Sunday, October 31, 2004

Kerry Cuts to the Quick

A mother who lost her son in Iraq tells her story of how the Kerry campaign treated her when they found out she was a democrat. She also recounts her meeting with President Bush. Read it all.
Six weeks later, Peggy Buryj claims that she received a phone call from a representative of John Kerry's presidential campaign. The caller identified herself as "Linda" and asked Mrs. Buryj, a registered Democrat, if she would appear at a Canton rally for John Kerry. Buryj agreed, but with a condition. She wanted to ask Kerry one question: "Why did you vote against the $87 billion for support troops in Iraq?"

"And I wanted to ask him--because I never hear journalists ask him, or anybody ask him--what was his reasoning for voting down the money?"

Buryj understood that her request was politically sensitive. So she told the Kerry campaign that she was willing to ask Kerry in private, before the event, or in a phone call. She promised that she would not go public with his answer. She even offered to sign a confidentiality agreement pledging that she would not talk to reporters about Kerry's answer.

"They were inviting me because of my son," she says. "You know, they were using me for their benefit, you know? Local hero's mother, you know?" Buryj notes that the Kerry campaign did not invite the Rameys, parents of Staff Sft. Richard Ramey, who died in Iraq February 8, 2004. "They were Republicans," she says. "I'm a Democrat."

Nevertheless, she wanted to attend the rally. "I wanted to go. I just wanted an answer to my question."

She never heard back from the campaign.(/snip)

A month later, Buryj received a call from the Bush campaign. President Bush wanted to meet her, in private, along with the families of two other fallen soldiers from Stark County. There would be no reporters in the room. She was not asked if she supported the president.

Bush spoke to a rally of 5,000 at the Canton Memorial Civic Center on July 31. Afterwards, he met for 20 minutes with Buryj, the Rameys and the family of Sgt. Michael Barkey, who had been killed in Iraq on July 7. Buryj says she cried when she saw Bush. "He cried on my shoulder as much as I cried on his."(emphasis mine)(/snip)

Buryj spoke in halting phrases as she tried to articulate why, exactly, she wanted to speak with Kerry. "Basically, because I'm struggling with . . . why would he? . . . To me it was . . . As a military mother . . . Why? Why? What good reason could he have for voting against that money? There is no reason in my mind for him to vote down that money. And I will never understand that."

I asked if Kerry could have said anything that would have helped her understand his vote.

"I don't know. Maybe, if he would have answered the question. He voted for the okay to go to war. And then he voted down the money. As a military mother, you don't know how that offends me. That just offends me to the quick. And he's running for president. He wants to be our leader. He wants to be commander-in-chief. I think that's a fair question. I don't expect to get special treatment. But they called me. They called me wanting me to attend."

She continued: "When John Kerry says wrong war, wrong time wrong place--you don't know how that cuts me to the quick. That's like saying my son died for nothing. That to me is just a slap in the face. I talk to several military mothers, you don't know how many, and that hurts us. That hurts us."(/snip)

The DNC went on to deny her story all together. Why do I believe her?

Pray that George Bush wins a decisive victory on Tuesday.