Wednesday :: Aug 11, 2004

The Angle Of Mercy

by pessimist

No, that's not a typo!

In the following story is a message the George Warmonger Bu$h never learned - the one that says one good turn deserves another.

Former GOP Sen. Hecht owes life to Democratic candidate Kerry

The story has a twist of irony: Hecht was up for re-election that year, and Kerry, who was serving as the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, had pegged Hecht as one of the most vulnerable Republican seats. Indeed, the Democratic nominee for Hecht's seat, then-Gov. Richard Bryan, beat Hecht, who served just one term in office. "Only in America can this happen, where he's working against me to get me defeated and then saves my life," Hecht said.

Personal to GWB: This is what compassion means - not those lies you've been telling for years!

On July 12, 1988, Former U.S. Sen. Chic Hecht of Nevada was attending a weekly Republican luncheon when a piece of apple lodged firmly in his throat. Hecht stumbled out of the room, thinking he might vomit but not wanting to do it in front of his colleagues. Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., thumped his back, but Hecht quickly passed out in the hallway.

Just then, Kerry stepped off an elevator, rushed to Hecht's side and gave him the Heimlich maneuver -- four times. The lifesaving incident made international news, and Dr. Henry Heimlich, who invented the maneuver in 1974, called Hecht to say that had Kerry intervened just 30 seconds later Hecht might have been in a vegetative state for life.

"This man gave me my life," the 75-year-old Hecht said Thursday.

If this had happened to a member of the current (mis)Administration, the odds would be that this act of kindness would have been forgotten long before the ink on the news headlines dried. What did Sen. Hecht do?

Every year the Hechts call Kerry's longtime personal secretary, who tracks down Kerry wherever he is. Then they recount some of their experiences in the last year. Hecht and his wife thank Kerry for thinking so quickly in the Senate halls that day.

Hecht, who prides himself on having one of the most conservative records on the books during his six years in the Senate, said he and his wife, Gail, see politics as "a secondary issue" when it comes to Kerry. "We've had a wonderful life, and it would have all been down the tubes," said Hecht, who is about to celebrate his 45th wedding anniversary with his wife.

And Kerry tells them that their phone call is one of his favorites of the year. "He's so nice and appreciative," Hecht said.

On Wednesday, Roll Call wrote a story about Hecht's incident. So far, Kerry hasn't asked Hecht to appear at a campaign event, but Hecht said he would if he were asked.

Both of Hecht's daughters have attended Kerry events, and Gail Hecht hopes to travel to California the next time Kerry is there to voice her support, Hecht said.

See, George? A little real compassion can bring rewards - over and above those inherent in taking action to save someone else.

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pessimist :: 3:46 PM :: Comments (7) :: Digg It!