Former Vietnam POW on the Irrelevancy of Being a POW to Being President

It’s struck me as curious that fellow POWs haven’t played more of a role in the McCain campaign–it can’t be reticence on McCain’s part since he repeatedly brings up his service (and starts many of his campaign events with a three minute film highlighting his capitivity). I was going to post about that, but then I stumbled across this column by another Vietnam POW:

People often ask if I was a Prisoner of War with John McCain. My answer is always “No – John McCain was a POW with me.” The reason is I was there for 8 years and John got there 2 ½ years later, so he was a POW for 5 ½ years. And we have our own seniority system, based on time as a POW….
There were many heroes in North Vietnam. I saw heroism every day there. And we motivated each other to endure and succeed far beyond what any of us thought we had in ourselves. Succeeding as a POW is a group sport, not an individual one. We all supported and encouraged each other to survive and succeed. John knows that. He was not an individual POW hero. He was a POW who surmounted the odds with the help of many comrades, as all of us did.
I furthermore believe that having been a POW is no special qualification for being President of the United States. The two jobs are not the same, and POW experience is not, in my opinion, something I would look for in a presidential candidate.
Most of us who survived that experience are now in our late 60’s and 70’s. Sadly, we have died and are dying off at a greater rate than our non-POW contemporaries. We experienced injuries and malnutrition that are coming home to roost. So I believe John’s age (73) and survival expectation are not good for being elected to serve as our President for 4 or more years.
I can verify that John has an infamous reputation for being a hot head. He has a quick and explosive temper that many have experienced first hand. Folks, quite honestly that is not the finger I want next to that red button.

Let the Republican slimedozing begin!

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12 Responses to Former Vietnam POW on the Irrelevancy of Being a POW to Being President

  1. Joshua says:

    Why do Vietnam veterans hate America?

  2. RM says:

    Yet, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday, McCain has taken a five point lead.
    I guess people just weren’t punished enough over the last eight years.

  3. QrazyQat says:

    Zogby polls are typically wrong this time out at least. They apparently, from what I’ve read, get the estimate of who will vote way wrong. One example out of many is the California Democratic primary, which Zogby showed Obama winning by 13 points; Clinton won by 10 points.
    But the Zogby polls are pushed because they help the media narrative of the tight horse race.

  4. Philip H. says:

    Vietnam Vets don’t hate America. They fought for us, remember? They do hate how they were treated when they got, and rightly so. The Parades, special projects and extensive news coverage our Iraq vets now get wasn’t there for them. they are still angry about that, and many will go to their graves thinking they were sold out by a country that asked them to risk their lives, only to be turned away from society when they returned. They deserved better then that.

  5. Beverly says:

    I recently left a comment about McCains anger in public; directed both at his Senate cohorts and at his wifehave people forgotten this? I find it creepy how slow and deliberately he READS his speeches; its as if hes afraid to deviate from the page least he go off on somebody. And he calls everybody Friend, I dont like thathe sounds like hes on medication, maybe for anger management, huh?
    Why is it that being a POW is more important than the rest of his military record? I thought getting caught was a bad thingbut then, so is wrecking about five planes in your military career.
    Can this guy do anything wellbesides call his wife nasty names in public?

  6. Joel says:

    The Republicans downplayed and disparaged John Kerry’s military service. Now the Democrats are downplaying and disparaging John McCain’s military service.
    Isn’t this just Swiftboating? And why is it ok now?

  7. QrazyQat says:

    The Parades, special projects and extensive news coverage our Iraq vets now get wasn’t there for them.
    Not to mention the VA and VFW fighting them over medical care, and the VFW fighting them to try to keep them out of vets parades, not allow them to start VFW branches, etc.

  8. Temporis says:

    Joel, the swiftboat people more or less implied that Kerry made up his military service. The Dems are just saying, correctly, that having been a POW is irrelevant to whether or not someone should be president.

  9. Physicalist says:

    The two bigfoot hunters were described by Biscardi as heroes on FoxNews for their military service (IIRC). It now looks like apparent heroism is no guarantee of honesty. A moral in here for the McCain boosters, perhaps?
    (Had I time, I’d try to find that clip from the FoxNews Bigfoot interview and juxtapose it to the McCain camp’s response to the “cone of silence” accusation. Wasn’t the claim that we shouldn’t question McCain’s say-so b/c he was a POW?)

  10. Joel says:

    Perhaps Temporis, but it still looks quite a bit like Swiftboating to me.

  11. QrazyQat says:

    If it does, Joel, it’s because you really don’t understand the term swiftboating at all. In that case, among many errors, you had guys making claims which would have required much of the naval command structure to be in on some scheme to promote the career of a then obscure officer (Kerry), and at least one fo the accusers would have to have gotten his own medal dishonestly (since it came from the action that got Kerry his, and which the accuser said never happened). OTOH, this time out someone is just pointing out that getting shot down and captured isn’t a qualification for president. Duh.

  12. richCares says:

    “Zogby polls are typically wrong…”
    while showing a Mcain lead the Zogby ev poll shows Obama @ 273 vs McCain 146 (270 needed to win)
    what’s up with that
    actualy 6 EV polls show Obama either winning or way ahead

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