Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 6, 2008
By: Hilzoy

Comparisons

I got this email from a friend of mine:

"One thing that struck me last night was the irony of a candidate who relentlessly positions himself as a selfless servant of the nation ("I wasn't my own man anymore. I was my country's."), and then allocates such a large share of his convention speech to talking about himself. I can understand the need for Sarah Palin to dedicate time in her speech to introduce herself to the nation, given that she was an unknown quantity on the political scene at that point (notwithstanding the frenzy of Google searches over the last seven days). But at 72, after a long career in Washington, after a widely-televised campaign, and at the end of a convention in which an entire day had been dedicated to answering the "Who is John McCain?" question, it seems a little unusual for McCain to use his most precious block of national TV airtime to essentially read aloud from his memoirs, saying comparatively little about the country or about his platform.

Here is an admittedly simplistic way of looking at it based on analysis of the full transcript of the speech found on his campaign website. There were a total of 271 sentences in the speech, not including the "thankyouthankyouthankyouallsomuchthankyou" before he started and the "joinmejoinmefightwithmejoinmefightwithme" bit in the final minute or so. Of those 271 sentences, a remarkable 147 (54%) were devoted to telling us about John McCain himself: his past accomplishments ("I fought crooked deals in the Pentagon"), his qualifications for the job ("I know how the world works"), his family and childhood ("When I was five years old, a car pulled up in front of our house..."), his time as a POW ("On an October morning, in the Gulf of Tonkin..."), his patriotism ("My country saved me"), and so on. Another 8 sentences focused on Sarah Palin. This leaves only 116 sentences (43% of the speech) to discuss the topics that one might otherwise expect to constitute the majority of the speech: the state of the nation, his policy positions, future promises, differences between his positions and Obama's, and so on.

The contrast with Obama's speech is pretty dramatic if you go back and review the transcript of both speeches. Obama dwells almost exclusively in the realm of the state of the country, the future, what America is all about, key components of the platform, etc -- only occasionally sprinkling in comments about himself and his family that help to provide context and credibility. Using a similar analysis of the 226 sentences in the speech, 35 are devoted to Obama himself and/or his family, or about 15% of the speech. More than a third of these came in a single section containing memories about his mother and grandparents ("These are my heroes.")"

I went back and did the same exercise. I called a couple of cases differently, but ended up with about 50% of McCain's sentences focussed on himself, but the same 43% on the state of the country, etc. I counted 14% of Obama's sentences as being about himself; as those included all sentences about his wife and Joe Biden, there was no need to count those separately. The remaining 86% was about the country, his plans, and so forth.

For the record, both my friend and I excluded any claims about McCain and Obama that were about what they were going to do, however vague (e.g., a sentence like McCain's "We're going to change that" counts as a claim about the future, not a statement about McCain.) We counted only sentences that were about their present or past. The contrast was pretty striking, even more so when I read the speeches back to back.

A bit more after the fold.

To give a feel for how I was scoring things, here's a bit from McCain's speech that mixes up both kinds of sentences:

"Again and again, I've worked with members of both parties to fix problems that need to be fixed. (ME)

That's how I will govern as President.

I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again.

I have that record and the scars to prove it. (ME)

Senator Obama does not."

From Obama's:

"If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.

I get it. (ME)

I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. (ME)

I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington. (ME)

But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. (ME)

What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me.

It's been about you."

My sense is that this comparison overstates Obama's role in his own speech. Thus, the following counts as 'about Obama':

"Because in the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton's Army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the GI Bill. (ME)

In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree; who once turned to food stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships. (ME)

When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed. (ME)

And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. (ME)"

Without passages like that, the count would have been even more lopsided.

I adopted the (ME) tag to keep track of things, and only realized its potential for humor after the fact:

"I don't mind a good fight. (ME)

For reasons known only to God, I’ve had quite a few tough ones in my life. (ME)

But I learned an important lesson along the way. (ME)

In the end, it matters less that you can fight. (ME)

What you fight for is the real test. (ME)

I fight for Americans. (ME)

I fight for you. (ME)"

Hilzoy 12:02 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (44)

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Comments

Yes to this. Throughout this campaign, McCain has continually displayed a lack of humility in touting his political courage and judgment and having his surrogates reinforce it. Then he and his surrogates tell us how humble he is and how he doesn't like to blow his own horn. He tried to establish a cult of personality but it wasn't working to well. They're running the same game with Palin.

These people think they are gods that walk among us.

Posted by: Mary on September 6, 2008 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK

and yet in typical Rovian fashion they continue to mock Obama about being "The One" BTW Did you catch the latest edition of The Weekly Standard?

Posted by: nukev on September 6, 2008 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

As I posted at my blog, some dude at RedState actually referred to the biography section of McCain's speech as "the meat".

As he said:
"The good news is that there was meat. McCain got through the faux SOTU and began talking about what really matters -- who he is, what his life has been like, why he is ready to lead. When he talked about that, the tingle started to develop. You could feel it."

Ahh yes, what really matters. And to be honest, I too got the tingle just thinking about all this. But I think that might have been an early warning sign of my first stroke. I can feel it.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrian on September 6, 2008 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

this is exactly how they see winning the race: mccain the man vs obama the man. it's not a matter of issues. mccain doesn't care about issues other than iraq. if the republicans ran an issues-based campaign the race would have been over months ago.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on September 6, 2008 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

Palin jabbed at Obama for never leading anything. Can anyone say what McCain has led, either organization or men?

I don't think his presidential campaign counts, but you can add it if you want.

Posted by: MarkH on September 6, 2008 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

You have provided a quantitative measure of the degree to which the GOP and the Democrats have changed places.

As Andrew Sullivan and others have noted, the GOP---which has touted itself for decades as the Party of Ideas----has now transformed itself into a full blown Party of Identity. Doesn't matter what your actual ideas, hopes and plans for the country are, it is what political (and biological) DNA you have.

At the risk of a pulling a Godwin, I would remark that when the only acceptable identity is "white, anti abortion, anti-science Christian", the party is proto-fascist. The speeches of Romney and Giuliani, and the accompanying body language, would have sounded better in the original German and Italian.

And once you pass that entry test, your thinking on specific issues no longer matters. Sarah Palin has the Right DNA--and was nominated even though not so many weeks ago she agreed on many things with Hilary and Obama (in today's New Yorker there are some quotes that are downright hostile to standard--corrupt---Republicans). Pregnant teenage daughter? No worries, celebrate the marriage to high school dropout boyfriend. If you are one of the Chosen, all is permissible.

And if you are not a Believer, you are Damned.

And over on the Democratic side, we have Obama catalyzing the upwelling of a set of shared ideas, hopes, plans that transcend race, religion, and geography. The former Elect Leaders, the Kennedys, Clintons, Kerry---who, like poor McCain, have often acted like it is All About Them, and that Rules are for Little People, are treated with affection but their time is past. Obama, the mere "community organizer," tells the audience that the future is theirs.

Of course, Reagan took more or less that approach, too.

It is hard for me to judge to what extent this is all a matter of contrivance and appearance.

But right now it looks pretty amazing. It might well turn out to be an election like that in 1980.

We'll see.


Posted by: jhh on September 6, 2008 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

Obama does not have any service to his country to talk about and very little history at all. Americans need to realize that a lot of military people have served this country and still are. What kind of nation would we be without them? It is so degrading to our military when no one has the time to listen or even cares what they have been through. This only scares me more to think of what would happen to this country if terrorists attack again and Obama was in office. He and his followers are against war. And living in a fantasy world. How would he stand up to the attacks? He can make great speeches and write books! I hope the terrorists will listen and read.

Posted by: Martha on September 6, 2008 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

I'm only commenting because mudwall and I have the same last name.

What I really want to say is "Good timing Kevin.

Don't be around during a convention when we might want to read your comments.

Is this the way you vote "present" when it gets difficult?

I think you just lost me as a reader of your blog.


[Sciott, Kevin moved to Mother Jones on August 22, and Steve and Hilzoy took over here. Here is the link to Kevin's new site. --Mod]

Posted by: scott on September 6, 2008 at 1:26 AM | PERMALINK

One thing that I learned in this campaign is that there were only about 600 POWs. Maybe because I had a cousin who was shot down near the end of the war. I happened to be present when the officers arrived to give the news. His wife and my aunt and uncle were all there. I can't forget her reaction on seeing the car pull up.

When he returned I never heard him talk as McCain has. There were many stories, but none really personalized. It seemed like a group experience, things were related as history, not as something which gave my cousin any special status.

So when McCain talks of his POW years I simply do not get it. My cousin wasn't tortured, he got there too late. But he had buddies who were in very bad shape. They ate bugs which were living in their bread for protein. Maybe what he experienced was too personal to relate even to his family, but this possibility disturbs me even more. How do you put this stuff out as a qualification for anything?

The truth is that being a POW is about survival, it isn't about humanity, it isn't about morality, or honor, or country. At most it is about your buddies who are in the same condition as you. I doubt that the experience can have any meaning outside of that group of 600. Using it for more is selling out a confidence.

Worse still is that being a POW is an experience, it isn't an achievement. It isn't even proof of some other achievement.

Somehow it just offends me when he uses his experiences (not experience) as a distinctive requirement for being POTUS.

Posted by: tomj on September 6, 2008 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

And McCain mentioned fight, fighting or fought 32 times during his acceptance speech - in less than 50 minutes.

I don't know about you, but that was a bit frightening, to me.

Posted by: MsJoanne on September 6, 2008 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

Scott---Kevin changed jobs. He's at Mother Jones, I think.

Posted by: jhh on September 6, 2008 at 1:48 AM | PERMALINK

Obama does not have any service to his country to talk about and very little history at all.

Working at the community level doesn't count? Practicing civil rights law doesn't count? Teaching doesn't count? Serving in both the state and federal legislature doesn't count?

Americans need to realize that a lot of military people have served this country and still are.

A lot? Try two fucking percent - and as a member of that small group, I am bothered by that small percentage, because if more people were or had ever been personally invested, we might not be in this unholy clusterfuck in Iraq.

What kind of nation would we be without them? It is so degrading to our military when no one has the time to listen or even cares what they have been through.

I would like to remind you that it was a republican president with a republican congress who let Walter Reed fall into disrepair. That didn't happen in the three months between the time the Democrats took the majority and the time that the story broke. And I would remind you that John McCain dismissed the new GI Bill as "too generous" - until it passed, and now he wants to take credit for it. Those in uniform see something they like - for every dollar that military men and women are donating to McCain, they are donating six to Obama.

This only scares me more to think of what would happen to this country if terrorists attack again and Obama was in office.

Fearmongering unworthy of response, but what the hell? I doubt Obama would have ignored the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing that said in bold across the top bin Laden determined to strike in U.S. and dismissed the briefer with a glob "okay, you've covered your ass now."

He and his followers are against war.

There are probably a few pacifists supporting OIbama, but he isn't one and neither am I. Obama feels the same we I do and most people who have rolled out and fell in at 0445 - we are against stupid wars. Like Iraq.

And living in a fantasy world.

I think that's you, toots.

How would he stand up to the attacks?

I don't know, but he probably wouldn't declare war on a country that had nothing to do with it.

He can make great speeches and write books!

And that would be a bad thing? After the last eight years, it's something I am ready for. At least he writes his own books - McCain has published five - three more than Obama - all penned by ghostwriters.

I hope the terrorists will listen and read.

Take a fucking valium or something, and molest us no more with your idiocy. Moran.

Posted by: Blue Girl on September 6, 2008 at 1:54 AM | PERMALINK

Hearing McCain talk about suffering as a POW, made me think about how Jesus suffered, and died, for our sins, to save us, I was told as a child, and I therefore owed him my faith. I guess the faithful might owe McCain their votes for similar reasons, if they see this as a Christ-like sacrifice.

Posted by: JoAnn C. on September 6, 2008 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

Martha - I almost forgot - what was your MOS?

Posted by: Blue Girl on September 6, 2008 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

I guess the faithful might owe McCain their votes for similar reasons, if they see this as a Christ-like sacrifice.

Kinda makes a mockery of his "the One" commercial that mocked Obama, dunnit?

Posted by: Blue Girl on September 6, 2008 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

Didn't GOPers count the number of occurrences of "I" in Hillary Clinton's speech? (And, as I recall, it wasn't all that many.)

Posted by: Nancy Irving on September 6, 2008 at 2:40 AM | PERMALINK

I was glad that McCain used the word "fight" so much, but not for any reason he'd like. It reminded me of this post from Tom Tomorrow's blog, back in the Kerry campaign:

Thing is, Kerry's head speechwriter, Bob Shrum, has jackhammered the "candidate X is a fighter for the people" theme into a startling number of campaigns over the years - almost all of whom subsequently lost.

...

All else being equal, America's best-loved leaders are always optimistic alpha males with will-do attitudes who project comfort with their own power and a touch of self-deprecation - in other words, embodiments of the projected self-image of the country. Over and over and over.

The "fighter" image differs in the candidate's implied status in every single respect. That's why it always loses.

Keep it up, John!

Posted by: David on September 6, 2008 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

>>How would he stand up to the attacks?

Hopefully by launching an unprovoked attack on a country that had nothing to do with those attacks, destroying America's moral and political standing in the world, creating more terrorists, and strengthening all of our actual enemies around the world. Is that what you were aiming at? If so, you really should vote for McCain.

Posted by: jim on September 6, 2008 at 2:46 AM | PERMALINK

Ms. Joanne, I noted the "fight" comment in my blog. Interestingly enough, that peroration was the one real “red meat applause line” in the whole speech, showing that for the GOP, war still sells.

Posted by: on September 6, 2008 at 2:47 AM | PERMALINK

I'm the son of a UAW worker who loved FDR and my wife is a Mexican American. My oldest daughter is gay. I've friendships with blue collar workers and Ivy League doctorates. We all will vote for Obama because we are offended by the arrogance and incompetence of the Bush/Cheney/McCain administration. McCain (the old pilot) has run out of runway with the selection of Sara Palin.

Posted by: OldAlex on September 6, 2008 at 2:47 AM | PERMALINK

Interesting. Although, in theory, a man who has spent so many more years in Congress should naturally say "I did this" and "I did that," highlighting his credentials, while someone who has less history in Congress won't have that option. It would be interesting to see how the vp speeches stack up.

Posted by: catherineD on September 6, 2008 at 2:54 AM | PERMALINK

BUT, on “warmongering,” why does Obama-Biden still agree with Uncle Fester on Georgia and NATO membership? This is, IMO, nothing but the Democratic version of Cold-Warrior-ship.

And, given that the whole interest in Georgia is over building a pipeline from the Central Asian “Stans” around Russia, wouldn’t such a war on behalf of Georgia be an oil war like Obama (and many of us) condemned as the reasoning behind Iraq.

My blog a href="http://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2008/09/does-obama-biden-still-agree-with-uncle.html">talks more about that “yes” answer.

The conventions are over, and while the GOP was a clusterfuck from Palin down, I’m back in the mode of shining a spotlight on the real McSameness of the two-party duopoly where it’s evident.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 6, 2008 at 2:56 AM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl (high five)! AWESOME response to that tool's moronic post.


David, if you're so into fighting - go to Iraq. WTF are you doing here? Trolling for McPoints? Idiot.

Posted by: MsJoanne on September 6, 2008 at 3:04 AM | PERMALINK

MsJoanne -

I'm into what now? I'm pointing out that McCain was using a proven loser of a speechwriting ploy. I think it's funny, and even more so because the last place I'd seen that strategy critiqued was Bob Harris hoping that Kerry wouldn't fall into that trap (he didn't, incidentally, at least not in his acceptance speech). To have that turn around and bite McCain would make me very happy.

Posted by: David on September 6, 2008 at 3:10 AM | PERMALINK

OFF TOPIC:

I saw Bay Buchanan on CNN last night, and she must have had some sort of work done--she no longer looks deformed and twisted! She actually looked good (or, as good as she is able).

Now if she could only bring herself to imitate the subtle, reasoned arguments of her brother Pat instead of being, as ever, just a parrot for right-wing talking points.

Posted by: Anon on September 6, 2008 at 3:45 AM | PERMALINK

Thank you, MsJoAnne. I get a little pissy with the whole Starship Troopers view of citizenship. Especially when it comes from obsequious fucks who wouldn't qualify.

Posted by: Blue Girl on September 6, 2008 at 4:08 AM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl,

I always kind of liked the Starship Troopers view of citizenship. Ironically, my reasons are because I feel that it would have led many people (very possibly including Heinlein) to respond just as you did above.

The part I quote below struck me specifically as something he would have touted:

Americans need to realize that a lot of military people have served this country and still are.

A lot? Try two fucking percent - and as a member of that small group, I am bothered by that small percentage, because if more people were or had ever been personally invested, we might not be in this unholy clusterfuck in Iraq.

Posted by: socratic_me on September 6, 2008 at 4:24 AM | PERMALINK

John Stewart did a great piece last night. He juxtaposed Mccain's Speech with George Bush's from 2000. It's almost the same speech!

Posted by: GeorgiaGirl on September 6, 2008 at 7:30 AM | PERMALINK

It is so ironic or maybe just palin-- I mean plain justice, that the Republicans have exactly in Sarah Palin what they falsely accused Barack Obama of. From day one, Republicans loved to say that Barack was a “Roll of the Dice” a “Celebrity"! However, the hand of Karma is swift and the chickens have come home to roost in the guise of Sarah Palin who is the real risk and Roll of the Dice (no foreign or national experience, under ethics investigation, possible member of the AIP) and Sarah, like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton is a Celebrity now (glosses the the covers of US Weekly, People, National Enquirer, etc.). What you Sow you shall Reap! Maverick McCain who truly loves to gamble, loves Las Vegas, just risked the safety and welfare of this nation with his roll of the dice VP pick, Sarah Palin, who is not ready to go on Meet the Press! Tim Russert must be rolling around in his seat in heaven.

By the way, it seems that our Republican Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, who could be a heartbeat away from the Presidency seems, to have switched colleges at least six times in six years.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080905/...

Posted by: Angellight on September 6, 2008 at 7:43 AM | PERMALINK

Thank you Blue Girl. That was very asute.

I've had three brothers who served in the military. I'm made a career working with people in uniform and out. They don't need our veneration, they just need understanding and sometimes for us to fulfill to implicit promises we make as a country without the bureaucracy of the DoD and the VA.

Posted by: Lance on September 6, 2008 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

If John McCain ever again has the gall to say that he "doesn't like to talk about" his experience as a POW" I hope people laugh right in his face. But the trouble is, he's shameless enough to do it, and people are too cowed by his American Hero halo to call him out on it no matter how ridiculous it is.

Posted by: T-Rex on September 6, 2008 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

I am sorry that McCain was a victim of our failed policy in Vietnam.

However we need a leader for troubled economic times and a new foreign policy aimed at institution building, not to reignite the cold war. McCain is too yesterday and out of touch with today.

Posted by: bakho on September 6, 2008 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

Where was his flag pin?

Posted by: fgord on September 6, 2008 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

There's not a single republican who gives a flying f__k about an analysis like this. It's why we loose!!!

Staying in the intellect not the gut is a loosing proposition.

g'mos

Posted by: gtmoms on September 6, 2008 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Where was all this veneration of military service and respect for veterans four years ago, when the GOP was openly mocking a man who'd fought (on the ground, not in a jet) in Vietnam? Was Mike Huckabee telling parables that year in defense of the veteran who was wounded to "earn the desk" for us? Why wasn't the GOP defending the honor of that man, instead of lying about him?

It turns my stomach to see these claims to honor the service of the military from the people who were wearing purple heart band-aids in their last convention. They don't really give a crap about military service, unless they can use it to there advantage.

You know, the thing about real military heroes is that they don't keep telling people about their service. They don't have to.

Posted by: biggerbox on September 6, 2008 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

"...the subtle, reasoned arguments of her brother Pat..."

LOL!!!

Posted by: pedestrian on September 6, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

"I have that record and the scars to prove it."

That was THE most bizarre statement in a bizarre speech. Did you see the creepy grin flash when he mentioned the scars?

Every single thing he says has to reference his "suffering" as a POW? Did he friggin' ENJOY it?

What WAS that creepy grin about?

Posted by: A noun, a verb and POW on September 6, 2008 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

"There's not a single republican who gives a flying f__k about an analysis like this. It's why we loose!!!"

I'm not a political operative. I'm a blogger. I write about things that interest me.

Posted by: hilzoy on September 6, 2008 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

Hilzoy,

Your friend did an excellent analysis. It shows that McCain is almost as Narcissistic as my ex-wife.

So has anyone done a similar analysis focused on issues?

I'm ex-military and I have great deal of respect for both POW's and injured veterans. Frankly I trust military and ex-military individuals more than I do civilians. Those who have been military are more reliable. They've been trained to give their word and then live up to it. Not all - but most.

But I also live on a (short) block in which three homes are for sale by the investors who bought them last Spring on the Courthouse steps in foreclosure. In the next block someone is even more honest with a sign that says "Foreclosure. Make offer." And I'm in Fort Worth, Texas - Dallas - Fort Worth is the second best market for for real estate in the US after Charlotte, NC.

My kid just lost her job because UPS was cutting her hours down, gas prices went up and her car broke down and she doesn't have the money left to fix it. She literally can't afford to drive to that job any more. Fortunately my retirement still covers the mortgage, utilities and food for us both. Barely.

Somehow I don't have too much sympathy for someone who was a POW four decades ago and has lived the rest of his life waving the bloody shirt. Though I still tear up a bit when I remember those two Ranger Sergeants in Mogadishu who told the chopper pilot to drop them into the fire fight around the downed Blackhawk, knowing they weren't coming back. Each was married with two children. We've got a lot of heroes in America, military and otherwise, but not too many of them marry a wealthy beer heiress who buys them a seat in Congress and then the Senate.

For President I am looking for someone who has a clue regarding the problems America faces today, not someone who survived a five year miserable experience four decades ago and doesn't have a clue that time has passed since the formative experience in his life.

Has anyone done a similar analysis of the acceptance speeches of both candidates based on which focuses on the credit crisis, the foreclosure mess, the energy crisis, the Iraq war and terrorism, Bush's incompetent handling of the federal government (Katrina as an example), rising unemployment, middle class jobs fleeing overseas and so on?

The President's real power consists of his ability to shine a light on those problems he considers most important and thus direct America's energies to solving them. McCain seems to focus on those problems left over from Vietnam and the related terrorism problems he thinks can be solved by use of military power.

I'll take a community organizer over a military man as President these days because that's where America's biggest problems are.

If anyone has done an analysis of the acceptance speeches of the two candidate from that point of view of the current problems I listed above, where is it?

If you have an answer reply to jayray21@hotmail.com . I want to see it the analysis.

Posted by: Rick B on September 6, 2008 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Biggerbox

Don't forget that George McGovern in 1972 had been a WW II B-24 Liberator bomber pilot in the Fifteenth Air Force, flying 35 missions over enemy territory often against heavy anti-aircraft artillery. He earned the the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Nixon? Worthless in the military. But he supported the right-wing demand to continue the Vietnam war.

The right-wing gutter-slime only consider military experience as good if their candidates have it. Otherwise their propaganda experts will diminish it.

Posted by: Rick B on September 6, 2008 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

fgord: Where was his flag pin?

mccain didn't wear a flag pin at the announcement of palin either...


how come the wing nuts are not apoplectic?


Posted by: mr. irony on September 6, 2008 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

RickB:

That was a gret comment. I wish every non-insane conservative could read it. Thanks.

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