Thought this was funny and that you all might enjoy.

GOP Exposé: Kerry, Closet Frenchman

By Dana Milbank
Tuesday, March 23, 2004; Page A17

Mon dieu! The Republicans are trying to turn John Kerry into a frog.

Bush pal and Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans recently said publicly what his colleagues have long been saying privately: He called President Bush's Democratic opponent a "fellow of a different political stripe who looks French."

Those are fighting words these days, when anti-French feelings are running high because of the diplomatic fight over Iraq. The Republican National Committee has been sending out regular news releases about Kerry's French relatives and his popularity in France. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) has been known to start a speech with: "Good afternoon, or, as John Kerry might say, 'Bonjour.' "

Now, the Kerry campaign has made it easier for the GOP to portray the candidate as très French. Seeking to boost his image, his allies have sought advice from, of all people, a Frenchman.

A close Kerry adviser has contacted G. Clotaire Rapaille, a French-born corporate consultant who psychoanalyzes cultures with what he calls "archetype research." Rapaille, based in Florida, has made a name for himself describing Americans' subconscious associations by examining the "reptilian" part of the brain. He determined that the smell of coffee makes us think fondly of childhood. He found that the French associate the smell of cheese with life while Americans associate it with death. His "brand psychoanalysis," used by companies such as Procter & Gamble, helped develop Chrysler's PT Cruiser. Now, he is psychoanalyzing brand Kerry.

Max Berley, a French-speaking foreign editor at The Washington Post, made this startling discovery when he came across a blog item published last week by the French newspaper Liberation. "The entourage of John Kerry has just contacted a French anthropologist based in the United States, Clotaire Rapaille, in order to better understand how to beat Bush in November," wrote correspondent Fabrice Rousselot. He reported that Rapaille advised Kerry "to call for a summit with all the European leaders to devise anti-terrorism strategies, in order to show that he 'does more' than Bush regarding security."

Sitting on the biggest scoop since Naomi Wolf told Al Gore to wear earth tones, your correspondent called Rapaille and confirmed that he has been contacted by the Kerry campaign. But that is where the Wolf comparison ends.

Rapaille said that he is not being paid by Kerry and that he has been contacted by top fundraisers for Bush. Rapaille also noted that he was paid by Lee Atwater to advise Vice President George H.W. Bush's 1988 presidential campaign. As for his 2004 intentions, "it's kind of confidential," he said.

Kerry spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter confirmed that Rapaille had lunch with an unpaid Kerry adviser but said it was the Frenchman's initiative. Republicans may be having fun with Kerry's heritage now, she said, "but come November the joke's going to be on them when the American people say 'Laissez les bon temps rouler,' or 'Let the good times roll.' "

What is not a secret is that Rapaille is about to publish a book about the archetypes of the presidency. And he doesn't mind giving Kerry some free advice. Taking a ski vacation, he said, was "a mistake." Rapaille said Kerry also needs to be something other than just against Bush. "The president has to be the entertainer in chief, which means he is feeding the American soul every day," he said. "Kerry has to say, 'I've seen the future, and I know where to go. Follow me.' "

And Kerry's penchant for deliberation is inferior to Bush's instinct for decisive action. "Action is salvation in America," Rapaille said. "When Kerry says 'Let me think about it,' this is the French way. This is wrong." The "American way," Rapaille said, is "I shoot first, and then we discuss." Kerry's subtlety, he continued, is "too European."

Kerry's European sophistication and impressive language skills would be an asset; but this is a time when the president mocks as "intercontinental' an American reporter for asking a question in French to the French president.

Even before Rapaille, DeLay criticized Kerry's spending proposals by saying "they just didn't teach him arithmetic at the European boarding school that he went to." The Drudge Report last week noted the sale of Kerry's "foreign mansion." The RNC circulated an Agence France-Presse item identifying former French environment minister Brice Lalonde as Kerry's first cousin. The party also circulated a description of Kerry by his foreign-born wife: "I think he's been maturing like a good wine. I think he's now ready to sip." Ooh-la-la.

U.S.-based correspondents for the French media, aware that Kerry learned fluent French while in boarding school in Switzerland, have been trying to get him to do an interview in French. Correspondents say they have spoken French with him in private, but as soon as the cameras go on, Kerry switches to English to avoid giving the Bush campaign more ammunition.

"His communication team is not very fond of the French media," said Pascal Riche, Liberation's Washington correspondent. Other than a brief television interview in French some time ago, all the French media can get out of Kerry these days is: "J'ai pas le temps" -- or, as Tom DeLay might say, "I don't have time."