Wealth of Others Helped to Shape Kerry's Life
By ROBERT F. WORTH
ST.-BRIAC-SUR-MER, France, Oct. 4 - The estate that belonged to John Kerry's grandparents sits high on a bluff in this Brittany resort town, a massive stone house overlooking a stunning landscape of wind-tossed ocean and jagged headlands. Villagers still speak in awed tones about his grandmother, who was known for her generosity and her regal horseback rides along the hilltops.
It was here, on childhood summer visits with his cousins, that Mr. Kerry played on the beach and fished for octopus in the tidal pools. And it was here that the boy from Massachusetts glimpsed a much grander life than he had known back home, and began, perhaps, to acquire the sheen of privilege and sophistication that would become an inescapable part and a persistent liability of his life in politics.
Today, Mr. Kerry's life is defined against similarly grand settings. In winter, he goes helicopter skiing while staying at his wife's Idaho retreat, a 15th-century farmhouse transported from England and reassembled on the banks of the Big Wood River in Sun Valley. In summer, he windsurfs and sails off the coast of Nantucket, where she has another home. The couple have an 18th-century town house in Boston where the kitchen is two stories high. There is a 23-room town house in Washington, an 88-acre Pittsburgh area estate, a private Gulfstream jet and a personal staff of six, including caretakers and a cook.
If Mr. Kerry is elected, he and his wife will be the richest couple ever to live in the White House, said Kevin Phillips, a political commentator and the author of "Wealth and Democracy.''
Even adjusting for inflation, their net worth far surpasses that of such wealthy predecessors as John F. Kennedy.
Mitt worked for his...but like most elite libs...Kerry got it from someone else...