Bill Clinton, shortly before undergoing heart surgery, urged John Kerry to drop the Vietnam theme of his campaign, according to MSNBC. The call came after the release of a new Gallup poll which shows that George W. Bush had a lead over Kerry greater than the statistical margin for error for the first time since January.
I find it sad that military service is still such a dominant issue of the campaign. It seems to have occurred to no one that Bush has military service that Kerry doesn’t: for the past four years, he has been Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, an accomplishment, like it or not, that Kerry cannot claim, at least not yet.
And that the suggestion that Kerry should drop the Vietnam theme comes from Bill Clinton is even more ironic, since Kerry was quick to come to Clinton’s defense in 1992 when Republicans attacked Clinton over the same military service issue back then.
As many problems and as much unhappiness as there seems to be with the current administration, the unending pursuit of this one sore topic speaks volumes about the Kerry campaign, which has wasted no time in attacking the Bush camp for avoiding “real issues.” If everyone is so dissatisfied with the direction the country is going, as Kerry insists is the case, how can he be losing ground? Is he, as some Democratic party consultants fear, letting the victory slip through his fingers?