Kerry Cancer: Political Impact
The Hiller Instinct: Kerry Cancer: Political Impact
Today, all we wish for John Kerry is a full and quick recovery. But, tomorrow, we'll have to concede political recovery isn't the same as medical and that Kerry's campaign as a presidential candidate is permanently changed...
Here in Massachusetts, we've watched him create the image of an unusually active middle aged man, windsurfing, playing hockey and riding a motorcycle. Nationally, he was positioning himself the same way and the unspoken message was that Kerry is robust, fit and healthy.
Now we may not be as sure of that, no matter how complete his doctors say his cure is. Many of us know more about cancer than we want to... through our families, our friends and ourselves. Few words are as frightening and few bring with them as much uncertainty.
Unfairly or not, we'd prefer our presidents be in perfect health when we elect them and our concerns are grave when there are imperfections.
Right now, we take comfort in President Bush's physical condition, but look how much we worry about the vice-president's heart.
In the future Kerry will find when he wants to talk about presidential politics or Iraq, he'll also have to talk about his health. And you can be sure he'll have to answer questions about it more often and longer than he'd like. John Kerry can still win the White House but, today, it got tougher. This is a personal and political hurdle.