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Kerry's Daughter Wins Fellowship

You're never too rich to suck a little money off the federally funded tit...

KETCHUM, Idaho -- Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry has announced that his daughter Vanessa has won a Fulbright scholarship to study medicine in London.

Vanessa Kerry is a 27-year-old Harvard medical student who frequently travels with her father's campaign.

According to the Fulbright Web site, about 1,000 U.S. students are awarded the federally funded fellowships each year of about 4,500 who apply. Kerry told reporters traveling with him to a long weekend vacation in Idaho on Saturday that Vanessa Kerry recently learned she was one of this year's winners.

Her stepmother is worth over $1.5 billion dollars, and there's her father bragging how she's taking money for a fellowship she doesn't need. I'm sure she earned the fellowship, but there are probably lots of applicants that didn't get accepted that could use the money.

In contrast her step brother, H. John Heinz IV, seems to is noticeably absent from his stepfather's campaign.

Update: Apparently others can't read my words, or I'm not being clear. I am not arguing that Vanessa Kerry doesn't deserve the fellowship, nor am I arguing that she shouldn't accept it. All I'm saying is that she doesn't need the monetary portion of the award.

Update 2: Steven Taylor get's the final word. If a former Fulbright winner sees no issue, who am I to argue.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Kerry's Daughter Wins Fellowship:

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» damnum absque injuria linked with Kerry's Fulbright

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Comments (15)

I believe you are way TOO L... (Below threshold)

I believe you are way TOO LOW when it comes to what Therea Heinz Kerry is worth; I do believe it is over 5.5 billion dollars. Pass the Ketchup.

I've administered Fulbright... (Below threshold)

I've administered Fulbright Scholarships/Fellowships in nearly a dozen countries. The program has absolutely nothing to do with financial need.

In the case of the program in the UK, it's an exchange program, giving US academics--and that has to be the Kerry daughter's role--a chance to work with their UK counterparts. At the same time, Brits scholars do the same in the US.

The bulk of the US-UK Fulbright program, by the way, is funded by private British contribution. The US gov't input is less than 20%.

Too, the bulk of that program goes to high school teacher exchanges: close to 200 US teachers go to the UK for a school year, essentially swapping their jobs (and homes) with British counterparts.

The purpose of the program is to give people first-hand experience in a different country.

Diss Kerry and all he hold dear. Diss the Fulbright program if you like. But be factually and contextually accurate while doing so.

So Heinz-Kerry gets a slot,... (Below threshold)
Frank Martin:

So Heinz-Kerry gets a slot, while a kid who has no backing, no tutors, working on their own in the back of a library goes waiting. For every caviar and champaign breathed liberal tust fund kid that gets this scolarship a child of some truck driver, or 7-11 worker, whos worked against the odds to keep going goes without.

This a goddamnned disgrace.

I moreorless agree with wha... (Below threshold)

I moreorless agree with what "Frank Martin" just wrote (^^).

Intelligence and academic achievements are relative. The best academic processes recognize this. For instance, a "C" from the most difficult institution, received by someone who is competing with three hundred of the world's most competent academics at any given time, while also supporting themselves, or even more difficult, supporting a family or needy family member and themselves, indicates a huge advantage in competency over someone who lives in a fully supported and fully funded environment with no distractions and all the possible helps that exist, who may accomplish an "A" or thereabouts.

I'm not at all criticizing or finding fault in helping those who achieve with some suggestion that only those in financial need should be awarded helps (that is, not suggesting that anyone from wealth should be disqualified because they are wealthy and only for that reason), but, this award to this person and others of her similar situation DOES, in fact, push a perhaps more qualified person who could really, really use this award, out into the cold.

Intelligence is relative. Now we'll never know what this Kerry "child" could have, would have achieved had she grown up in a trailer park in Detroit, without a father, and bought her single pair of annual shoes with the money she earned in that job she held down while attending school fulltime.

It's far easier to do everything well when you don't have to do anything by necessity, is the point. People who achieve academically, even on average, while surviving more difficult circumstances than having billionaires at home to encourage any possible and/or potential threat to failure -- generally the assumed idea that this person has never faced down a threat to thier survival, nor had to work her way to counter anything of that nature -- people who otherwise do even moderately well under difficult circumstances offer the most helpful experience to others.

No disrespect to the privileged in our world, just that they grow up to think that they can apply for their own Purple Hearts -- and actually obtain them -- and things of that nature, and that anyone who challenges their behaviors is assumed to be silenced for doing so. Or is "less intelligent" because they stutter, things like that.

Awards such as this make the rest of humanity stronger, achieve more, or, at least, show example of why they should be.

The process should have just awarded Kerry's daughter a free, purple SUV with an Aeorstream trailer hitched behind it, is what I'm saying, because that's the basic statement that's made here, to a great degree.

So, can I safely assume tha... (Below threshold)

So, can I safely assume that those who are opposed to Vanessa Kerry being awarded the scholarship would also prefer less of a merit-based system and more of an affirmative action-type system to favor the economically-disadvantaged?

As John pointed out, the Fullbright isn't financial aid; it's an honor that goes out to some of the country's better scholars.

Perhaps my comments were mi... (Below threshold)

Perhaps my comments were misunderstood. I'm sure she was eminently qualified to receive the award. The money that goes with it - she doesn't need it - it could be put to better use elsewhere.

As a good PR move (they are in the middle of a presidential campaign) the Kerry's should give it back or arrange for one more person to get an award.

No, Jess, but you can</i... (Below threshold)

No, Jess, but you can safely assume that the Fulbright awards would be forever dulled should Ms. Kerry decline to accept this financial honorarium. Because just being nominated certainly isn't honor enough.

I was once in the running f... (Below threshold)

I was once in the running for a slot at the air force academy. The congressman I was trying to get an appointment from asked to see me, we talked about alot of things. for about a half hour we chit chatted about things and people we mutally knew.

and then he asked me "the question":

"Son, why do you want to go into the air force"?,

I answered innocently like any 17 year old:
" Because I want to be a pilot and fly jets!"

He told me something I've never forgotten.

"Son, I'm sending a candidate to one of the academys because they want to make a life of military service, not just get their degree for free and go on to work for United Airlines. If youre not interested in a lifetime in the service, I dont want to send you to the academy. It's just not right son, theres others who want to serve their country who wont get a slot at a lifetime of service because of your desire to be a pilot. ".

That lesson has stayed with me my whole life.

While I loathe JF'nK as muc... (Below threshold)
El Jefe:

While I loathe JF'nK as much, if no more than, the next man I can't 'blame' him for this. Isn't this what we all wanted in the repeal of the Equal Opportunities Act?

Now, of course this makes him look like shit (good!) but it is what I've been soap-boxing about. I just hope that Vanessa got it through hard work like every one else has and not by her father's name.

I hope John who comm... (Below threshold)

I hope John who commented above is still tuned in and will correct me if I'm wrong but it's my understanding that the Fulbright Program evaluates applicants based on "academic attainment and leadership potential". Another way of saying this is that acceptance is not by competitive examination and political acumen and political connections are significant in being accepted into the program.

It all depends on what "merit" means, I suppose.

So Kevin,What you'... (Below threshold)

So Kevin,

What you're saying is that Affirmative Action is good, in that people who come from poverty have a better chance at excellence?

Isn't that contrary to the GOP line?

Or is it only contrary when you aren't trying to shoot at a Democrat?

You can't have it both ways - either this stuff is based on merit or economics.

David and Jess are essentia... (Below threshold)

David and Jess are essentially correct.

Not only is it a matter of being based on merit, but also on the possibility of linkages with the receiving institution. I've seen many applications that were superb, but no one in the receiving country was ready to work on that particular project at the moment, so the applicant lost out.

Financial issues are frequently a problem, too. Just recently, I had a single-parent applicant with twin teenage daughters. The grant was insufficient to pay for her daughters' in-country education. Her options were to a) try to get the grant increased, b) find another source of funding, c) drop the grant.

A) was out of the question, because the budget is fixed. If she got more, then somebody else would lose a grant.

C) was always an option.

B) is what she did. She talked her own institution to upping her sabbatical pay.

The Fulbright program can be very competitive, but the competition depends on the subject matter and the country involved. Not suprisingly, competition for the UK is high; that for Saudi Arabia comparatively lower.

The competition starts in two places. One is the foreign country where the bilateral Fulbright Commission (if there is one, the Embassy if there's not) approaches local academic institutions to see what opportunities exist. Alternatively, an academic can come up with a project and see if it will fly in his target country.

In either case, the proposals go before boards comprised of both US government officials and private citizens.

Then the Cultural Affairs staffs at Embassies work to create the linkages.

The form for the applications are standardized and--as with most gov't forms--ask as little identification information as possible. Kerry's form would give her basic data (place & date of birth, contact information, etc.). The rest would be a brief CV, an academic history, a comprehensive description of the project, and a statement about why the applicant and the project should get the grant. Forms that even hint of playing a connections card get dropped pretty quickly.

And there are all sorts of programs. Some are for grad students only. Others are for faculty. Others, for administrators. Some are for undergrads to live abroad for a year to develop skills in languages. And, as I noted earlier, some are for high school teacher exchanges. There's even one to bring French teachers to Louisiana from Tunisia.

The program in Third World countries gets a larger proportion of US money than those in First World countries. Germany's program, for instance, is paid for with 100% German money. Even India pays about 50% of the freight.

Kerry's daughter is not "depriving" anyone of anything. She put up a unique proposal that was of interest to the receiving institution. The application didn't ask her net worth, nor who her parents were. That, I think, is exactly how merit awards are supposed to work.

yeah, what was that? How t... (Below threshold)

yeah, what was that? How to prop up your lying dad and 'dis' real heroes? Or how to act like a spoiled brat and show your breasts off?

Who friggin' cares if Vanes... (Below threshold)

Who friggin' cares if Vanessa Kerry "needs" the money or not? Some scholarships are need-based; Fulbrights aren't. If you earn a Fulbright, good for you. Take the money, it's yours. Getting one's panties in a wad over this non-issue makes no more sense than protesting the (likely) fact that John Kerry will, if elected, collect a much larger, Presidential salary that he also doesn't "need."

Some countries operate on the principle that what you earn isn't really yours to keep unless you "need" it. Until I read this post and Malkin's, I happily assumed that the United States was not among them.

It just proves to me again,... (Below threshold)
Keith Smith:

It just proves to me again,the Kerry's have no shame.
Keith Smith,






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