Father and son

November 12, 2006

Anybody here remember “Father and Son,” that Cat Stevens generation-gap chestnut from 1970? You may recall that the future Yusuf Islam performed the song as a dialogue, singing the father’s words in a low sonorous voice, then going high and whiny for the misunderstood son.

That’s pretty much how the 2006 update sounds in today’s Star-Ledger, only this time the low sonorous half of the tune is coming from ex-governor Tom Kean, who sees Tuesday as a tsunami washing away good and bad Republicans alike, while the high and whiny part is sung by Tom Kean Jr., who warbles that his Senate campaign did absolutely everything right, except it fell a bit flat on the winning-the-election part.

Absent from the Dad Kean lyrics is any mention of how he pimped his credibility from the 9/11 Commission to endorse ABC’s crockudrama The Path to 9/11, a move that had nothing to do with truth-telling but probably had a great deal to do with trying to make Democrats look bad at the start of the fall campaign season. I guess we’ll have to see if that part of the song turns up as a bootleg.

Note how Dad Kean tries to give Democratic victor Bob Menendez one last poke with the shiv when the question turns to the almost comically vitriolic tone of the Senate race:

It wasn’t as bad as the (Bob) Torricelli-(Dick) Zimmer race (in 1996). That set an all- time record. But it was very, very negative. I think given the circumstances it would have been hard to keep it from being negative. Especially when you have one of the candidates (Menendez) being investigated and he has the money to pile the negatives against you. Had he not been under investigation, it would have been whole different campaign.

See there? It was all Bob Menendez’s fault that Kid Kean aired ridiculous ads saying he would take Social Security money away from the elderly and give it to illegal immigrants, and accusing him of being anti-Italian because he voted against Sam Alito’s appointment to the Supreme Court. Comparing Dad Kean and Kid Kean, it’s clear the apple didn’t fall very far from that tree.

Maybe “Father and Son” isn’t the right song to be talking about here. If we’re going for 1970s rock music references, maybe “The Song Remains the Same” would be the more applicable title.

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One Response to “Father and son”

  1. Rix Says:

    Kean senior just doesn’t get it that his “wing” of the party is insignificant, demonstrated itself incapable of putting the brakes on GWB, but mostly defended & rationalized Bush’s actions. Kean Sr. has been getting a free ride as a “statesman” type for too long. I would like to see some small act of contrition on his part.


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