Kevin Falcon cribs from JFK’s playbook

You know that old saw about imitation being the most sincere form of flattery? How about the one that says politics makes for strange bedfellows?

Combine the two and you get B.C. Liberal Party leadership candidate Kevin Falcon’s campaign slogan, “A New Generation of Leadership.”

It’s a great tagline: take-charge, bold, and forward-thinking.

It also belongs to former U.S. president John F. Kennedy, who first used it in his 1960 Democratic Convention acceptance speech.

Recently, the line was revived by JFK’s brother, Ted, in a touching familial reference during his 2008 endorsement of Barack Obama.

In borrowing the quote, Falcon grasps for the Kennedy glamour while sidestepping the family’s progressive agenda. After all, Falcon, a former Young Socred, has previous ties to the Reform Party and is considered by some to be the most right-wing candidate in the B.C. Liberal leadership race.

It also brings to mind another attempt by a right-wing politician to drape himself in the Kennedy mantle: Former U.S. vice-president Dan Quayle’s comparison of himself to JFK during the 1988 campaign debates.

A comparison, it should be noted, that was met with a stern rebuke from Democratic vice-presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen: “You’re no Jack Kennedy”¦and frankly I think you are so far apart in the objectives you choose for your country that I did not think the comparison was well-taken.”

Just a little something to keep in mind, Mr. Falcon.

Comments (27) Add New Comment
LTD.Edition
Look at him there, all relaxed with his tie off and top button undone, sleeves rolled up to do the job. It's almost like he's your regular Joe....

except, you know, he still has the button up shirt, the pricey suit pants, the odd perfection of his rolled sleeves...

Actually, now that I think of it, he looks just like any other business grease-ball one could throw into that frame.

I'm sorry, but far too many politicians don't represent average citizens. They're business owners, high income earners and out of touch with the daily struggles of getting by with an average income (what is it now? 32k - 36k/year?)

I'm sorry, but is it too much to ask that we vote in a regular person who has to deal with the same issues we face daily?

Of course, with the salary they'd get after becoming elected it would be easy for them to forget what it's like. In the end, I'd like politician salaries to be tied to the average household income of their riding. If that happens I guarantee they will find ways of increasing the quality of life and income for the average citizen.
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Chet
the depths of desperation
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ds
Sorry, you wouldn't even be good enough to shine JFK shoes!! He was an officer in the USN, a man for the people not for big business. You dion't come close.
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john brooks
maybe you guys should worry more about raising your own incomes so that you can afford a nicer pair of pants, shoes or shirt. Or, better yet, why don't you run for Premier so that I may tear you apart just like you do Kevin. Easy to throw rocks isn't it?
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RonS
Falcon and JFK in the same sentence? He couldn't carry JFK's bathwater. JFK was assisinated because he wanted open transparnet government. This so called "man" wants anything but.

But just what is it he really wants? He wants to keep his new found friends, the Pharmacudical companies and the US Hospital Insurance companies, close by so when he sells out our Medical Services Plan he wont have so far to walk to ask for a directorship once he leaves politics!.
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Christopher Massop
You can put lip stick all over a jack-ass ,but who the heck is gonna kiss it . Like the old saying goes ...You can polish a turd but it still taste's like ...S***.
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kevin why don't you just...
go suck an egg.
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james green
Instead these immature commnents why not ask Mr. Falcon what his plan is for BC and why he is best suited to be our premier.
What is his record on health care, transportation and what has he done for his constituents? We need to know specifics from all candidates and calling names or telling thingto go suck an egg does not help you or anyone else.
I know non liberals will not vote now but this guy needs to answer questions now for he could be the next elected leader of this great province someday.
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james green
Besides JFK said a new generation of AMERICANS not a new generation of leadership. Get it right skippy.
Falcon may be a goof but misquoting JFK is just silly.
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Neil Edmondson
I'm an ardent Abbott supporter but this seems a bit 'off'. You should be sourcing the quote in question, it is 50 years old and many of us weren't even born yet. I don't take the unsourced word of a left wing journalist at a left wing publication for granted so I looked it up. Kennedy used the line in one famous speech on one occasion, yes, but it is such a generic line it is doubtful that he was the first to use it. A google search confirms that plenty of politicians and business leaders have since used it, meaning your article is a tad misleading. Why not criticize Falcon for breathing air, as Kennedy did? It would be only marginally less envious.

Oh, and to pararphrase, er, you, the term 'progressive' grasps for the glamour of righteousness while sidestepping the freight train full of fail that is leftist public policy, which inevitably results in financially and morally bankrupt societies everywhere that it is implemented. Please don't use that weasel word in any political context ever again.
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Doug Sarti
Mr. Green,

Thank you for your comments - I'm always glad to see a lively discussion.

For the record, "A new generation of leadership" comes from Kennedy's 1960 Democratic National Convention speech, after he won the party's nomination.

"A new generation of Americans" comes from Kennedy's 1961 inaugural address ("Let the word go forth, from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans")

It was a common theme throughout both his candidacy and presidency.
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glen p robbins
Aside from how many of the GS readers apparently feel about Mr. Falcon, I would advance this advice from my experiences of late. Men in their late fifties - and sixties who voted BC Liberal - and may or may not - likely not vote for them again (who voted for Campbell/got sick of Campbell/don't vote NDP/but might vote BC Conservative or other/ - generally see Christy Clark "as a flake", and see Kevin Falcon as more a worker - digger (in contrast).

Falcon musn't confuse them with any bemused metamorphisis. Although I am certain Christy Clark's popularity is grossly overstated (what does the media do - crowd goes crazy for George Abbott?) - she really is riding her nice name brand - or talk show entertainment buzz - where she rides at all--she isn't so well known- as the operational reality assumes for us that she is. If her weight is down maybe a boob falling out of a skimpy dress or something - but feed the entertainment side -- not the substance.

When the steel hits the wheel - those voters who decide not to go off the beaten track (new people new party's etc.) will support BC Liberals who left ministries - (ie pay) but who have the experience.

Falcon's ministries aren't well known - imo he needs to define that work - where he loses some - he solidifies others. For George Abbott the same advice - but Mike de Jong less so - as his ministry was the Attorney General and BC Rail is stitched to that ministry and a very very sour taste with even (sometimes former) BC Liberal supporters. It will ensure the BC Liberal membership doesn't take Christy on - and hand the NDP the election - but it will also hurt de Jong - who is doing a good job of playing the Reform card ------------ the card Falcon should be using - not running from - with this young democrat stunt.

Voters are sick and tired of deceptive politicians - and candidates will lose if they are seen to be trying to be something or someone they are not.

Kevin Falcon - you are no JFK as the critics have assessed.
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Beth
When he starts promising to crack down on organized crime and rein in Vladimir Putin, and begins shtupping Jessica Simpson on the side, then we can make real comparisons and not a moment before.
Beth
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Charlie Smith
James Green,

I would like to ask Kevin Falcon about a long list of public policies, just as I did with George Abbott. But Kevin Falcon won't make himself available to do this. Nor will Christy Clark. Mike de Jong also goes into hiding when the Georgia Straight calls. This should tell you something about how they might behave as premier.

George Abbott and Moira Stilwell aren't shy about answering our basic questions about public policy.

Charlie Smith
Editor
Georgia Straight
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rocker chic
Kevin Falcon gives me the creeps
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RF
Oh no, people are insulting a poor, defenseless politician. Heavens to Betsy.

I always marvel and this fascinating, if not tiny, demographic that seem to get offended when people hurl a few verbal dirt-bombs at these hacks who have absolutely no respect or concern for the people they would govern. Who really cares if it's easy or even counter-productive? People are fed up and pissed off, and guys like Falcon have never done anything productive themselves, despite their juicy slogans and rolled up sleeves.

This isn't a classroom - people are just letting off steam. Lighten up.
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whatAjoke
No matter how hard you try to dress up a lump of crap, it's still a lump of crap...
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skippy
Article is a bit far fetched but illuminating in a couple of respects. A slick well managed campaign, indicative of a a lack of substance is amplified by the absence of any policy statements on Falcon's website. Agree or disagree with Clark or Abbot as least thei sites include policy statements. Seconly, it prompted me to read JFK's speach...wow.. gives me goosebumps..but the man would have been crucified as an eletist. Lastly, it should come as no surprise that most candidates wont respond to GS requests for interviews. This very article is speculative in that it guesses at intent and refers to "ties to the reform party" and considered by some to be the most right wing.
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glen p robbins
Charlie - I am not surprised - the people who are more prone to centre right BC Liberal - or whatever Bill Bennett hopes to call them - have alot of good to say about George Abbott. The business people up there really think he is a good fellow - it isn't often I hear the description gentleman - - but that is what I hear about George Abbott--and for me that would be a little refreshing - if he were more independent as well.

Frankly, I personally like Mike de Jong's candidacy from the perspective of sitting in the bleachers and having a bag of popcorn.
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HellSlayerAndy
Well Falcon has Kennedy's convention slogan, but will he use Kennedy's convention strategies.

One thing Kennedy did -- actually it was a young Bill Moyers -- was to bug MLK's hotel room at the convention to try to record King in a compromising situation and then use the tape to blackmail his support on the floor, because the rumour was King was supporting Stevens.
(If things look bad in the run-off, Kev, consider it an option!)

But I have no problem with 'fair use' and I don't think Falcon is the son of a bootlegger and I don't think Nixon was his political mentor. ;-)
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