John Kerry, at midnight from Ohio, will condemn the Vice President’s statement on Kerry. According to ABC News, Kerry will say
The Vice President even called me unfit for office last night. I guess I’ll leave it up to the voters whether five deferments makes someone more qualified to defend this nation than two tours of duty. . . . Let me tell you what I think makes someone unfit for duty. Misleading our nation into war in Iraq makes you unfit to lead this nation. Doing nothing while this nation loses millions of jobs makes you unfit to lead this nation. Letting 45 million Americans go without healthcare makes you unfit to lead this nation. . . .
That John Kerry is still relying on his Vietnam record indicates he just does not get it. A lot of people got deferments during the Vietnam war. Besides, the Vietnam War would be irrelevant in this campaign but for John Kerry making it an issue. Vietnam is not an issue that will really hurt either the Vice President or the President. They have a current record to run on.
The President’s opponent is an experienced senator. He speaks often of his service in Vietnam, and we honor him for it. But there is also a record of more than three decades since. And on the question of America’s role in the world, the differences between Senator Kerry and President Bush are the sharpest, and the stakes for the country are the highest.
— Vice President Cheney speaking at the Republican National Convention
Kerry has come out swinging. Let’s give him that. But, that he is still hiding behind four months of Vietnam as if that will protect him from his thirty year Senate record is foolish. If he cannot justify and defend the votes Zell Miller and Dick Cheney attacked, he will lose. Ironically, his statement indicates he still wants to hide behind Vietnam while attacking the administration on current policies. Zell Miller might want to point out that turn about is fair play.
Senator Kerry phrased the Vice President’s attack as an attack on Kerry the war hero. The Republicans are not playing that game; the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are playing that game. It is clear that Kerry, instead of changing the subject, intends to keep on the Vietnam subject. That is what his message grid told him to do. Good for him for sticking with the campaign plan. However, if the plan is bad, the campaign will be bad. Vietnam is worse for Kerry than for Bush because Bush was open and honest about his laziness in the seventies.
In one, perhaps unintentional, coup for the GOP, reporters are circling expecting a major shakeup in the Kerry campaign. Instead, Kerry looks like he is going to stick with the plan and stick with the team. He will just add more cooks to an already overstuffed kitchen. Pride cometh before the fall and John Kerry, being a senator, is an egotist waiting to fall.
So, Senator Kerry, you want to talk Vietnam and lies and who is unfit to govern? To quote you, “Bring it on!”