Florida Pilot

A compendium of random thoughts from a former Washington Beltway insider who is now having a lot more fun flying small airplanes in Central Florida.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Another friendly Kerry post-mortem

The Boston Globe puts together another discussion of the failures of the Kerry campaign. One of the contributing writers is Kerry-friendly biographer Michael Kranish.

Kranish is also remembered for being the first "reporter" to assist the Kerry campaign by attacking the Swift Boat Veterans in a poorly-researched story that was refuted within a day.

There are a lot of excuses for Kerry's failure. For example, Kerry's comment that he would have authorized the Iraq war despite subsequent knowledge that no weapons of mass destruction had been found is blamed on poor hearing due to (no surprise here) loud noises he encountered during his brief Vietnam service. According to the Globe story "[w]orried advisers briefly considered issuing a clarification, but feared it might further feed Republican efforts to portray Kerry as a "flip-flopper."" No further explanation is given as to how one more flip-flop would have somehow made a difference.

Showing that the Globe can't seem to get even basic stories involving the military correct, the statement is made describing Max Cleland of Georgia. that he had "lost both legs and his right arm in combat". Perhaps the Globe is using some special dictionary but the ordinary definition of "combat" would not include picking up a friendly (but armed) grenade from the ground. (I've always thought the contrast between Kerry who got three purple hearts with no serious wounds or injuries and Cleland who incurred very serious injuries but no purple heart was interesting.)

The discussion of the effect of the Swift Boat Vets suffers from the typical liberal blind spots.

"An angry Kerry summoned longtime friend Thomas J. Vallely, a Bostonian and Silver Star recipient, and told him to "find me Billy Rood." William B. Rood had been present during the action that garnered Kerry the Silver Star the swift boat foes were now calling into question. Rood, an editor at the Chicago Tribune, had refused to speak publicly about the action. He took Kerry's call, though he didn't tell the senator what he planned to do.

On Aug. 22, an article by Rood appeared in the Tribune condemning the swift boat veterans and backing Kerry's version of the event leading to his Silver Star. The story spread, adding to a growing consensus that the campaign against Kerry was based on exaggerated or unproven claims."

Interesting, but while the Rood story was generally more supportive of Kerry's position than it was not, it was hardly definitive. Neither this story (nor any liberal publication I have even seen) ever mentions the fact that Kerry consistently refused to either authorize release of all of his Navy records or the complete version of his Vietnam diaries. In fact, many of the Swift Boat criticisms of Kerry were supported by the limited parts of Kerry's own diaries that were made available. But the Globe doesn't seem to quite get it, seemingly wondering how the Swiftees could have been so effective.


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