Home / Culture and Society / Science and Technology / John Kerry’s potty mouth: Stupidity or childishness?

John Kerry’s potty mouth: Stupidity or childishness?

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

John Kerry is too stupid to be president. The meme has of course been that Dubya is dumb. President Bush, however, at least knows better than cursing in public.

Specifically, John Kerry has a potty mouth, and apparently has no sense how this will play. He famously was using the word “fuck” in a formal interview with Rolling Stone last year.

Worse yet, Drudge points out that Kerry has the words “fuck” and “shit” all over his official campaign website. The internal search engine on his site currently reveals seven pages with the F word, and five with the S word.

Now, I’m hardly in a position to criticize someone for cursing, nor would I necessarily care. I’ve certainly used my share of “bad” words.

However, I’m not running for president. If I were, I wouldn’t be talking like that in my campaign. It’s totally unprofessional and un-statesmanlike. Plus, he’s talking in the broadest possible public forum, addressing and seeking to represent every man, woman and child in the US.

More significantly and specifically, how does this look to voters that Kerry’s going to need? He’s already starting out with the image of being a liberal from Massachusetts, and all of that type of baggage. Does he not realize that this type of petty thing will tend to alienate personally conservative voters even of a generally moderate to liberal political persuasion?

There are a lot of usually Democratic voters who are good church going Christians. How about some of those “older churchgoing black women” down South that get talked about so much, for example? Is this going to motivate them to get out and campaign for Kerry? Should it?

“Stupid” springs to mind as the first word to describe this potty mouth issue, but further reflection brings me to the word “childish.” Surely he’s smart enough to see something this simple an basic, but apparently he chooses not to.

Indeed, my first guess at the likely response of Kerry supporters would be that anyone who finds his cursing questionable should “grow up” or something of the like. There are serious issues facing the country, and you’re worried about curse words, etc. If you think that Kerry’s locker room language sounds like, well, a teenager in gym class rather than a serious contender to be leader of the free world, then YOU are immature. Grow up.

This strikes me as petulant, just refusing to acknowledge that other people have different perspectives on things that have to be considered if you intend to convince them to do what you want. If you want to be president, curbing the potty mouth seems like a VERY small concession to conservative voters that you would automatically do without prompting.

At the very least, saying “fuck” and “shit” in formal campaign materials demonstrates in a small but tell-tale way that you can’t trust the guy’s judgment on a basic level, before you even get to any ideology or policy issues.

Powered by

About Gadfly

  • Give me a fucking break.

    He used language in an interview with Rolling Stone which thousands of people have used in Rolling Stone.

    Perhaps it wasn’t wise to put it on his website (though would putting f— or s— have been any better? Anyone knows what they mean).

    Plus Bush uses the same language. It was well documented in Tucker Carlson’s Talk magazinepiece. Yes, Bush says fuck. Amazing, he’ll probably rot in hell.

    And Karen Hughes got as upset about Carlson possibly including that as she was about people suggesting it might be offensive to use the images of ground zero and firefighters carrying coffins in the opening of his ad assault.

    He also called Adam Clymer of the New York Times an asshole.

    So what does that say about Bush’s judgement?

  • Mr Rhodes, you’re displaying just exactly the kind of petulance I’m talking about. Your reaction seems to indicate just exactly the kind of purposeful not getting of the point I’m talking about.

    I doubt that you are intellectually incapable of getting the point that I’m making- it’s pretty simple. He wants people to actively DO something on his behalf, campaign and vote for him, then he should obviously be trying not to unnecessarily antagonize them with something as easily avoidable as potty mouth- whether or not you think the little people are dumb for having such concerns.

    Again, let me say it r-e-a-l slow, the issue isn’t that Kerry would have such words in his vocabulary, but that he would be openly using them in public. If you can’t even make basic distinctions between what is appropriate speech with your buddies over a beer versus what is appropriate in a public forum, then you lack the candlepower to be president of the United States and leader of the free world.

    Even with his well known lack of self-control in private, even Bill frickin’ Clinton knew better than talking like that in public. Certainly Bush is not purposely talking like that PUBLICLY, and he knows he’s screwed up when he accidentally says something like this where it CAN get out.

    Or you could say that people are just stupid to object- which is certainly Kerry’s right. And when he gets his hat handed to him, he can console himself that all those churchgoers who abandoned the Democrat party or just stayed home are all big shitty fuckheads.

    That’ll learn ’em.

  • Isn’t this just more of the dirty tricks which made Dick Nixon the epitaph of scum-bag politicians in the States?

    So you have a reasonable career statesman vs a lying thuggy fratboy, who do you chose?

  • Nyx

    Well, it’s better than doing a lot of coke and playing hooky from the National Guard.

  • Yes, yes, Jim, Bush = BAD. Jesus H Christ, can’t you get past that basic childish personal animosity for about TWO SECONDS to see just this one specific issue?

    How do you even BEGIN to call this a Republican dirty trick? It’s not like they’ve hacked into his website and snuck stuff in there, or FORCED him to cuss for the Rolling Stone reporter. Nor have I seen any Republican try to make an issue of it. They don’t NEED to do it, and they know it would look stupid if they did.

    Even if you don’t mind the language personally, can you not see how this would be stupidly, avoidably antagonistic to many voters?

  • You’re absolutely right, Al.

    The man ought to be hung-and-quartered for not deleting those words from the articles that he posted on his site. Freedom of speech, my ass – we’re tlaking delicate sensibilities here, damn it!

    Even though two of the uses in the articles were from his old war notes, and a lot of the other swearing was by the articles’ authors and some drunks in a bar, so what?

    We’re in a civilized country, and that sort of behavior has to be nipped in the bud.

    If we don’t stop it, the next thing he’s going to do is lie to get elected, even keep people from the polls, and when he’s elected pay off his buddies in Big Pharma, Oil and other big businesses with huge tax cuts and subsidies, lie to get us into a war … hell, who knows what evil he would do?

    People like this should be stopped.

    Good job, Al and Drudge – what would the world be like without down-to-earth folks like you?

  • Eric Olsen

    Yes I do, and I agree: from a tactical standpoint it will alienate more than it will ingratiate. My guess is that he is allowing this because of his stuffy patrician, New England background and image, and this might show he is a regular guy. It doesn’t, it produces cognitive dissonanace at best and is genuinely creepy at worst.

    As far as Bush goes, everyone thinks he’s a dumbass anyway so there isnt’ the dissonance.

  • Al, you’re forgetting I come from a country which had members of the government (and re-nominated this week in her riding) call USAians “bastards” and Bush a “moron”.

    So we don’t really care what you think.

    As a former member of the armed forces, jumped up Jebus on a pogo stick, I’d be surprised if Kerry didn’t use strong language, certainly he is entitled to it, and this pussy-footing about realistic language is just, well, bullshit.

    The man is a warrior, which is more than Bush can claim. I continue to feel sorry you allowed that slack-jawed asshole to run your country and degrade the stock of the USA around the world.

    Still selling USACorp short, I remain Jim.

  • You don’t care what we think because you count on Daddy coming in to save your dumb asses no matter what kind of little badmouthing you do.

    That’s ok, though. I’m sure being in the Canadian “military” would give you plenty of time to drink, watch porno, and practice your cussin’ while the Americans do the real work of defending the real world.

    Carry on, soldier.

  • Personally, i know very little of Kerry, being a U.K citizen, but I actualyl feel that a politican, a politicain wishing to run the country no less, using such colourful vocabulary is kinda refreshing. Certainly has more of the ring of honesty about it than the spin-doctored, wholesome nonsense we hear them spouting off every time someone asks them to pass the damn salt. I don’t know if this says more about my perception of folks who swear as being more trustworthy, or simply that politicans in general talk like they want me to apply for a credit card. Which, of course, they do…

  • Since I am disenfranchised by default like the rest of the world, I don’t really mind when Al insults our political choices.

    But when that chickenshit insults our military, that’s different.

    The Canadian armed forces do better with less and more often that all of the US forces combined. When they fail to avoid their duty, the US military kills their allies “accidentally”. Can you name one incident where the US military actually was in aid of any of their NATO allies in the last 30 years? Just one?

    So which is it Al, are you a coward or asshat? Or just willing to coast on the reputation of the McSoldiers which provide hidden welfare to the USAian underclass?

  • Shark

    Al, I gotta tell ya: at this point in American culture, a presidential candidate using ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’ in casual conversation is probably a brilliant marketing move that will have a multi-layered, positive effect on his image.

    I think the culture you’re using as a “standard” for judging Kerry’s language died a slow death a decade or so ago.

    I mean — gettin’ a hummer from an intern didn’t hurt Clinton. IT HELPED.

    You might not like it, but the paradigm has shifted into rocket-propelled high gear — and [your] ‘culture’ was left waiting at the rest stop holding a saddle and exclaiming, “Dagnabitt!

  • Shark

    And as far as the “My Army can whip your Army” shit, c’mon, boyz, knock it off.

    It’s embarrassing.

    Besides, the *Texas Rangers could whip all of ya’ combined.

    And yer little dog, too!

    *private state-owned crime-fighting Army —NOT the um, baseball team

  • While I think about it, who gave you the right to open your pie-hole Barger, when I tell you to jump, you ask “how high” maggot! Can I make one thing perfectly clear, when you stand out there in your shorts, you say this is a good day!

    Am I clear mister?

  • While I’m at it, drop and give me 20 Barger, there’s nothing that pisses me off more than civilian bloviators who are only willing to send off the unemployed to do the dirty jobs they don’t want their kids to do.

    Nevermind, make it 50!

  • There you go Jim, I was thinking you was losing your cool there in #11. Don’t come talking trash like in #8 and think it won’t get served back to you by your American betters. 14 & 15 are more like it.

    Shark, you really don’t think that kind of talk will hurt Kerry, that it will actually GAIN him support? What support will that be, the Beavis and Butthead vote? I suppose there are some of those.

    You don’t think that some significant section of those 10s of millions of weekly churchgoers will go ‘yuck,’ though? Do you think perhaps he ought to get up during the presidential debate face to face with Dubya and Tim Russert, and say ‘George Bush is a fuck-up’?

    Again, it’s not about what I personally find refreshing or distasteful. I’m two or three standard deviations off a whole bunch of norms, so I’m not going by my personal reaction. I’m trying to make, as it were, a professional tactical political judgment.

  • Shark

    Al, I really think the Kerry camp feels like cussin’:

    * is a macho thing (he’s tough on terrorism)
    * humanizes him (not robot, stiff, etc)
    * he’s one of us (not an leftist elite Yale intellectual)

    * and the folks who might be offended wouldn’t have voted for him anyway.

    Besides, it’s not like he’s going to do it in a debate.

    Actually, I think before this election is over, we’ll see one of the candidates standing on the podium — reach over and jerk the bustier off his wife, exposing an american flag pastie covering her big ol’ breast.

    And I just hope it’s Laura, man, ’cause she’s one HOT librarian!

  • I’m waiting for the Hillary run. That’s when whippin’ the tits out will get interesting.



  • JR

    Remember the 2000 campaign when one of the candidates didn’t realize he was on microphone and he called some reporter an “asshole”? Man, that was dumb! Whatever happened to that guy?

  • Eric Olsen

    Like I said, it’s a matter of behavior fitting the image and in Kerry’s case it doesn’t. No one has ever accused Bush of being a stiff patrician, although his background is about as patrician as it gets, so he can get away with it more easily. But I am certain Bush is not quoted swearing in any of his own documents.

  • Yeah, that was perhaps a small dumb mistake on Dubya’s part. But that was an accident. It’s not like he was PURPOSELY and REPEATEDLY droppin’ the F bomb.

    On the other hand, a passing off mic use of the word ‘asshole’ might in fact re-inforce everyday guy-ness without being a blatant offense to much of anyone- if you thought Dubya was that subtle.

  • I heard John Kerry flashed his titty when some black woman ripped his shirt off.

  • Sandra Smallson

    I can not believe that this post by Al got so many look-ins and responses. Worse still, I can’t believe I am even about to contribute to it. I hang my head in shame. Al’s complaint is that Kerry said “fuck”. In the last election Bush was also caught swearing ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL when he thought the camera’s/mics were off. Another thing that makes this topic something that should have been left to disappear, is the quoting of Matt Drudge. Now, anyone who chooses to solidify their point by quoting the Drudge report needs to be put on the straight and narrow. Only people off their wagons read the Drudge report let alone boldly quote it in a public forum with no shame.

    Would one rather have a man who swears or a former alcoholic, who has twitches while addressing the world at large that make him look more suited for a psychiatric ward than the White House. Who has a permanent dumb look on his face that it is a herculean effort to listen to him without laughing, infact looks so dumb that your emotions range from pity to love..LOL. Infact, you can’t help but like him though you know he has no business being the most powerful man in the world.

    I mean I know America is the land of hope and dreams and everybody has a chance which is why I will always love America but even I never thought you guys would go to the extents of electing your current President. How y’all looked at him, sized him up, listened to his speeches and his policies and thought to yourselves, this is the man to guide us for the next 4 years, remains a mystery to me and I dare say a majority of the world at large.

    It did nothing to aid the stereotypical impression of Americans, I can tell you that much. It infact put those of us that defended the general level of intelligence in America in a tough spot. Those who feel the average American is loud but unintelligent felt justified and those of us who feel such generalisations are unfair were left ashamed. Hopefully, this aberration can be resolved come your next election. I don’t care how Vain they say Kerry is but please put somebody in there that has a presence, who the world can look at and respect whether he deserves it or not will be seen, but you can’t have your main man be a laughing stock.

    Having said all this, I supported the War:) Atleast something must be said for stupidity. It is in that stupidity that age old rules of diplomacy and International Law were ignored and that Tyrant has been removed. An intelligent President would have had too many thoughts in his head. My darling dubya just could not care less. He can barely contain one thought, let alone several. His point, lets smoke ’em out boys..Dead or Alive..LOL..aahh.It was like a Western movie listening to him during that time:) Aah..good times.

  • Shark

    Sandi, Just how old are you?

    R U 2 young to B up this late!?

    When you turn 16, the law says you have to stop using SMILEY FACES every few sentences and …LOL! after you make a funny is verboten. Many years ago, Red Skelton was executed for laughing at his own jokes.

    So lose the cute kiddy stuff and maybe the adults will let you come write at their table on holidays. Some might even read your Faulkner-like ramblings all the way through.



  • sheri

    Heyyyyy, whats wrong with smiley faces? ;0)


  • R Frick

    Qerry has all the right to say whatever he chooses. I just hope he keeps up the good work, then, it will show everyone how FRICKIN stupid he and the Democratic party really is. It’s just a Liberals way of life.

  • Shark- Thanks for taking care of my light work there with young Ms. Smallson. Unlike some of the Blogcritics commenters and really authors for that matter, our Ms. Smallson here CAN at least write a coherent English sentence. Give her a couple years more education to give her a little better clue for content, and I’m sure she’ll be great.

  • Canada’s military is wonderful, all three of them…

  • John Public
  • Dawn

    Look, there are few things on earth I love more than dropping the F-bomb. But, unless the president is addressing say, bin Laden with “Hey you stupid fucker, this is where we blow you up!!,” then presidential statesmen should refrain from using such words in print or otherwise.

  • it doesn’t matter if pres. bush used the f-word. he is the man of teflon. nothing he does will stick.

    heck, they could find out the he was doin’ the nasty with condi rice and the whistleblower would be told to shut up in the interest of ‘national security’.

    if anything brings him down, it will be the economy.

  • John Public

    The great thing about Bush’ comments were that they occurred while we were still “undecided” on going to war and giving Iraq a “chance” to avoid it. It was then printed in Time magazine.

    The weird thing with people and the media is that we find random things to hold onto, and issues that don’t matter.

    Even look at the economy… it’s cyclical and no President controls it nearly as much as people think, yet it’s one of the top influencers on the election. Bush Sr may have been unlucky in this regard.

    Although I must add W’s tax cuts, clearly aiding the rich more than any other group (he believes too strongly in a trickle down economy), may kill our economy… Greenspan is doing his best to warn us about it (http://money.cnn.com/2004/02/25/news/economy/greenspan/).

    But our country decides to censor such issues… http://www.moveon.org/cbs/ad/
    It would be in bad taste to air such ads when we have beer commercials to fill the void.

  • John Public

    I take back my Greenspan comment. He warns there that we have to curb spending over increasing taxes. But it should be known that our record deficit does not include “hundreds of billions of dollars for other costs, such as military expenses in Iraq.”

    Here is a breakdown of tax-cuts from the first site I clicked on… you’ll have to check if they are correct (seems a bit left sided)… http://www.ctj.org/html/gwb0602.htm

    Although I don’t have time to check now, I do believe Greenspan warned about the continued tax cuts in W’s plan, although I could be wrong and would love to see info either way…

  • And hemlines are down this year…

    Not a good sign.

    *puts away mini skirt to put on a nun,s habit*

  • wow tek…you’re really taking that re-acquired virginity stuff seriously.



  • Sandra Smallson

    Al barger, thank you for your comment on my youth and potential further education. Atleast, there is still hope for me and I’ve got youth on my side. Greatness is achieveable for me by my thinking and apparently by yours. You on the other hand..:):):)..smiley faces galore..are another case entirely.

    If at your age you are really as daft and as narrow minded as you come across, then you are a hopeless case with neither youth on your side nor time to achieve even the average form of greatness. For that, you deserve pity not criticism. A fool at your advanced years is a fool forever.

  • Goodness gracious, baby, what brought on this little outburst? I certainly didn’t mean to displease you. What particular statements of mine show me to be “daft” and which show me to be “narrow minded” such as to be pitiable?

    Like Saddam in the South Park movie, “I Can Change.”


    Mr. President Buch

    Yes I am afraid
    fear of the future for my children
    fear for my little children
    the world cries, THAT OF HATRED!
    in Palestine it is chaos
    in Iraq the every day of young soldiers dies for which cause?
    believe that the people of IRAQ are happier?
    The world is very small now, only the union of the people will be able to overcome international terrorism I have a deep attachment for your country, and your function , but each one of your errors to a world repercussion
    the error and human, but it to continue and a fault.
    Sadam Hussein, a dictator yes, but while lying on the reasons of war you have removed prestige with the greatest nation of the world one needs a man able to rebuild peace, and to give again a size with your nation,

    JOHN KERRY is this man



  • Ascribe


    I know you’re busy campaigning and all, but you might try clicking on the very Kerry website links you provided.

    Here’s a sample of the results that come back when you enter “fuck” in the search field, including passages that contain the “offending” word (conveniently highlighted in the search results…)

    1)…but we need your cooperation in ensuring compliance with FEC regulations. You can do so by following a few simple rules (complete information is available at http://www.fec.gov). RULES: • As coordinator of an event, I acknowledge…

    2) John Kerry for President – Kerry Asks FEC for Recount Advice
    Kerry Asks FEC for Recount Advice Associated Press by Sharon Theimer Support this effort. contribute today Washington, DC – Election Day is several weeks away, but Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry’s…

    3) John Kerry for President – Early Voting FAQ
    Early Voting FAQ Download the official Florida vote-by-mail application What is early voting? Early Voting, also called In Person Absentee Voting, allows a voter to cast a ballot prior to Election Day. Early voting…

    4) John Kerry for President – Photo Gallery Construction workers at the Figge Art Center display their support for John Kerry and John Edwards. Photographer: Kerry-Edwards 2004, Inc. from Sharon Farmer Previous Other Sizes: Large | Hi-Res Next Printer Friendly V…

    I’m sure we can all agree that the Kerry websites gratuitous use of gutter language like “FEC,” “FAQ,” and “FIGGE” is beyond the pale.

    Or, at least that using a search function that provides hits on rough phoenetic matches proves Kerry is, how proof positive that he’s, how should we say…unfit for command.

  • I think you have a good point. I’m not getting into the argument about who curses worse, Bush or Kerry. Our Vice President famously used the expletive in public against another public official, and it created barely a ripple. I think it does alienate people. I, for one, think there is too much of it. I think it extends beyond politics, too. Using this language seems to me to be a rather infantile way of being emphatic. One would hope we outgrew that locker room type of talk, but alas… I see a lot of it on this site. Frankly, I have a hard time taking the originator of such language seriously. It’s just so puerile. It’s not good writing or good speaking.

  • Last week, John Kerry traveled across the country talking about the importance of securing health care coverage for the 11 million uninsured children in America. He heard firsthand from Americans who are living every day without health care coverage for their children. He listened to doctors who have to compromise on treatments for their patients because the parents can’t afford it, to school nurses who on Monday morning are greeted by students with bones broken on Friday night, and to parents who won’t let their children play a sport at school…

  • STOP THE FUCKING PRESSES: John Kerry has discovered that lots of people can’t afford healthcare. Further, on this amazing discovery he was such a genius and true lover of mankind that he decided EVERYONE should get health care. We’d already have free universal health care if it wasn’t for that shithead Dubya. Damn his hide.

    Thanks for sharing, Grandpa.

    PS Are you aware that John Kerry has THREE PURPLE HEARTS!!!!

  • sydney

    STOP THE FUCKING PRESSESS!!!!! : John KErry swore in public!

    Not fit for president, I guess.

    I thought this was a satire peice… but apparently not. Al, are you out of your fucking mind?

  • Shit no, Sydney. His language was just more affirmation that John Kerry is a fucking hero genius of goddam compassion.

  • sydney

    well there ya go! We’re on the same fuckin page then! yee-haw!!