Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Kids love Kerry!

Occasionally, while Kerrying on with my typical busy schedule of work, play, keeping house, harassing the government and idealizing the junior senator from Massachusetts all out of proportion, I am convinced that, when it comes to the last, I could not be more smitten. And then I think of all the pictures of him with children.

Astounding not only in cuteness, but in number, they remind me that when I voted in 2004, it wasn't just for an astute and competent politician, but a really great person. Since I've never gotten over my childhood terror of really big people, to see a gaggle of sproggen climbing all over the Senator Goes-On-Forever (D-MA) resonates like crazy deep within my tiny, skittish core. And not being one to leave well enough alone, I wonder why that magnetism exists (apart from the obvious fact that kids are smart - smart enough to want a human jungle gym in the White House.)

I'm probably too well-educated to make the argument that kids like John Kerry because he is so totally Harry Potter, but I'm going to do it anyway. Because he's so totally Harry Potter!

Check out this JK Rowling quote I read in TIME a few summers back, (6/23/2003, Vol. 161 Issue 25, p60, to be exact):

"'I admire bravery above almost every other characteristic... Bravery is a very glamorous virtue, but I'm talking bravery in all sorts of places." It is, as Rowling attests from the first chapter of the first book, the virtue that cannot be faked: you either walk into the woods full of giant spiders, or you don't. Stand up to bullies, or hide from them. Hang on to hope, or surrender to fear."

I read that before I even knew much about who Kerry was - although I'm pretty sure I'd made up my mind by then to support the guy who'd been smart enough to marry Teresa Heinz - and before I'd ever seen anybody in public life who'd exhibited as much bravery as the fictional Boy Who Lived. But now, after watching John Kerry fight really tough political battles on so many fronts, this quote affects me more than ever. And I see that kids love Kerry because he has virtues that can't be faked - much like the pictures that I find so inspiring.