October 24, 2004

Why a goose?

Kerry decided it was a good campaign move to go hunting. But why a goose? Clearly, the campaign people must have thought about all the opportunities it would give writers to use goose clich├ęs, like "goose is cooked," "silly goose," "sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander," "Mother Goose," "loosey-goosey," and "goosed." I see Maureen Dowd is going with "Cooking His Own Goose."

I'm thinking the reasoning was that geese are overplentiful, like deer, but not the subject of any Disney-induced sentimentality. Many people, especially the suburban women who are most likely to object to hunting, have had to vary their usual walking paths because of the problem of goose excrement. And maybe it seems decently sporting to shoot a goose, because it can fly, but it's still easy enough--they are plentiful, large, and stupid--that you're assured of success. And a goose is also clearly an animal most people can comfortably visualize eating, so we aren't going to think he's only hunting to amuse himself.

Did Kerry impress the locals in Ohio (where he desperately needs to win)? Here's a report from the county where the goose-ridden cornfield was located:
Presidential candidate John Kerry made his fifth visit to the Mahoning Valley, this time however, his campaign claims the trip was more recreational than political.

The Senator and several others, including Congressman Ted Strickland, went goose hunting on a farm in Springfield Twp.

After a couple hours trudging through a cornfield, the group emerged as reporters and photographers watched, all of them carrying a goose, except for Kerry, who claimed he was “too lazy” to bring out the bird himself.

He later told reporters he’ll have the goose shipped to his farm near Pittsburgh.

After the hunting excursion, Kerry went to the regional airport in Vienna to board his campaign jet and fly to Columbus for a speech.
Think the locals bought the imagery? After all that cornfield-trudging, what stood out was that he wouldn't carry his own goose--obviously because he didn't want there to be a photograph of himself holding the neck of a limp, dead animal. The reason he gave, laziness, aside from being an easily detectable lie, undercut the whole effort to make him look like a manly, down-to-earth hunter. And not only won't he carry his own dead goose, he's having his people ship it to his Pittsburgh estate, pointing up just how much real estate he owns and how much money he has to spend on lavish extras, unlike the locals who might hunt geese on their own farms.

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