In 2004, John McCain defended fellow Senator John Kerry against the exceedingly well-deserved attacks by the Swift Boat Vets and related groups. But in the world of Washington, no good deed goes unpunished; and even the Associated Press has to laugh (check out the second paragraph quoted below) at the turn of events involving their candidate’s latest surrogate to take a shot at McCain’s military service:
John Kerry says Republican John McCain doesn’t have the judgment to be president.
If that’s the case, then it’s probably a good thing McCain rejected overtures from Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004, to form a bipartisan ticket and run with Kerry as his candidate for vice president.
Kerry had no kind words his Senate colleague Sunday, accusing McCain of poor decision-making on everything from backing tax cuts for the wealthy to making support for continuing the U.S. military presence in Iraq the centerpiece of his presidential campaign.
“John McCain … has proven that he has been wrong about every judgment he’s made about the war. Wrong about the Iraqis paying for the reconstruction, wrong about whether or not the oil would pay for it, wrong about Sunni and Shia violence through the years, wrong about the willingness of the Iraqis to stand up for themselves,” Kerry, who supports Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
“If you like the Bush tax cut and what it’s done to our economy, making wealthier people wealthier and the average middle class struggle harder, then John McCain is going to give you a third term of George Bush and Karl Rove,” the Massachusetts senator added, echoing an Obama campaign talking point.
Kerry later said the McCain of 2008 isn’t the McCain he courted in 2004.
“John McCain has changed in profound and fundamental ways that I find personally really surprising, and frankly upsetting.
And Kerry is expert in changing in profound and fundamental ways, that millions of Americans found surprising and frankly upsetting.
McCain has built his famous “Maverick” reputation by building bridges across the aisle, to the point where numerous conservatives wonder which party McCain owes his allegiance to. How does he view these blue falcon attacks, now numbering at least a dozen if not more, on his military record? Did he expect them as part of business as usual in Washington?
Kerry was apparently surprised when his post-war anti-American actions from the early 1970s were questioned in 2004. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page of this Newsweek postmortem from immediately after the 2004 election to Kerry’s apoplexy when Charlie Gibson questioned him about his infamous early-1970s ribbon toss.) I’d be curious if McCain, who was a POW in Hanoi during Kerry’s Winter Soldier days, is equally surprised.