If your state hasn’t gotten the message yet, the Mekong Delta-ed, My Lai-d, agent oranged veterans of Vietnam now have their very own Presidential nominee. And they’re already reaching out to other influential group (including the Gulf War-syndromed, land mine-foddered, buy-your-own-plane-ticketed men and women of the contemporary armed forces).
While most voters went AWOL when it came to picking a favorite candidate, the veterans had no such problem. Two weeks ago, vets demonstrated more pull than the unions in getting people to the caucuses in Iowa. Last week, veterans from 26 states showed up in New Hampshire to man the front lines for JK.
Having apparently shaken off his Viet ambivalence, the Democrats are now hoping (praying, actually) that they have the right soldier. Fortunately, Kerry has the opportunity right now to reshape his public identity (before Rove gets to do it). And, now that war is in fashion again, you can bet Vietnam is going to be a big part of the story. (Afterall, Kerry not only saved lives over there, he saved Republican lives!)
In the short run, at least, George Bush will probably be staying away from the aircraft carriers.