakis, like Mr Kerry a Massachusetts liberal, to win the nomination, but not the presidency.

Other candidates, however, have been derailed by late-breaking stories that have led voters to question their judgment and character. Senator Edward Kennedy’s stuttering run for the presidency in 1980 never completely managed to shrug off stories surrounding his alleged involvement in the death by drowning of Mary-Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick in 1969. This is not the first time that rumours have circled around Mr Kerry. In 1998 the Boston Herald reported in its gossip column that what the paper called a "statuesque" blonde college student had been seen at Mr Kerry’s Boston townhouse late at night. The student said she was "dropping off her resume" having met Mr Kerry at a party in Martha’s Vineyard. The paper noted that Mr Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz-Kerry, was out of town, at the couple’s Nantucket residence that night.

Mrs Heinz-Kerry, who was married to the former Pennsylvania senator John Heinz before his death in a plane crash in 1991 and insisted on a pre- nuptial agreement before marrying Mr Kerry in 1995, told Elle magazine in an interview last year that she would not have handled marital infidelity as well as Mrs Clinton dealt with her husband’s extra-marital dalliances.

Mrs Heinz-Kerry added, however, that she had never had any reason to suspect either of her husbands of infidelity.


13th February 04, 12:04 AM
Donna Rice was hot.

WingChun Lawyer
13th February 04, 07:17 AM
I can´t believe that a democrat´s penis gets more attention than those WMD or Halliburton. My respect for the democracy in the USA is definitely running out.

13th February 04, 08:26 AM
Save the crocodile tears wingchun lawyer. It isn't getting more attention (at least not at this point) . WMD and Haliburton are every day topics in all of the mainstream and non-mainstream media outlets in the US. This Kerry "story" has appeared on one internet scandal-mongering site, albeit a popular one.

WingChun Lawyer
13th February 04, 08:32 AM
Not crocodile tears at all stuyboy. Good to hear that about WMD and Halliburtion coverage by the media. From an outsider´s point of view, it seemed that Mr. Bush had the media completely entranced (and we are not even talking about FOX).

13th February 04, 11:49 AM
I do HATE to post on a Kungfoolss thread, but I'll get over it.:rolleyes:

Julius Lester wrote many years ago (during Ronny Raygun era) about how it was a great idea for the president to be getting good head. If the president is looking forward to a wonderful blowjob, then he's less inclined to push the button. Raygun was the antithesis of this, of course.

13th February 04, 11:55 AM
heard about this on the radio, and this just adds support to my boy John Edwards

14th February 04, 01:48 AM
Good old Drudge, still wearing his hat as part of the right wing media echo chamber.

16th February 04, 01:40 PM
Heating up:

Woman Denies Rumors of Kerry Affair
41 minutes ago

By MATTHEW ROSENBERG, Associated Press Writer

NAIROBI, Kenya - A woman who has been the subject of rumors linking her to Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites) denied Monday that she ever had an affair with the Democratic presidential candidate.

Breaking her silence four days after the allegations surfaced on the Internet, Alexandra Polier issued a statement to The Associated Press, saying, "I have never had a relationship with Senator Kerry, and the rumors in the press are completely false."

Kerry already has denied reports that he had an extramarital affair. On Monday, his campaign said he would have no further comment.

Polier's statement was released to the AP in Nairobi, where the 27-year-old freelance journalist is visiting the parents of her fiance, Yaron Schwartzman, an Israeli who was raised in Kenya. She previously worked as an editorial assistant for the AP in New York.

"Whoever is spreading these rumors and allegations does not know me," Polier said, appealing to the media to respect her privacy and the privacy of her fiance and his family.

Polier also took issue with reports that referred to her as a former Kerry intern.

"I never interned or worked for John Kerry," she told AP over the phone.

In a separate statement, Polier's parents, Terry and Donna Polier of Malvern, Pa., dismissed the "completely false and unsubstantiated" allegations about their daughter.

"We love and support her 100 percent and these unfounded rumors are hurtful to our entire family," the statement said. "We appreciate the way Senator Kerry has handled the situation, and intend on voting for him for president of the United States."

The statement did not address purported quotes by Polier's parents in the British tabloid The Sun that were harshly critical of Kerry.

Kerry has won 14 of 16 Democratic primaries and caucuses, and is expected to be the Democratic challenger to President Bush (news - web sites) in November.

Rumors of a relationship between Kerry and Polier first appeared Thursday on the Internet and were picked up by newspapers in several countries outside the United States. Few U.S. publications printed her name, however.

Asked Friday about the reports, Kerry told reporters: "I just deny it categorically. It's rumor. It's untrue. And that's the last time I intend" to respond to questions about it.

Regarding her silence until now, Polier said, "Because these stories were false, I assumed the media would ignore them. It seems that efforts to peddle these lies continue, so I feel compelled to address them."

By Monday, reporters and photographers were camped outside the Schwartzmans' Nairobi home, and at one point pursued the car of Yaron's mother, Hannah Schwartzman, as she left the walled compound.

Polier and Yaron Schwartzman met at Columbia University. They arrived in Kenya last October.

Polier graduated from Clark University in Worcester, Mass., in 1999. She received her master's in journalism from Columbia in 2003.