In the past, United States Senator John Kerry's Francophonic prowess has hobbled him politically. During his unsuccessful presidential bid against George Bush, enemies charged that Kerry's alleged French appearance proved that he was an elitist pussy. The scare tactic worked, effectively losing him the vote of everyone who has never been to France but who thinks all French people are assholes. (Check this hilarious New Yorker piece, "John Le Kerry," by Christopher Buckley).
But last night - at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in the South End - Kerry's multi-lingual skills came in handy, as he addressed the crowd of mostly Haitian-Americans who were gathered to get information on a centralized hurricane relief assistance effort in Boston. The senator even earned himself a round of applause. I'm sure that clowns like Rush Limbaugh, Jay Severin, and Howie Carr will knuckle Kerry for his performance, but, for those in need, his fluency helped further assure, in a special way, that people who can make a difference might actually do so this time.