MCNS Articles
Monday, January 26, 2004
  The Boston Herald

November 27, 2002 Wednesday ALL EDITIONS


HEADLINE: Kerry profile on target? Now that's rich!


John "Liveshot" Kerry stories? I got a million of 'em.

So, apparently, does everybody else, which is why, in the fawning profile of him this week in The New Yorker, Liveshot attempts to innoculate himself once and for all:

"Look," he says, "I was a very serious guy except for when I was a non-serious guy. I knew how to have a lot of fun, sometimes too much. There were plenty of times when I was disengaged, frivolous, four sheets to the wind."

Henceforward, every sordid little anecdote can be dismissed as "old news." It's the Clinton m. o. Mistakes were made. Move on.

Remember the Eliot Lounge in the Back Bay? One Friday night, Liveshot decides to take a pass on the Eurotrash scene at Biba's and instead heads over to the Eliot to scout out the local talent. He waves to bartender Tommy Leonard and begins chatting up two unattached babes at the bar.

After awhile, it becomes clear that the two cupcakes do not comprehend just how privileged they are this evening, prompting the junior senator to pose the eternal question:

"Do you know who I am?"

"Yeah," says one of the gals. "You're Bob Lobel."

Oh, the pain. Liveshot was the first male politician I ever saw wearing makeup outside a TV studio. It was during his first Senate campaign, at a hotel fund-raiser, and I was there to do - what else? - a live shot.

"John," I asked him, "are you wearing makeup?"

"Why yes," he sniffed. "I have a bit of a cold."

There's much to respect about Liveshot, and by the way, despite what The New Yorker says, I'm the one who hung the "Liveshot" moniker on him, not Billy Bulger. Bulger called him "JFK - Just for Kerry."

JFK indeed. How many hours did he have to practice his signature to get it to look just like the real JFK's? He has so much clout, the city moved a fire hydrant from in front of his wife's Beacon Hill mansion. But above all else, the man is a gigolo's gigolo. How many guys could dump a first wife from a blueblood family worth $ 300 million, and end up on the rebound with a second wife worth $ 600 million?

Bob Lobel never pulled that off.

"Put down that I saw him cut in line once at Legal Sea Food in Chestnut Hill," said another guy. "More than once, as a matter of fact. He's a line-cutter and a name-dropper."

Here's another Liveshot story, told to me by a major Boston nightclub owner who had a luscious young galpal. One night, they're all getting down, and among the guests is a four-sheets-to-the-wind Liveshot. The girl, who's up on current events, starts tearing into Kerry for his weathervane-like voting record, telling him he needs to make a "commitment."

"Baby," he finally says, swaying ever so slightly in the breeze, "I am ready right now to make a commitment. To you."

In those days, before he tracked down 63-year-old ketchup heiress Teresa Heinz, Liveshot was known as a cheapskate tipper. Between heiresses, he could flash cash for a convertible and a fancy imported motorcycle, yet he had nothing to give to charity. Beautiful People seldom do, have you noticed?

But the 58-year-old boytoy has changed his ways. He no longer flies to Florida on private jets belonging to S&L bandidos. No more quick flips of condos to raise cash.

Now he summers at the Heinz mansion on Nantucket, and when he has a party, the servants haul porta-toilets onto the spacious oceanfront lawn so that the hoi polloi need never defile the master's water closet.

Speaking of plebeians, do you recall the late state rep from Revere, Billy Reinstein? During one of his occasional meet-the-peasants tours, Liveshot deigned to address some legislators. Reinstein told his pals, watch this, and then sauntered up to Kerry and introduced himself - as Butch Cataldo, the state rep he'd defeated to win the seat.

"Why Butch, good to see you again!" Liveshot began. "How are you doing Butch! How's the family, Butch!"

Bush vs. Kerry. Andover vs. St. Paul's. Yale '68 vs. Yale '66. Right now you'd have to bet on Bush, unless the game is marrying heiresses.

Howie Carr's radio show can be heard every weekday afternoon on WRKO AM 680, WHYN AM 560, WGAN AM 560, WEIM AM 1280, WXTK 95.1 FM or online at
Articles too lengthy to fit on the Irish Elk blog.

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