Franco-American Redux!

OK, I admit, I’ve been busy writing letters about Sen. Gordon Smith’s [R-OR] remarks during a Bush campaign conference call that “It’s not John Kerry’s fault that he looks French.”

Today’s issue of the Portland newsweekly Willamette Week picks Smith as their “Rogue of the Week” for his comments.

The daily newspaper, the Oregonian has both a letter to the editor and a column by David Sarasohn

And several months ago, a high-ranking White House official told The New York Times, on background, that Kerry “looked French.” (This showed the value of high-level intelligence; up to then, people had thought Kerry looked sort of like a horse.) Helping out, Commerce Secretary Don Evans, a friend of Bush’s, called Kerry “a fellow of a different political stripe who looks French.”

Nobody was sure exactly what it meant, but soon Fox News — the public address system of the Bush administration –was reporting, “Some say Kerry looks French.”

It wasn’t clear whether that meant Charles de Gaulle or Catherine Deneuve, but the word was out.

Besides, while Smith may not look French — not like Brigitte Bardot or any of the Three Musketeers — he is clearly the most Continental dresser in all of Umatilla County, with a serious weakness for French cuffs.

Or as he probably calls them now, Freedom cuffs.

“It was a humorous comment in part,” explains Smith, who says he’s a member of the French Caucus and insists that he looks French himself.

Humorous. Yeah. Substitute “black,” “gay,” or “Jewish” for “French” and laugh your head off, Sen. Smith.