No way to treat the neighbors
It was a big deal last summer when Vice
President Dick Cheney visited Blaine County for a fundraiser, only to give those
who couldnít pay the entrance fee the cold shoulder.
It was a big deal last winter when
Democratic primary winner John Kerry came to Sun Valley for a little R&R. Kerry
was different. He was a visible part of the winter scene and greeted folks he
The public mostly honored his plea for a
little time off, and he seemed to have a good time. Kerry and wife, Teresa, were
given lots of space to relax without major intrusions.
Kerry is part of a long line of famous
people who have sought refuge here. Residents have a long tradition of leaving
famous people alone, unless otherwise invited or unless famous people put
themselves into the public eye.
The Kerrys roamed the valley undisturbed
for years, even though John is a high-profile senator from Massachusetts. But
when he announced his candidacy for president of the United States, everything
So, it was a big deal when Teresa Heinz
Kerry came to the Sun Valley area on the eve of the Democratic National
Convention looking for money, and with the help of a strong Idaho organization,
raised $300,000 for the Kerry campaign. That may be pocket-change for the
campaign, but itís a lot in a state where wages are not as lush as the
Call us old-fashioned, but we thought
Heinz Kerry would also be looking for votes. Despite the realities of the
Electoral College, Idahoans cleave to the idea that our votes actually count.
After all, the last presidential race was decided by just 537 votes in the
Hanging Chadlands of Florida.
We also thought that the Dick Cheney Charm
School had also graduated only a single pupil.
What fools we were.
The only people in Idaho who heard Teresa
Heinz Kerry speak a week ago paid for the privilege. No press conference. No
friendly, five-minute "Howdy do" for valley working folks. No light answers for
the folks more interested in knowing why she loves Idaho enough to have a home
here than in hearing one more policy platform.
At the fundraiser, Heinz Kerry reportedly
proudly announced that no members of the press were present, the better to have
a cozy chat with the faithful.
This was no way to treat the neighbors.
Heinz Kerry and Cheney taught the same
lesson: People with money count. As for the rest, itís obvious.
With attitudes like this, itís no wonder
apathy always gets more votes than any presidential candidate does.