From Jim Stingl’s column in today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Kerry’s comments hard to swallow.” Stingl writes:
Thousands of us heard John Kerry localize his presidential stump speech by saying he “sure better find some baby backs over there at Speed Queen Bar-B-Q and a double-dip vanilla at Leon’s.
“And if I don’t get there, I’m in trouble.”
OK then, Sen. Kerry, you’re in trouble.
“No, he didn’t come,” said Steven Schneider, a manager at Leon’s Frozen Custard, 3131 S. 27th St.
“Like most politicians, they say one thing and do another,” said Schneider, who says he’s voting for George W. Bush in November.
Quite a few Democratic faithful came to Leon’s directly from Pere Marquette Park downtown, hoping to catch Kerry slurping a cone. Maybe his wife considered the fat content in custard and told him to shove the idea.
Howard Dean, sometime before he bellowed himself out of the race, was supposed to stop at Leon’s, too, but he also failed to show, Schneider said.
President Clinton popped in for a cone in 1994, also a double-dip vanilla. Schneider said he has two memories of that visit: Clinton was a few cents short when it came time to pay, and Steven’s father, Ronald, owner of Leon’s and also a Republican, got in a few licks on Clinton’s policies.
Speed Queen manager Larita Bryson, who leans toward Kerry politically, said they sell spare ribs, not baby backs. And it doesn’t matter, since Kerry didn’t show up anyway.
So where did Kerry eat Monday? He went a bit more upscale at Pieces of Eight on the lakefront.
“John had a filet mignon with asparagus and potatoes,” said manager Patric Trusty. “We tried to provide a regular dining experience for him, as regular as it could be with everybody being searched at the door.”
I’m starting to think Kerry mentioned these venerable – but cheap – eateries just to score regular-guy points with the hometown crowd. Everything else he said was completely true, of course…
As is apparent from the final quoted comment, Stingl holds Kerry in high regard.