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Friday, August 13, 2004

French Kiss of Death?

Do you recognize the tall fellow in the center of the picture? The one with the long face and pointy chin posing with his family in front of the Capitol?

While he looks like he could be Senator John Kerry's younger brother, he's actually a Republican Senator from Oregon, Gordon Smith.

Compare their faces...were they separated at birth?

According to the Los Angeles Times, Smith attacked Kerry yesterday for looking and acting French:
"It's not John Kerry's fault that he looks French," Smith told reporters on the conference call arranged by the Bush campaign.

"But it is his fault that he wants to pursue policies that have us act like the French."
Smith then said some something silly about Kerry's policies promoting "additional socialism at home" and "appeasement abroad." These guys sure learned their Nixonian/John Birch Society lessons well, eh?

Does anyone really think that Americans are going to reject Kerry on the grounds of "creeping socialism" even as the Bush administration runs around bragging about its giant Medicare plan?

In any case, I got to looking around for information about Smith and naturally thought, what could be more French than traveling to France and working with the French (or Francophiles)?

For the record, in Oregon, Smith's former staffer Goli Ameri is trying to get elected to the House of Representatives. Her campaign bio brags that she "studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, France" and "is fluent in French."

I wonder if Smith taunts Ameri about her French-ness?

Smith himself traveled to France as recently as June.

On May 8, 2001, Smith participated in a policy roundtable on "U.S.-France Global Dialogue" at the Center on the United States and France. It was cosponsored by the French American Foundation.

On December 3, 2003, Smith introduced Jean-David Levitte, Ambassador of France to the US, when the latter spoke in Maryland at the 26th Festival of Lights. Since this latter event is associated with the Mormon Church, which is Smith's faith, I presume the Senator helped arrange the French Ambassador's appearance. After all, ambassadors or spouses from 55 countries were represented and the French ambassador was chosen to deliver the keynote address for the occasion.

According to news reports of the event, Smith declared "France was this country"s first ally." He also noted the importance of France to the President of the Church of Latter Day Saints. The ceremony serves as a "diplomatic bridge-builder for the church."

Smith is a former Chair of the Senate European Affairs Subcommittee and undoubtedly formed close bonds with all sorts of European appeasers and socialists.

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