Kerry Highlights Vietnam Experience With Boat Trip Into Boston
Peter Jennings reported on ABC last night that John Kerry's "arrival here in his hometown this morning was a classic piece of political theater. That's actually a water taxi and those are men he fought with in the swift boats in Vietnam. It has been the emphasis here in Boston since the beginning.John Kerry's career in Vietnam as a credential for leadership today." NBC's Brian Williams added, "The imagery is as subtle as a sledgehammer: John Kerry, former commander of a Vietnam War swift boat, reunited with his wartime crew members, on a slow boat across Boston harbor, arriving in town to accept the challenge of his lifetime." The Washington Post reports this morning that Kerry "vowed to 'write the next great chapter of American history.' But it was the symbolism, not the oratory, that carried this day for Kerry."
Vietnam Veterans Not Monolithic Supporters Of Kerry.
The Christian Science Monitor reports this morning that "veterans generally, and Vietnam vets in particular, are torn over Kerry's combat record and antiwar experience, and also over his work with fellow Sen. John McCain. . .to normalize relations with Vietnam and to dispel conspiracy theories about left-behind POWs." The Monitor adds that "for a significant number of veterans, Kerry's antiwar activism after he returned from Vietnam. . .has them riled enough to work for his defeat." On CNN, GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell said Democrats are "spending a good part of this convention trying to parade the Democratic nominee for president's military credentials, which were quite good and commendable. . . .And you know that we're going to sweep the military vote, both those who are active in the military, the reservists in the military. In fact, government employees who wear the uniform are the most likely to be Republicans of any government employees."
Fox interviewed conservative Democratic Senator Zell Miller, who delivered the keynote address at the 1992 Democratic Convention in support of then Governor Bill Clinton." Senator Kerry has four months service in Vietnam it was heroic service and we must never forget that but he has also had 240 months of service in the United States Senate. And it has not been so heroic, and we must not forget that either," said Miller." This is the man who voted against every weapons system that we needed to win the Cold War and that we use now in our fight against terror." Miller added, "The Democratic Party in the last four-and-a-half years that I have been involved in it in Washington has been the party of Kerry and Edwards and Daschle. And it is far, far to the left of the American people. It's so far left that it's off the charts."
LATimes And NYTimes Say Kerry Must Address Iraq Issue Tonight.
The Los Angeles Times editorializes this morning that "the clearest message of the 2004 Democratic Party platform is that John Kerry's Democrats are not going to be out-hawked or out-flagged. The Democrats call for an expanded military, expensive new weapons, heightened homeland security, better espionage. Domestic spending programs are cunningly repositioned under the rubric 'Strong at Home.'" But, the Times adds, "The issue on everyone's mind Iraq is buried under a subhead of a subhead on Page 8. On the most important presidential decision made by the man they are running against, the Democrats deliver this blistering critique: 'People of good will disagree about whether America should have gone to war in Iraq.' Indeed they do. That is why we have elections, and it would have been nice if the opposition party had the guts to actually oppose it. . . . The platform succeeds in telling us what the Democratic Party of John Kerry isn't. Maybe in his speech tonight, Kerry will tell us what it is."
The New York Times editorializes today that "when he accepts the Democratic presidential nomination tonight, John Kerry needs to give the nation a clearer idea of how his choices would have differed from President Bush's particularly when it comes to the war in Iraq. The nation deserves to be told whether Mr. Kerry would have voted to authorize the invasion if he had known that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Kerry, as the world already knows, is not a black-and-white kind of thinker, especially when it comes to foreign policy.That's good it should give voters a real sense of choice this fall, given George Bush's tendency to view the world in absolutes. But it's not an excuse for fudging every issue."