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actor212

A talent for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, no matter how right and instantaneous his reaction, is not a quality we want in a President.

Would you have said that on September 12, 2001? What if Al Gore was President?

See, it's not the knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sometimes, the wrong place just seeks you out and damned if I wouldn't want someone who knew how to handle himself, at least once, in a situation like that.

Ralph Hitchens

GREAT post! As an aside, JFK's war experience is well-documented in Nigel Hamilton's _Reckless Youth_. Kennedy was one of the more respected PT boat commanders in his squadron, and the sinking of his boat was something he could have done little to prevent, as I read it -- a poorly-planned operation, lousy weather conditions, fast-moving enemy, etc.

I think war experience is valuable for those who survive it, but only in a personal sense -- to hang your presidential candidacy on it is too much of a stretch.

Chris the Cop

Lance - I keep reading your first 4 paragraphs above looking for something/anything I can agree with and I just can't. And the JFK part is just silly.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that one reason JFK was able to face down the Soviets (and his own generals who were hellbent on turning Cuba to dust) was because of his war-time experiences. Swimming 3 miles with a man on his back, seeing death and destruction and surviving it has to give you a perspective and a confidence in yourself and your ability to solve problems. Doesn't mean Senator Obama doesn't have that confidence and ability, but you're arguing JFK's and McCain's experiences are irrelevant and they decidedly are not.

If you want to say that Senator McCain is a little unhinged or too close-minded or just too damn old, (not to mention wayyyyyyy too conservative for my tastes) I can accept that, but the notion that his years in Vietnam say "nothing about the man who survived other than that he was brave enough and tough enough to have survived it" and means nothing in terms what kind of President he'd be is not feasible.

SAW

I was high on Clark for Obama's veep for a while; thought he would be an ideal choice.
But I found this hatchet job [http://www.militarycorruption.com/wesleyclark.htm] on Clark and I've rethunk my enthusiasm for him. I had no idea why he had such a stinky reputation among his peers in the Army, or that he even had such a reputation. {And I was a senior editor at Army Times for more than four years before 9/11 and after the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. I thought I knew from what. But I digress} I'm now of the mind that Clark would be a bad choice for veep. If British General Michael Jackson had to shut Clark down in Pristina when he ordered Jackson to keep the Russians from taking the airport -- by force if necessary -- I'm no longer aboard. I hadn't heard about that and I trust Jackson's judgment. I was wondering why folks were so down on Clark; now I have an idea. Also, a friend of mine, a former Army officer during the time of Clark, has a uniformly low opinion of the man. My friend calls him "Richard Cranium," which translates to "Dick Head" for the rest of us. That's good enough for me.

Nice blending of the "wrong place, wrong time" with men with a talent for it in the context of McCain. McCain was caught in the Forrestal fire, as well, caused when a missile fired across the deck. His great, great grandfather owned 52 slaves in Mississippi until he got killed fighting for the confederacy in the Civil War. His father and grandfather were four-star admirals. His mother was an oil heiress. McCain's sort of a pasty, opportunistic, egomaniacal version of Forrest Gump who's lived his entire life on the tab of either the government or other people's money. Weird. Time to watch Mrs. Clinton set her flying monkeys free...

Michael Bartley

Another great post Lance there's a reason I keep coming back. Great job.
Chris the Cop I agree with your point on JFK but think Lance's point was more nuanced (oh there's a dirty word in these up is down times) then you seem to credit.
Clinton was great tonight. Really quite moving. Soaring rhetoric there at the end combined with straight talk (not the bus)to her supporters and high class bashing of McNut.
Also, how about Gov. Schweitzer? I live in the West and have been impressed for sometime. He'd make a great national figure. How about 2016?

jollyroger

How do you do...
a hero

Lance?
Sword, nunchucks??
Gamma-ray laser taser gloves in sky blue???


“GIVE ME BACK MY PANCREAS!”- Agent X

So what’s the f**king point of heroes, no really? Don’t they just act all morally highbrow saving virtues and looking like dicks albeit better dressed dicks than us? But still dicks though, bequeathed with amour or a good seamstress. Showing us up to be A typical inept-lings while they swan in (most times un-asked) and mute whatever quite entertaining cataclysm that was descending down your road while stealing whichever apparently distressed maiden is hanging about the place.

Based on that alone, they should not be encouraged, moreover culled. Alas 21st century heroism isn’t so slice and die. Everyone can be a sort of hero, so sit down Fatwoman and Widerman and lets get cracking.

...more at lifestyleguides.blogspot.com

ajay

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that one reason JFK was able to face down the Soviets (and his own generals who were hellbent on turning Cuba to dust) was because of his war-time experiences. Swimming 3 miles with a man on his back, seeing death and destruction and surviving it has to give you a perspective and a confidence in yourself and your ability to solve problems

Or, alternatively, he did both - dealing with the missile crisis and saving his crew - because of the sort of person he was anyway. After all, if he needed 1944 to make him able to deal with 1961, how was he able to deal with 1944?

minstrel hussain boy

well said. i linked. brilliant sir.

minstrel hussain boy

well said. i linked. brilliant sir.

minstrel hussain boy

a quick aside on general clark. another set of questions that would need to be asked of the general, a man i respect greatly, is about his involvement and support for the School of the Americas.

the training of south and central american death squads is a shameful part of our recent past.

Doghouse Riley

MacArthur was the fighting general, and imagine if he'd ever realized his dream of becoming President.

Don't have to. The Reagan administration was the made-for-Teevee movie version.

actor212

McCain was caught in the Forrestal fire, as well, caused when a missile fired across the deck.

SAW, it was McCain's missile that caused the fire.

http://judicial-inc.biz/82jjohn_mccain_and_the_uss_forresta.htm

http://milfuegos.blogspot.com/2006/01/navy-records-on-uss-forrestal-incident.html

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