‘Do you know who I am?'”
Apparently when F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “the rich are different from you and me”, Ernest Hemingway retorted, “Yes, they have a hell of a lot more money!”. Several years earlier, Anthony Trollope had said in The Eustace Diamonds, “being the husband of a rich woman is not the same thing as being a rich man”, but it all depends on how many rich women you marry, and how rich they are. Via the excellent Betsy’s Page, an article, John Kerry Is Different from You and Me From You and Me: Yes, he has more money. Lots more. that sheds light on just how high-maintenance is John Kerry,
Granted staggering wealth on the basis of marriage, Kerry seems to believe he deserves it, and perhaps always has. Such, at least, is the popular perception among the voters who know him best. “One of the surest ways to get the phones ringing on any Massachusetts talk-radio show is to ask people to call in and tell their John Kerry stories,” says Howie Carr, the Boston Herald columnist and radio host. “The phone lines are soon filled, and most of the stories have a common theme: The junior senator pulling rank on one of his constituents, breaking in line, demanding to pay less (or nothing), or ducking out before the bill arrives. The tales often have one other common thread. Most end with Sen. Kerry inquiring of the lesser mortal: ‘Do you know who I am?‘” Just For Kerry is a common Bostonian take on what his initials stand for; and a possible insight into his priorities could be inferred from his tax records for the year 1993 (when he was between wives), in which he earned $130,345 and gave exactly $175 to charity, while indulging in an $8,600 Italian-made mountain bike for himself.
. . . How much does it take to keep John Kerry going? Let’s see. Add up his wife’s holdings, and divide them by two (they have no dependent children still living with them) and you come up with some interesting things. Their five very large houses are worth more than $30 million (the property taxes alone cost more than most people’s houses), so it takes $20 million simply to house him. Add in the plane and the boat, and the cost of transporting and entertaining John Kerry comes to almost $16 million. Add in incidentals–the bike, the tending by Christophe, etc.–and you come out with one historically high-maintenance candidate.
Most rich people in politics have had one or two major houses, and made constant use of them. The Franklin Roosevelts spent their time at Hyde Park; the Theodore Roosevelts at Sagamore Hill. And the Kennedys were either in Palm Beach or Cape Cod, usually with a large horde of children. The Heinz Kerrys, by contrast, stay in some of their multimillion-dollar dwellings only a few weeks in the year. Most of the American political rich seem like American types, only richer, as they play in their none-too-elaborate family compounds, tossing a football, or whacking at brush. Kerry is a departure from this pattern, in the scale of his wealth, and his attitude to it. This is a republic, not the Austro-Hungarian Empire, nor even a plot from a Henry James novel. Are we really ready for a consort who seems to believe he’s a prince?
A prince that’s running as a democrat while living off the money of a (deceased) republican, at that. That is, when he’s not using campaign funds to pay off personal loans.