Tuesday, August 24, 2004

James Pinkerton On How Kerry Blew The Use of His Vietnam Story

Mr. Pinkerton is a well-established moderate voice. He did work in the Bush I White house, but since then has generally made conservative Republicans angry by his middle-of-the-road to left-of-center positions. Here's what he says about Kerry and Vietnam, which I think is dead-on:

A basic rule of politics, never learned by Kerry, is "know thyself." If
something in your background can be used against you, then, for heaven's sake,
don't lead with it. In Boston last month, Kerry could have presented himself as
a four-term senator presenting an alternative to Bush - on issues ranging from
health care to Iraq. But, instead, he highlighted once again his Vietnam
service. He might have thought that he was establishing a winning contrast with
Bush, but he should have thought some more. In fact, what he was doing was
waving a red flag in front of many Vietnam veterans - getting into a fight with
them, their friends and their fans. And that's a loser.


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