Give the Guy a Break

Okay, so as Ann Althouse recounts, John Kerry came to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and misprounounced braht as braat:

Now, I see in Chris Sullentrop’s report in Slate, that Kerry actually did mispronounce brat:

Here in Sheboygan, during a “Kerry-Edwards ’04 Brat Fry,” Kerry adds to the litany [of regional mistakes] Friday by referring to the local food as a short-A “brat,” the way you would refer to a spoiled child. “Brot!” yell members of the crowd. For good measure, Kerry makes the mistake at the end of his speech, too. “Before I get a chance to have some braaats …” “Brots!!” some women near me shout in frustration.

For crying out loud! How inept do your people have to be, when taking you to a brat fry not to tell you “remember it’s brot”?

Okay, so this mispronouncement highlights how Kerry’s not really down with the upper midwest pleble, but look, it could have been worse:

  • He could have called it le Braaat.
  • He could have called it a “bratwurst sandwich.”

    Note: This hyperlink refers to an AP photo caption which says “Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., gets a grilled bratwurst sandwich at a campaign rally in Sheboygan, Wisc. Friday, Oct. 15, 2004. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert).” The hyperlink doesn’t seem too stable, so you might have to click next and previous until you find the photo. Link originally seen on Wizbang!)

  • He could have pronounced the city name She-boy-band.
  • He could have made a remark about he wished he could wash it down with an icy cold Budweiser.
  • He could have praised Mike Sherman, coach of the Green Bay Packers. Undoubtedly, that would have sparked a riot.

So you see, this proves that John Kerry is, as Esquire put it on its June 2004 cover, a political badass. Because he doesn’t make as many verbal gaffes as he possibly could.

Not that you’d hear about it elsewhere than blogs or in a column in a small town paper in the region in which Kerry committed the gaffe, because unlike Bush, Kerry is smart, so these mispronounciations and other misstatements are trifling errata, not insight into his insipid chimpish simplicity.

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