21 August 2004

It was a message to the voters!

[source, source]

With polls showing attacks on Kerry’s war record reaching large numbers of voters and resonating with many independents and veterans, the Democratic National Committee defended Kerry with a new ad, featuring retired Air Force Gen. Merrill A. McPeak — a Bush supporter in 2000. […]

Kerry hoped to focus on domestic matters but finds himself plotting a response to a veterans group that did not even exist a few months ago over an issue he thought had died. He has been forced to spend money and valuable time responding. Kerry talked with aides throughout the day about a strategy to put the issue of his Vietnam service and protests to rest.

Here’s a suggestion — stop talking about it! Even I am stunned at the delusional quality of this article. Kerry was surprised that after staging a week long convention about his Vietnam service that said service would be a campaign issue? As others have noted, the SwiftVets have been around since at least May and their strategy was obvious even then. John O’Neil has been attacking Kerry on this point since 1971. Even without that, did Kerry and his staff think that there was no longer any controversy about Vietnam? Did they not, perchance, notice the obsessive effort of Old Media to label any American conflict a “Vietnam”? Did Kerry think that was a term of approval? I’m beginning to sign on to the theory that future political historian will label this as the most inept modern presidential campaign, surpassing even Dukakis’.

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