blogenlust
8.12.2004

More Kerry Heroics


First it was a Green Beret in 'Nam, then it was a pet hamster, now, a Republican Senator?:
Former U.S. Sen. Chic Hecht of Nevada is a staunch Republican, but he thanks his lucky stars for Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts. On July 12, 1988, Hecht 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. Hecht said he was amazed that Kerry acted so quickly -- some people were assuming that he was having a heart attack. "He knew exactly what to do," he said. "But a lot of people know what to do. They just don't size up the situation immediately."
However, take this with a grain of salt. Senator Trent Lott (R-MS), who was in the Senate at the time, but not there to witness the incident, put out a press release this afternoon claiming that Hecht had already stood up by the time Kerry had gotten there. Moreover, Lott said, "Hecht wasn't really chocking, he just had a really bad cold. John Kerry, in performing the Heimlich maneuver on Senator Hecht, was merely acting out of self-interest for his yet-to-be-announced, but inevitable Presidential campaign in the indefinite future. This is nothing more than partisan politics on behalf of Senator Kerry." Additionally, Senator Lott has joined with Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) to form a group called "Senate Hacks for Truth," whose stated purpose is to bring out the truth of that fateful day back in July 1988.