February 3, 2004
bush needs to clear up his military record now. He can not afford to have it haunt him through the next 9 months which it will without complete transparency.
The story has legs. See this the Washington Post here and here; see this Daily Howler piece.
It is not at all clear how w got the pass last time around. Yea, Gore wasn't a combat veteran but his record shined more brightly then w's. If bush end's up facing a Kerry or Clark this will be an issue whether the candidate pushes it or not.
bush needs to provide his entire record in unredacted form to the public immediately. Starting a policy of truth and transparency now may be all he can do to salvage his administration.
Posted by Steve on February 3, 2004
I agree with you. He DOES need to clear this thing up now. If what we're hearing and reading is true, then he needs to just fess up and get it all out. If it's false, then he needs to provide evidence as to such. This could really have an effect come election time.
Given the state of his official military records, as reported on in the NY Times and Washington Post, it doesn't seem that the president will be able to clear up any discrepancies with the sort of hard documentary evidence that would be indisputable. The evidence that is available and the best defense that can be offered based upon it is probably of the sort that journalist Bill Hobbs has made.
At any rate, I think that you overestimate the impact that this issue will play in the election. I suspect that the demographic that thinks that this issue is relevant enjoys near-total overlap with those who were not going to vote for Bush to begin with. Former President Clinton, who was subjected to draft-dodging charges, trounced two highly regarded war heroes (G.H.W. Bush and Bob Dole). The ambiguous moral status that the war in Vietnam continues to enjoy in the public's imagination tends to insulate men who did not serve from criticism on that basis.