March 1, 2007


Draft questions cloud Giuliani's chances (Bill Sammon, 2/28/07, The Examiner)

If this presidential campaign is anything like the last, John McCain's Vietnam service will inevitably be contrasted with GOP rival Rudy Giuliani's avoidance of a war that he opposed.

"Any suggestion that he was dodging the draft is totally, factually inaccurate," said a senior Giuliani campaign adviser who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic. "He opposed the war on tactical and strategic grounds."

But as far back as 1993, when he successfully ran for mayor of New York, Giuliani has been dogged by accusations that he pulled strings to avoid the draft. By contrast, McCain has long been feted as a bona fide war hero for his harrowing stint in a Vietnamese prison.

Anyone who dismisses the significance of Vietnam as a potential issue in the 2008 campaign is forgetting how surprisingly potent it proved in 2004, when there was enormous interest in the military records of both President Bush and Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts. Four years later, with the nation still at war, Americans likely are to again scrutinize the military records of those who seek the job of commander in chief.

If the election is determined by questions of character he'll be toast long before it gets to the draft-dodging issue.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 1, 2007 5:52 PM

Disagree. People are going to tune out accusations of draft dodging after Clinton, Bush and Cheney and to a lesser extent Dean. Kerry and Murtha have devalued war hero status.

Posted by: Rick T. at March 1, 2007 6:38 PM

"there was enormous interest in the military records of both President Bush and Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts."

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha! Not by the media in any honest way, there wasn't. Kerry still has never released his records, while when Pres. Bush did so, the media tracked down the dentist who was recorded as having examined him to ask whether his signature was forged!

The revisionist smearing of the Swift Boat Vets is utterly sickening.

Posted by: b at March 1, 2007 6:45 PM

Here's the most important point:

Any character issue will be important to brow-beat Republicans, not Democrats.

Nobody expects character from Democrats.

Example: Mark Foley and Barney Frank.

Posted by: sam at March 1, 2007 8:02 PM

A draft dodger beat a war hero in 1992 (Clinton vs. Bush I), and in 1996 (Clinton vs. Dole).

Posted by: ic at March 1, 2007 8:15 PM

Yes, if Giuliani were to win the nomination but have a challenger on the Right he too would lose to Clinton.

Posted by: oj at March 1, 2007 8:52 PM

The media gutted Kerry on character issues and tried for Clinton.

Posted by: oj [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 1, 2007 8:53 PM

Just like people tune out Brittney Spears and Anna Nicole because these kids of stories are old hat? People like blood in the water.

Posted by: oj [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 1, 2007 8:57 PM

"If Rudy were to get the nomination but be challenged on the right" Who is going to challenge him from the Right? A nutroots challenge to Hillary is far more likely.

Posted by: AWW at March 1, 2007 9:34 PM

Even a Pat Buchanan will finish Giuliani in the general election.

Posted by: sam at March 1, 2007 10:41 PM

"The media gutted Kerry on character issues and tried for Clinton."

Uhhh, which 'media' was that? Nobody in the MSM ever asked Kerry about his Christmas in Cambodia, the magic hat, his gold-digging, the fire hydrant in Boston, the 5 homes in exclusive neighborhoods (and multiple SUVs), his Naval records (other than Tim Russert, AFTER the election), or anything else remotely related to character, except for questions about his vote on Iraq, which he brought on himself.

And the NYT, which did blast Clinton on policy points, never asked him about Juanita Broaddrick.

The media danced around Clinton - they didn't trust him, but they winked at him. And when he got a question he didn't like (from Brit Hume, for example), he went stone cold and let everybody know it. No one ever followed up. Even when Lisa Myers ran the NBC piece on Juanita, it was like running a story on someone who had seen a flying saucer ("this may have really happened, but no one can prove it - we may never know the truth"). Lisa tried to be understanding, but she wouldn't go any further. A real White House correspondent would have asked Bill directly, no?

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 1, 2007 11:19 PM


Rudy may or may not win, but he would eviscerate Pat Buchanan in about 10 seconds. Pat doesn't even do good cable TV these days.

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 1, 2007 11:21 PM

Jeez, since when does getting a deferment and then a high lottery number count as "draft dodging"?

Posted by: PapayaSF at March 2, 2007 1:51 AM

Via Cap't Ed on the judges"

I asked Simon about the recent issue with judges. The Politico posted an article on Rudy's track record on judicial nominations, and reported that Giuliani appointed more Democrats than Republicans to the bench as Mayor. Hower, Simon called this misleading. The mayor does not have a free hand in judicial appointments in New York City. An independent panel gives the mayor a choice of three candidates for each open seat, and the mayor has to select from those three. Rudy did not choose the candidates; he had to select one of three locked-in choices.

Posted by: Sandy P at March 2, 2007 2:28 AM

Jim Hamlen:

I am not talking about Rudy vs Buchanan in the primaries, I am talking about Buchanan as a spoiler in the general election. If Rudy is the GOP nominee, there will be a "conservative" candidate, because lots of folks will not accept two liberals as the only candidates. Even a 1-2% vote split will finish the Republican candidate.

Posted by: sam at March 2, 2007 7:24 AM


Then how'd you hear about them?

Posted by: oj [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 2, 2007 7:46 AM

Sam - that entire premise is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen written here. What next? Dennis Kucinich blowing it for Hillary?

Posted by: BJW at March 2, 2007 9:58 AM

BJW: Why is this ridiculous? Remember, Nader cost Al Gore the 2000 elections.

Posted by: sam at March 2, 2007 10:18 AM


All the Kerry stuff was on the web - I don't watch network news (except for Fox perhaps once a week or so). I read the WSJ and USA Today most days, but that's about it. I used to read the NYT every Tuesday (the Science edition), but I can't bring myself to pay for it anymore. I only read TIME and Newseek (and The Economist) when I am flying somewhere.

To your point - did any MSM reporter ever ask Kerry directly about the magic hat, Christmas in Cambodia, moving the fire hydrant in Boston, his Naval records (prior to the election), or even his skimpy record in the Senate?

The Clinton stuff was in NR, The American Spectator, Reed Irvine's old newsletter, and on Rush. And, back in the day, Christopher Hitchins used to go nuclear on the Clintons every time he was on "Hardball". That was fun.

But, to your point - I never saw or heard any MSM reporter ask Bill (or Hillary) a single question about Juanita, Kathleen Willey, Beth Dozoritz, or Denise Rich. He had to dodge the questions about Monica, Paula Jones, and Gennifer (among others), because there were pressing legal and political reasons. But did he ever get the third degree about his escapades (a la Packwood)? No.

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 2, 2007 10:52 AM


It is more likely that McCain would run as an independent (if he doesn't get the nomination) than Pat Buchanan or even Tom Tancredo would get more than 250,000 votes. Nader got almost 3 million in 2000, as I remember. The Nader experience for the Dems will tamp down any serious leakage from the wahoo right, don't you think?

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 2, 2007 10:59 AM

The Web is just the media, but you'll have noticed that folks who don't rely on it all knew of the charges too.

Posted by: oj [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 2, 2007 11:32 AM

sam, Nader most certainly didn't cost Gore the election.

Posted by: erp at March 2, 2007 11:59 AM