Jewish World Review March 1, 2004 / 8 Adar, 5764

Neil Cavuto

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Consumer Reports

ISN'T THAT RICH?! | I'm what you call physically a large man. Big-boned. Muscular. Ah, the heck with it, I'm fat!

So I guess I'm not the guy to talk about how much weight former Enron honcho Jeff Skilling has gained since he left the company. Nor will you hear me say, "Jeffo, hands off the ring dings!"

After all, I do have my pride. But pride is not something that stops political candidates from being hypocrites. Maybe it's just me, but I find it more than a tad odd that the politicians blasting President Bush for being elitists are pretty elite themselves.

John Kerry is the richest man in the U.S. Senate.

John Edwards amassed a $60 million fortune during a legendary career as a trial lawyer in North Carolina.

Yet both these guys have no trouble calling the present White House occupant out of touch and out of sync.

You know what's out of sync with people? Try a $600 million net worth, Sen. Kerry.

You know what's out of touch with normal folks? Try a $3.8 million house in Georgetown, Sen. Edwards.

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Look, I have nothing against these guys living well. Just don't lecture anybody about living large. After all, Kerry all but makes the president look like a pauper, according to Forbes magazine.

Let's see, he's a descendant of the Boston Brahmin Winthrop clan. He's got a $4 million mansion in Georgetown, a nearly $6 million pad in Boston's pricey Beacon Hill, another $5.8 million summer home in Nantucket, and a $4.9 million ski hideaway in Sun Valley. That's not just living with a silver spoon. He's got the silver ski poles to go with it!

Edwards ain't doing too shabby either. He's got a $1 million beach house in North Carolina and another $1 million home in Raleigh.

Bottom line, both guys are well off. So pardon me if I gulp a bit when they make a bit much of the president's financial largesse. These guys put him under the cherrywood table!

Kerry's out there with his $16,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycle and Turnbull & Asser shirts, and Edwards is strutting his best designer suits and haircuts from Ian McWilliams of Bravado Hair Design in Washington, D.C. Funny, but neither of these guys screams "working man" to me.

Look, that's their right, because there's nothing wrong with being well-off. There's everything wrong with going off about elitist presidents when you're pretty elite yourself.

Sometimes I think rich guys try too hard to be like the rest of us guys. Some, like Franklin Roosevelt, actually seemed to pull it off. Others, like John Kennedy, not quite. You can't blame someone with money for acting like he's got money. You can blame him for acting like he's not got money.

Money's OK. Patronizing the electorate on the issue is not OK.

I would much sooner hear the guy with everything quit lecturing the poor schmuck taking home $200,000 bucks a year as though "he's" got everything. There's a big difference between a guy with a couple of hundred grand and a guy with a couple of hundred mil.

I'm just amazed more people aren't shocked by this disingenuous pandering. It's so transparent and ridiculously phony to me. I mean, it would be like me saying the president ought to watch that paunch he's been growing over his beltline lately.

After all, his is just a paunch. Mine is a separate zip code.

End of story. End of lecture.

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Neil Cavuto is managing editor of Business News at FOX News Channel. He is also the host of "Your World with Neil Cavuto" and "Cavuto on Business." Comment by clicking here.


02/23/04: The real issue on tax cuts
02/17/04: Let Atkins rest in peace!
02/15/04: The smallest slight, the biggest headache
02/09/04: Sign it, send it, be done with it!
02/02/04: What a pain in the class!
01/26/04: Pundits punt it
01/19/04: What's wrong with having a temper?
01/12/04: When the applause stops
01/05/04: 2003 — The year of the optimist
12/22/03: Nothing succeeds . . . like success
12/15/03: When the boss takes your call
12/08/03: The day I realized my daughter had grown up
12/01/03: Let's give thank$
11/24/03: Camelot . . . not
11/17/03: Cordially speaking, I hate you!
11/03/03: I can't "wait" to get back at you!
10/27/03: What would we die to know?
10/20/03: Smile while you work
10/13/03: Dull man walking: Why Gray was too gray
10/05/03: Who says we're so depressed?
09/29/03: Thanks, but no thanks
09/22/03: Big Companies vs. Big Government
09/15/03: Terrorists and idiots: Financial lessons learned
09/08/03: Watch out, Mr. President
09/03/03: Tips for Empty Nesters
08/25/03: Friends and hypocrites
08/18/03: When good news goes bad
08/04/03: PHONY BALONEY!
07/28/03: The meaning of a pin
07/21/03: We are what we eat
07/14/03: Don't like it, don't keep it!
07/07/03: The check, and the recovery, is in the mail!
06/29/03: Who says Al's our pal?
06/23/03: The big pitch for the "big get," no big deal!

© 2003, Neil Cavuto