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Kerry to Swifties: It's Not Over 'Til We Say it Is

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) can't help himself: he just has to pick the scab every time the folks he blames for ruining his 2004 presidential campaign open their mouths. And now it looks like his latest duel with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth could turn into the Showdown at the U.S. Navy Corral.

It all started when Swift Boat financier and megabucks Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens said earlier this month that he'd give a million dollars to anyone who can disprove even a single charge the Swifties made against Kerry's Vietnam record.

Kerry said he could disprove more than a single charge and he'd like Pickens (who is a Rudy supporter) to write a $1 million check to Paralyzed Veterans of America, thank you very much. Pickens wrote back saying he'd consider sending the money, as long as Kerry would provide his Vietnam journal, his military records and "copies of all movies and tapes" made during his service.

When Kerry returns from Africa, where he's traveling this week, he plans to write T. Boone and ask the oilman to meet him in person, mano-a-mano, million dollars to million dollars, so the senator can refute the Swift Boat charges one by one, a source close to Kerry tells us.

Incidentally, Pickens, in his letter, challenged Kerry to put up his own $1 million, to be paid to the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, if the senator cannot disprove anything in the Swift Boat ads. (Cue audio of the Charlie Daniels Band's classic Devil vs. Johnny "Devil Went Down to Georgia.")

Kerry spokesman David Wade said Pickens, by upping the ante and changing the rules, was "engaging in a Pickensian pattern of parsing and prevarication" and vowed, "We expect to take Mr. Pickens' challenge to the bank."

Asked if Kerry wouldn't finally just let it go and let his wounds from the Swift Boat massacre heal, Wade said, "As John Belushi said in 'Animal House': 'Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?' It's not over until we say it is."

By Mary Ann Akers  |  November 19, 2007; 7:35 PM ET
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