Thursday, April 3, 2008

Red States, White Men and Navy Blue

Since becoming a full-fledged McCainiac, I've met several military Moms whose families are making the ultimate sacrifice for their country (watch for their perspective on the war and the White House next week). On their behalf, I want to comment about the relevance of military service when choosing a President.

It's no secret that Senator John McCain comes from a long line of military men who served their country with distinction (see NEW YouTube ad here). But many Americans don't know that Senator McCain has two sons currently on active duty - Jack is a navy midshipman currently in the Middle East and youngest son Jimmy bucked the system and signed on as a Marine (just returned last month from Iraq). They don't know because McCain, who is typically Mr. Straight Talk and fully open to the media, has made the subject explicitly and uncharacteristically off-limits.

It would be easy, and perhaps effective, for McCain to respond to Obama's anti-war platitudes and Hillary's misguided withdrawal promises with the image of his brave young sons in harm's way. It would be easy to speak as a parent, to other parents, appealing to their sympathies and schmoozing military parents as 'one of their own.' Meritorious service could be the trump card over the race and gender cards the other campaigns have played to the hilt. But that's not the kind of guy John McCain is - he is, after all, a parent first.

Blogs for John McCain's Victory had an interesting piece emphasizing the Democrats' hypocrisy dealing with McCain and his military record specifically. It is truly impossible for anyone to foresee the military and security challenges our nation may face during the next Presidency. But I know that I want someone in the White House who sees those men and women not as pawns but as heroes.

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