This time Trump has gone too far.
He has made fun of Carly Fiorina’s face and sneered at Mexicans, aiming at the angry white male. Now he has taken on John Kerry for committing the federal crime of riding a bicycle as a septuagenarian.
“They have no respect for our president, they have no respect for John Kerry, who falls off bicycles at 73 in the middle of a negotiation that’s very important,” Trump said in August. He paraphrased it Monday night, again criticizing the Iran nuclear treaty.
Of course, Trump exaggerated Kerry’s age. Said he was 73. In fact, Kerry is 71. Take it from a far lesser cyclist who tumbled on sand, every year counts while pedaling uphill
More to the point, Trump has once again pandered to the know-nothing set, this time in Dallas, making fun of Kerry’s love of cycling – the high-tech bike, the full outfit, the challenge of a Tour--level mountain in Switzerland.
Trump perhaps knows this is something thousands of men and women do daily in Europe and elsewhere, imitating the great cyclists on the hardest hills they can find. But he panders to the base.
Classic Donald. He said the Secretary of State was riding in a race. In fact, Kerry was taking on a Tour incline in May, but with his own State Department motorcade, which rushed to his help when he struck a curb and toppled, fracturing his leg.
Yes, the injury was serious enough to warrant surgery and care in New York. Trump senses it will work as part of his shtick about Kerry.
In his rally in Dallas, Trump once again imitated Kerry’s return to work. Simulating a man walking with crutches, he said, “The people from Iran say, ‘What a schmuck.’”
This is a common theme with Trump – the queasiness with anything less than a perfect 10. Trump seems pathologically uncomfortable with human frailty. What must he think of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who ran a country in terrible times, limited by polio?
The fear of frailty, this discomfort with complexity, accompanies him on national television, babbling about himself -- the Reality Show Host as Candidate, for goodness’ sakes.
Undoubtedly, Kerry was inconvenienced by his accident, but there are such things as telephones and cables and the Internet. We have seen footage of Kerry with his Russian and Iranian counterparts. The body language tells me they do not consider him a schmuck, with or without crutches.
Kerry also speaks French fluently, undoubtedly a drawback to Trump’s base, maybe even to Trump himself. French was a skill Mitt Romney tried to hide during his stiff race in 2012. Why would the United States want a worldly President or Secretary, anyway, when the current rage seems to be a carnival clown, who cannot even get ages right.
Had a wonderful time on the #NYTReadalong Sunday with Sree Sreenivasan and Neil Parekh, talking about the Super Bowl and the great paper where I used to work. Here’s the link to my fun time. Thanks to all the nice people who sent messages while I was babbling. The Readalong is Sunday, 8:30-10:15 AM Eastern, and the link is available after that:
has filed an interview with, of all people, me.
It's on his blog. (Just past photo of rat!) My thanks for his interest. GV
David Vecsey's sweet tale of distant love before the Web, now NYT Podcast, narrated by Griffin Dunne. Please see: