July 25, 2008

Gold in the fire....

Presidential campaigns always bring lots of stuff out in the open. People from the candidates' pasts come out of the woodwork. Of Republicans they tend to tell stories of kindness, decency and courage. [link, link] For Dems we get the women who've been groped, the money-men going to prison, the former comrades who say "not fit to be President.") Charlene recommends this piece, by a guy who spent 5 years in Communist Progressive prisons with McCain.

“Well, I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.” That was retired Gen. Wesley Clark’s condescending assessment of John McCain’s military service. Clark’s words have great weight because he was speaking as a key political/military advisor to Barack Obama.

If Gen. Clark had been talking about me, his remarks might be true. After all, I rode in a fighter plane and got shot down over North Vietnam. In no way do Clark’s words apply to McCain. I know, because I was a firsthand witness to his singular leadership and courage. In the years I spent as a POW in North Vietnam, I saw McCain inspire and lead under trying circumstances that Gen. Clark has not the imagination to understand.

As for the role of a president, I was fortunate enough to serve as a domestic policy advisor to President Ronald Reagan. Seeing him in action, and seeing John McCain in action, I know they are equals in character, ability and political courage.

I met John McCain in a POW camp in Vietnam. He told me his father and grandfather read history every evening. Since our release, I have done the same. From my study of history I know what we need in a leader....

(And no, I have not become a gushing McCain fan. I still have many points of disagreement with him. But the fire of this campaign is so far revealing McCain to be the real coin. And Barackmo is looking more and more like a thin layer of gilt over nothing at all.)

Posted by John Weidner at July 25, 2008 7:33 AM
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