Poor John Kerry.
After losing the presidency to George W. Bush in 2004 amid the wildly unpopular war in Iraq, this was supposed to be his moment.
This was supposed to be the moment where John Kerry would finally make the history books. Or, at least, make the history books for something other than losing the presidency to George W. Bush in the midst of a wildly unpopular war in Iraq, which, if you think about it, is a pretty remarkable feat.
This was also supposed to be John Kerry’s moment to accomplish something beyond his long, droning career in the United States Senate, where he is basically remembered for being the most insufferably pompous windbag among a pretty insufferably pompous crowd of windbags.
This was going to be his moment to finally pull the world peace rabbit out of the hat in the Middle East.
Reporting for duty as secretary of state, Kerry lustily got after it and soon found himself deeply in bed with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. The wooing of Mr. Zarif became so intense that even The New York Times noted the “duo’s unseemly ‘intimacy.'” Ick.
Mr. Zarif, of course, is fighting for the nuclear ambitions of the USA’s most ardent, sworn enemy that openly sponsors terrorism and vows to wipe us and our allies off the map. Not to mention that it is a barbaric theocracy that brutally represses and tortures women, minorities and gays.
Whatever. The price of peace, man.
Like so much in John Kerry’s career, it’s all a mirage in which he stars as the hero.
In the Senate, Mr. Kerry was known as “Live Shot” for his skill at hijacking TV cameras whenever it came time to take credit for accomplishments he may or may not have had anything to do with.
And, infamously, some of his fellow veterans in Vietnam accused him of similar antics, carrying along an 8 mm movie camera on his swift boat tours to capture his exploits.
And then, even more infamously, those same veterans questioned whether he deserved the Purple Hearts and other medals he got in Vietnam — and later supposedly threw away in an effort to garner even more attention for himself as a war protester.
His 2004 presidential campaign was much the same, an exhaustive, fraudulent exercise that painted him as some kind of hero.
The campaign snickered endlessly about how President Bush could not walk and chew gum. The campaign endlessly mocked Bush as some kind of stupid buffoon.
To show his youthful athletic prowess, Mr. Kerry skated in hockey games and windsurfed off Nantucket. For the cameras, of course.
And now we find out: The guy cannot even ride a bike without falling off and breaking his leg.
The Air Force had to dispatch a massive C-17 troop transport plane to Geneva to scoop up the whole broken mess and take the wounded Mr. Kerry home to Boston to be treated.
Watching the trails of engine exhaust curling off the wingtips of the C-17 as it lifted off, one could not help but wonder whether John Kerry, secretary of state, might not just put in for another Purple Heart.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter at @charleshurt.