John Kerry: The U.S. Senate’s “Mr. Incredible”

Here’s a recession-proof business: Professional framers in Washington D.C.

Take a look at the walls in U.S. Sen. John Kerry’s office lobby. Hopefully, he uses industrial strength picture hangers, because getting crushed by an Ego Wall would be a terrible way for a constituent to die.

Office lobby wideshot.

Kerry’s premature effort to build his presidential library is documented in our “Vanity Index” study for Slate Magazine. Along with photographer Ilya Mirman, I visited all 100 U.S. Senate offices and counted all the egocentric pictures and awards on the walls — incorporating the data into a mathematical formula to measure humility and vanity.

The Massachusetts Democrat, who is regularly mocked as an elitist by Boston media, posted an astounding 99 photos of himself. Some alone, some with celebrities and world leaders.

Only one man can rival such an ostentatious office shrine. And he would be Mr. Incredible, the out-of-shape patriarchal superhero in Disney/Pixar’s “The Incredibles.” Check out his ego wall!

Mr. Incredible's Office Tribute to Himself

There’s nothing wrong with sharing a few memories with voters or being proud of a few awards. But the Senate’s “Mr. Incredible” and some of his peers go way beyond this stage into “Don’t You Know Who I Am?” territory. The faces on Kerry’s walls are impressive. But they cumulatively meld into an extremely obnoxious form of celebrity name-dropping.

Chillin' with the Gorbachevs

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Who's SO important that he gets the cool seat next to the Prez on Air Force One?

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Kerry and Obama have an intellectual posturing contest: Who looks more cerebral?

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No chatting about "The Joshua Tree" until Bono gets to babble about African debt.

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How many autographed pictures of John Glenn FROM THE SAME EVENT do you need on the wall?

John and John with their wives.

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Enjoying some "Bro Time" without the wives.

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Kerry on the old "Meet The Press"

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Kerry on the new "Meet The Press." Did he make it onto Tim Russert's wall?

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Getting chummy with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek

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WARDROBE ENVY: Ever see the Dalai Lama wear a necktie?

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Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf gets advice on how to stymie Saddam's Republican Guard.

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Every corner of Kerry's office has a "Don't You Know Who I Am?" display.

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And lastly, here’s a Kerry photo that WASN’T displayed on his office wall. We found this one in the offices of the Lowell Spinners, the Single-A minor league baseball team for the Boston Red Sox.

POWERFUL FRIENDS: U.S. Sen. John Kerry yuks it up with the Lowell Spinners Canaligator, before the mascot's redesign. (Courtesy of the Lowell Spinners)

Maybe if the Senator sprinkled in a few pictures like this to balance out the President of France and Queen of Monaco, he might be viewed more as a regular guy who’s just smarter than the rest of us. And that’s much better than an elitist, condescending guy who’s smarter than the rest of us.


IF YOU THINK THAT’S OVERKILL…

… the lobby of Senator Kerry’s Boston office displays another 31 pictures of Kerry. Imagine how many John Kerrys must be on the walls of his inner offices.

One response to “John Kerry: The U.S. Senate’s “Mr. Incredible”

  1. daniel

    Any pictures of him with Sen. John Heinz?

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