Remember this “outrage” from the 2004 campaign?
Presidential candidate John Kerry (search) launched into damage control Thursday afternoon after angering Vice President Cheney (search) and his family and alienating some voters by mentioning that Cheney’s daughter, Mary, is gay.
“I love my daughters. They love their daughter. I was trying to say something positive about the way strong families deal with this issue,” Kerry said in a statement released from the campaign trail in Las Vegas. Kerry was there to speak to the AARP, the nation’s largest organization for seniors. First lady Laura Bush had addressed the crowd earlier.
But the remarks may have come too late for the vice president and second lady Lynne Cheney (search). Cheney told supporters at a rally in Fort Myers, Fla., that the Massachusetts senator stepped over the line.
“You saw a man who will do and say anything to get elected, and I am not just speaking as a father here, although I am a pretty angry father,” Cheney said.
But in a post-debate appearance Wednesday night, Lynne Cheney could no longer hold her silence about the repeated mention of her daughter’s sexuality.
“Now, you know, I did have a chance to assess John Kerry once more and now the only thing I could conclude: This is not a good man,” she told a crowd of 800 debate-watchers in a Pittsburgh suburb. “Of course, I am speaking as a mom, and a pretty indignant mom. This is not a good man. What a cheap and tawdry political trick.”
Yes, how dare he mention Mary Cheney’s orientation, when she was a) out, b) an official in the Bush Administration, and c) the issue of marriage equality was under debate across the country. The weirdest thing about that whole episode from the 2004 campaign is that while the Cheneys made quite a good show of being extraordinarily pissed off, they never explained why they were angry. Nor did anyone in the lapdog media ever ask why they were angry. Apparently just mention Mary Cheney’s name and the word “lesbian” in the same sentence and their heads pop. Crazy.
Was that not the strangest thing ever? I remember a week of discussion about this, and it was always on the Republican side of the argument: how dare he. How could he. The nerve! I still don’t get how they get away with this stuff, those conservatives on the right who are both pro-and anti- everything, depending on which audience they’re speaking to. They are like freaking shape-shifters, morphing into whatever ideological mold is politically convenient at the time. And the media just laps it all up.
It’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen.
Anyway, with that in mind, I hesitate to mention that Mary Cheney married her longtime partner Heather Poe on Friday. I’d say mazel tov but I don’t want Dick and Lynne Cheney coming after me. How dare I!