The Kerry Gatekeeper

The three year long role The Democratic Daily’s own Pamela Leavey has played in the blogosphere for John Kerry has been noticed by the liberal on-line community.

Martini Republic interviews our Pamela, or as she will henceforth be known: The Kerry Gatekeeper.

What colors hasn’t Pamela’s hair been? For the answer to that and everything else you always wanted to know about Pamela but were afraid to ask, read the whole interview here.

UPDATE: National Journal’s Blogometer notes the interview here.

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39 Responses to The Kerry Gatekeeper

  1. pen says:

    great interview pamela. I liked how you said JK talked about the problems in his campaign which if I interpret right meant there was no need for you to bring it up again as other continue to do. It that was the intent your interviewer didn’t pick up on it did he:-)

    Good job indeed. Now if only Senator Kerry’s former campaign staffers were as astute and had a comand of the issues and the man as you have.

  2. Pen

    Some people do like to drag out the same subject over and over again. We see that so often.

    It was an interesting array of question he asked, right down to the “hair”.

  3. Teresa says:

    Good job, Pamela. How does that make you feel? Being called the Kerry Gatekeeper. It implies that he will be emerging and things are being readied for this moment.

  4. Nick says:

    Great interview Pamela. By the way, if you ever get to DC I’ll be happy to show you around.

  5. ifkeditor says:

    Nice article. I’m glad someone is taking notice of all you and Ron and others do here.

  6. WOW, I leave for a night at work, and come back to the KerryGoddess as the Kerry Gatekeeper and another post by Dave none the less!! I am speechless. Well not really 😉 I always have something to say 😉

    Pamela–Editor and Owner of the Authoritive Kerry source/KerryGoddess/Kerry Gatekeeper/Business owner/Single Mom/Tolerator of Dave and Donnie!

    How do you do it all? Alright, group hug!

  7. Ginny in CO says:


    I think the variety of people here is one thing that really speaks to the whole effort and how working together can make such a difference. Some people can foster that kind of environment, others don’t seem to be able to.

    Where else could you find a Marine Rebulican turned Democrat that suggests a group hug? 😆

    I love it

  8. Connie says:

    I agree with you, Ginny. It’s the caliber of people over here at demdaily that makes me visit every day, not just to get the great news but to be involved in the project of bringing America back to its highest idea. Pamela and her staff always try to increase understanding, not just decimate the opposition as other sites do. I have come to recognize all the bloggers names and enjoy their comments. Even though I am a late comer(I discovered the site after Kerry lost, and it was a godsend for me.), I was made feel welcome right away. Such a pleasure to see Pamela thinking so fast on her feet, keeping this interview on message. Who better to be Kerry’s Gatekeeper?!

  9. Connie, we do have quite a group here. Glad to have you as part of it. Pamela is something else is she not?

    Ginny, “Where else could you find a Marine Rebulican turned Democrat that suggests a group hug?” LOL, aint life ironic?

    And {{{Teresa}}} my blooger babe!!

    We do have it all here. Right down to the numbers man, Nick! PS Nick, I might send you an email soon for some numbers. I think you might like where I wanna go with this.

    Just one big happy family, with the frequent “I have to disagree” situation.

  10. Jill says:

    That was a great interview Pam! I enjoyed reading it, and getting to know a little bit more about you.

    “The Kerry Gatekeeper”. You should be honored.

  11. Dotti J says:

    Congratulations, Pamela

    Even though we’ve shared a few moments on the phone, I enjoyed learning more about you reading this great interview. Once again, thanks for all you, Ron and talented others do to keep us so well informed. FYI my first internet check each day is this site, and I’m happy. Kerry on Gatekeeper! Hug from me too.

  12. Ginny in CO says:

    Connie Says:
    June 14th, 2006 at 7:47 am

    Thanks for adding that. And to all for giving Pamela the additional support she has earned.

    “Pamela and her staff” is a comment I would clarify for anyone reading this.

    This blog is privately owned and run by Pamela. The income is only from blog ads – which is minimal because we don’t attract the masses.

    “The staff” is the voluntary group of writers and other contributors that you see at the upper right hand column.
    Ron Chusid, Assistant Editor, is the other major (understatement) contributor to this blog.

    Between Pam and Ron, I think there are two things that make The Dem Daily a stand out blog.
    -There is a great balance in the posts.
    Pamela is consistently informative with intuitive insights.
    Ron has the solid scientific angle with analytical reasoning.
    Although this leads to the occasional situation where the common ground is crowded into a very small space, it reveals in a microcosm what happens in the rest of society where there is often too much distraction to reveal the finer details.
    -Obstinance comes with the strong personalities that we have engaged in these discussions. As several of us have commented, what we don’t have are the ego hampered individuals that interfere with contributions from all sources.

    We have engaged in ongoing dialogues with conservatives, Republicans, and fundamentalist/evangelicals that were constructive enough to promote greater understanding on both sides.

    The approach I think works here and that I have used for 3 decades is what I call ‘passive assertive’.

    Passive aggressive individuals are manipulative and controlling in ways that are destructive to human interactions and relationships.

    The passive-assertive approach involves;

    Listening (reading) to the speaker carefully, not only for the exact words. Concepts and ideas are stored, used and created in the essentially non verbal right brain. Putting them into verbal left brain form can be difficult. On a blog, the ‘listener’ is relying on reading only, no right brain non-verbal cues to add important nuances to the comments.(Smileys, caps, bold,etc help a little) There is also the factor that the writer, while determined to add a comment, had to do it too quickly to be sure it was clear.

    The essence of responding is respecting the dignity of the speaker/writer. Withholding judgemental comments on the individual and having some civility in refuting arguments. Hence, an assertive, informative but not ugly or unnecessarily punitive answer. (The main exception to this are the visitors who make aggressive comments that are flagrently ignorant on a subject that has had plenty of discussion, here and elsewhere, for anyone who wants to consider the facts and avoid spreading misinformation.)

    The other observation on intuitive knowledge and opinions. ‘From the gut’ convictions are usually a combination of an actual experience that helped forge the lesson in the ‘burned hand teaches best’ mode AND the PAIN – or other emotions of the ‘hand burning’.

    A classic example of how this works to our disadvantage are experiences that were really bad, happened with someone whose primary characteristics (gender, race, profession, etc,) generated discrimination against anyone in that group.

    The insight as to whether the emotional association is appropriate – ‘righteous anger’ – or not, comes with the willingness or ability to examine that experience in the analytical left brain.

    I think one of the things Pamela has done that sums up the Dem Daily, is to add JK’s quote to the mission statement:
    “Truth is the American bottom line.”

  13. Teresa says:

    LOL is right! A marine turned Dem and loving it!

    One great characteristic of this blog for me is the delicate balance between individual ego and significance and a common love for a great leader that unites us in a positive mission. Whatever the internal conflicts, the overriding serious concern about improving the political situation in our country is far and above what I see elsewhere. The respect is genuine and spills over into all of the communication. The occasional dips into painful exchange is over and done with quickly in this sense of mission led so elegantly and devotedly by Pamela Leavey.
    It is the existence of Democratic Daily that assures me of some sort of triumph for the positive coming up shortly.

  14. Robert Greer says:

    To Pamela Leavy, The Kerry Gatekeeper:
    ***** ‘Creative writing’ comment edited for non-constructive and malicious content *******

    From The Gatekeeper
    Robert Greer
    L 3/26 USMC VN’68

  15. Ginny in CO says:

    Robert Greer,

    I and other members of the Dem Daily, thank you for your service to our country.

    It grieves me to know that there are vets like you who have been emotionally wounded by their experiences far worse than any physical injuries.

    We truly wish for your peace of heart and mind.
    We are not trying to make your life worse.

    Obviously we disagree as to who will help or hurt our country.
    We all want it to be the best it can be – for all of us.


  16. battlebob says:

    By Robert…
    Say hello to your smearvet wacko buddies for us.

    Too bad you gave your undieing love to someone who could care less about Vets or this country.

    I see you were in Vn in ’68…a bad time for you. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your service. You also need to look in the mirror and see if you really want to support a President who dishonors all Vets.
    Serving with honor is the highest praise anyone could receive.
    Dishonoring those who served honorably is the worst possible wrong anyone could do.

    You are dishonoring Kerry and it is wrong.

    You honor Bush who dishonors all Vets and that is wrong.

  17. battlebob says:

    Robert served in Company L, 3rd Battilion, 26th Marine Regiment which was at Khe Sanh during the 1968 Tet Offensive. I had friends who died there and are on the Wall.
    Robert can correct me but the battle lasted from Jan 21 – March 6.
    These guys went through hell and their struggle must always be honored.
    I thought Westmorland hung these guys out to dry because he was hoping for a big frontal attack and he let these guys get pounded.

    I think you are wrong for damning Kerry. What has bush done for you except use and abuse?
    Just like Westmorland.

  18. Ginny in CO says:

    The dates are about right – the battle wound down during March, the last American offensive on March 30th.

    That does explain a lot. The Khe Sanh survivors are probably the most scarred of any group. One of the stories:

    The soldier had been at Khe Sanh the duration, plus the rest of his tour. When he was sent back home, his behavior and work became inconsistent and then bad enough he was discharged. I think there were some issues but am not sure that it was dishonorable.

    From then on, life was hell. His flash backs to Khe Sanh destroyed his relationships, jobs, everything. His family tried to get him the psychological help he clearly needed but the VA was not dealing well with PTSD then.

    One evening he was walking down a street in the dark, the approaching headlights triggered the flashbacks to the aircraft supply flights coming into Khe Sanh. He ran to a screen door that had light from the living room shining through and burst in upon an elderly woman.

    I am not sure that he actually attacked her, but her death was due to a heart attack. He was convicted of murder, sentenced to death, and executed.

    Among the memories he had to live with. You’ve heard the Army never leaves their wounded and the Marines never leave their dead.
    There were nights they were unable to move out of their positions due to enemy fire. After weeks of fighting, the local rat population was thriving. Some nights they had to leave their dead buddies until they had enough cover to go get them.

    The point is not to make war humane; the point is to make it impossible Anonymous

  19. Pamela,

    What a great interview and a wonderful story!

    I share your support for Senator Kerry and in my small way work to get his message out. Your enthusiasm and dedication is inspiring.

    Our greatest problem shall be to raise the discussion above the concrete “support our troops” or “America love it or leav it” mentality.

    This nation is challenged by those in power who undermine all those things important to us. They are bankrupting our country, literally stealing from the nation with corrupt contracting in Iraq, in the Katrina aftermath, and even on Medicare Plan D delivering taxpayer money to drug companies while denying taxpayers the right even to negotiate for a lower price.

    They cut taxes and raise expenditures for bombs and bullets and then holler about the waste in social programs for the poor and disabled.

    They threaten our educational system with “No Child Left Behind” that is a ruse for a system of transferring public moneys from public schools to parochial schools with vouchers while sheltering those schools from the same testing requirements.

    They threaten our national security by starting unnecessary wars which work to recruit terrorists instead of reducing the threat from these people.

    They threaten our environment by loosening environmental protection and making a mockery of regulatory enforcement appointing lobbyists who act as foxes guarding the henhouses of American businesses.

    They threaten our civil liberties, illegally gaining our telephone records, examining our Google Searches, and checking on the very books we read in the library.

    They threaten our international reputation as a beacon of freedom and instead we become an example of a nation that is the subject of Amnesty International. A nation that redefines “torture” at the highest levels of government and then is “surprised” when torture rears its ugly head in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and in Afghanistan.

    But the American People would prefer to hear a simpler story about Mom and Apple Pie and how America is wonderful and how our President is simply making us safer. ‘There hasn’t been another attack on us since 9/11 has there?’

    America forgets about that big failure when this President even had a Presidential memo about Osama bin Laden intending to attack America sitting on his desk a month before the 9/11 fiasco.

    So John Kerry is important to this nation. He is unafraid to speak truth to power. He is unafraid of speaking his mind. And he shall continue to be the recipient of the greatest amount of mud and slime dished out by the Republicans.

    But John Kerry knows mud and slime.

    He waded through mud and slime to get his Purple Hearts in Vietnam. And he is prepared to continue wading through mud and slime to get to the White House.

    This blogger is standing right with him.

    Thank you so much Pamela for what you do! America needs new leadership ever so badly.

  20. Robert Greer says:

    Re: Ginny in CO post # 18


  21. Ginny in CO says:


    Thanks for the specific name (Manuel Pina Babbitt). I had no idea even where to start looking and my memory was fuzzy on the specifics of the charges so I just commented on what I remembered.

    If you google the name and read more specifics about his life after Vietnam, it is clear to anyone familiar with PTSD, that his drug habit and related criminal career were what the VA left him for coping with the flashbacks and other PTSD issues.

    It was a horrible crime, the drug use certainly added to the probability that he would commit such a crime. The lack of appropriate psychiatric care is just as much a contribution as the initial experience.

    I think it would have been very appropriate to sentence him to a life sentence in a criminial psych facility.
    I do not support the death penalty, period.
    This quote from Bob Kerrey sums it up:
    “It is easier to die for your country than to kill for your country”

    War does not solve our problems, it creates them and multiplies them. There is entirely too much evidence that profits of multinational corporations are behind a century of war.
    I am with Ike:

    “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed”

    The rest of the quote compares how many schools, hospitals, roads could be built with the money spent on bombs, planes and aircraft carriers. What scientists who spend their lives on creating the instruments of death and destruction could have created instead.

    Tommorrow I hope to do a post on the Veteran’s for Peace conference in August.

    I know there are different views on all this amongst vets. I base my convictions on what I have learned from the vets I have cared for over a nursing career of 30 years. One of the things I want and expect to see from a Democratic Congress is better funding of the VA and specifically funding for PTSD research, outreach and treatment. The Iraq vets PTSD rate rivals the Vietnam Vets. Some of them have already had problems resulting in police actions.

  22. pen says:

    This post was to celebrate Pamela why don’t you malcontents take your crap somewhere else, like Hannity and colmes.

    As for this blog it was a godsend. As I’ve said before after the theft of 04 I didn’t think I’d ever get that sick fefeling out of my stomach. But thanks to this site and light up the darkness and independents for Kerry, I began to read up more on the man I voted for and knew I was right and am right still.

    Kerry is going to need this site and all of you more than ever as Rove and GOP and hillary take turns hitting him.

  23. Pen

    LOL! The malcontented Mr Greer certainly can be depressing. Thank you…

  24. Ginny in CO says:

    Sorry about getting off topic. Having read the original post and edited it, I wanted to acknowledge his pain, however inappropriate the writing.

    After that it was sort of a means of illustrating #12.

    The second comment, although off topic, was OK by me so I responded – before I found out the GateKeeper did editing 😉

  25. battlebob says:

    We ain’t seen nuthin’ yet…
    It is going to be a long ride until the Kerry inaugeration…

    Ok..some guys dream of fast cars and faster women…
    I’m an old fart…so I’ll dream about getting my country back..

  26. Indie Liberal says:

    Thanks Pam, Ron, and everyone for creating this blog. It’s very positive without being over the top. Always fun to blog with intelligent, common sense people. 🙂

    P.S. Pam, Sorry for that minor snafu during the birthday blog party.

  27. Indie Liberal says:

    pen Says:
    June 14th, 2006 at 9:22 pm

    Thanks pen and florida dem (wherever you are) for letting me know that I was not alone in supporting the man I voted for in 04.

  28. battlebob Says: June 14th, 2006 at 9:40 pm


    You got that right – we ain’t seen nuthin yet. Been there done that — the long ride — ready to do it all over again for the Real Deal!

  29. battlebob says:

    Babbitt was another VN war casualty.
    His name should be on the Wall.

    I was lucky that I quit boozing when I left the service. Otherwise it could be me doing crazy things.

  30. Indie Liberal

    Can positive be over the top? Can we be too common sense? We need more common sense in the blogosphere, IMHO!

    My memory must be slipping me on the any snafu… no worries. you are always amongst friends here – you know that! 🙂

  31. Ginny in CO says:


    “Babbitt was another VN war casualty.” AMEN

    I am torn between putting the names of men like Babbitt and others who committed suicide on the wall or in a separate memorial.

    I would really rather see a completely different one dedicated to those who came home to a life worse than death. More like a place where you would also learn about PTSD and what these folks ‘lived’ with.

    Maybe we could get it into the heads of the the voters, if not the chickenhawks, that war is the LAST OPTION.

    BTW, I am so glad every time I read your stuff that you got off the booze. Even if you weren’t doing the crazy stuff, you could be sitting around with a gut the size of a beach ball and skin the color of a pumpkin. Had one of those vets about 6 years ago in home care. Really nice guy, wonderful family. Could never get off the bottle. Liver failure is a really ugly way to die.

  32. Indie Liberal says:

    Thanks Pam. 🙂 I agree. There can never be enough common sense. We need more of it each day now.

  33. battlebob says:

    I got the gut thru happy eating.
    The skin is ok.

    I quit the sauce when the wheels left the Clark runway. Just a social wine and an occasional Captain Morgan.

    Most folks spill more then I drink.

  34. battlebob says:


  35. Battlebob

    I’ll second that – most folks spill more than I drink these days too – funny thing happened when I lost my gallbladder, it didn’t settle so well any more.

  36. battlebob says:

    This is from and is a letter home from a GI talking about Mai Lai.

    February 2, 1970
    Dear Mom, Dad, and Grandma,
    Enclosed are some pictures you may enjoy. Included is a picture from Life of a CA (combat assault). It is the best I have ever seen. It is from Life’s article on the My Lai massacre….
    In an operation of this size, there is a lot of confusion. Intelligence reports said the hill was heavily fortified and that only NVA, VC and their families live there. A report of that kind makes you trigger happy. There is a saying here, “better safe than dead.” Everyone is nervous when moving in. All it takes is one person firing in the air, and everyone assumes that there is contact and they are under fire. Any civilians nearby become expendable on the theory that you can not take a chance on their having concealed weapons or chicoms (grenades). Then, with everyone firing in all directions, people get carried away, like a mob. Everyone is doing it, but no one is leading it. All non-GI’s become suspected enemy. By the time you find out if someone has a weapon or is a simple farmer, he could empty 30 rounds from an AK-47 in you.
    Sure, as Life Magazine points out, no enemy fire was encountered and there were no wounded in action, but no one probably was sure of that until the next morning. By then it was too late. People who assume that the fire you hear is only friendly fire are the ones who make up our 40,000 dead in Nam. You must always act under the assumption that the fire you hear is enemy fire. When you find out to the contrary, it is often too late. Here on the center (B Battery Fire Base), when we get incoming mortars, sometimes they are not sure until the next morning whether it was our own mortar or not. And here there are only 4 mortar tubes to check. Out in the field, how are you supposed to find out if it is incoming rounds or a GI firing into the air? You cannot sit in the open for 10 minutes and check your platoons to find out. You act under the assumption that it is enemy.
    I am not condoning My Lai. There is no doubt that a massacre took place. If you enrage and tease a lion, and then an innocent person comes along and pets the lion, the innocent person will be mauled. People who think that troops should always restrain themselves are simply asking too much of human nature. They sit in their carpeted homes and say, “Control yourselves, don’t give in to your emotions.” They’ve never had a friend hit a bobby trap and shipped the pieces home in a rubber sack. Let them tell me what to write to a man’s wife or parents. Control yourselves, your husband/son is dead. Or to his buddies. Control yourself, you friend who you slept with, ate with, and patrolled with, is dead; but don’t feel any hatred…. Or when a man comes back from R&R and everyone is looking at the pictures he took and joking with him. He looks around and says, “Where is Monte?” The joking stops and there is silence. Finally someone says, “Monte died two weeks ago, a 105 booby trap.” Then everyone just sort of drifts away to let the returning man grieve alone…. This is not a soap opera. This happened in my platoon. People do not live happily every after and come back to life for tomorrow’s episode. This is war and I’ll give a news flash to everyone back in the states — they’re playing for keeps over here….
    You cannot demand that an individual refuse to obey orders he feels are wrong and then turn around and allow laws that will send him to prison when he does. If someone had refused to obey orders, and My Lai had not become a national incident, that person would now be serving 5-10 in Leavenworth and nobody stateside would have said anything in his defense; cowardice in the face of the enemy or some trash like that.
    We have crisp weather here. It is warm during the day, but cools off rapidly at night. We see the starts almost every night. When there is no industry and almost no vehicles, you have no smog. Fog is very heavy every day. You can watch it flowing from valley to valley. I’m going to take some pictures of it.

  37. Robert Greer says:

    Re: Battlebob post # 36

    The date on the letter is February 2, 1970, almost two years after the Tet and Hue massacres.

    The soldier refers to the Pinkville Retaliation as My Lai.

    The soldier probably learned of the “My Lai Massacre” like everybody else did by reading newspapers and looking at photographs in Life Magazine which appeared 1 year after the Pinkville Retaliation.

  38. battlebob says:

    Thanks Robert.

  39. G Berg says:

    As Ms. Leavey well knows, I have always admired Sen. Kerry and continue to consider him better presidential timber than the current announced field of candidates.

    But get off this ‘global warming’ kick, for chrissakes!

    Obama and Gore’s sponsors in Wall St. and on the Chicago Board of Trade may want to market ‘carbon futures’ based on a contrived ‘climate crisis,’ but their interest is not the national interest. Meanwhile, the yet to be impeached Cheney continues to plot a war–probably nuclear– against Iran in the short term. The Gore-headlined diversion around ‘global warming’ serves his purpose well.

    3 billion folks in this world lack electricity and running water. I consider their fate a great deal more important than the fate of hedge fund mgr. Al Gore’s animated Hollywood polar bears. Gore proved ‘global warming’ about as well as Cheney proved Saddam’s WMD. That is, if you ignore all contradictory evidence, you can prove anything.

    I know hedge fund mgr. Al Gore to be both politically and personally a racist. His ‘cure’ for ‘global warming’ amounts to ‘technological apartheid.’ No modern technology for the underdeveloped nations. Millions will suffer or die.

    Surely Sen Kerry does not share Gore’s racist view.