An election without veterans

posted at 11:01 am on August 12, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

With the now official selection of Paul Ryan as the running mate to Mitt Romney, (and the President’s team taking their first shots at him) we have the final pairings of the four men running for the highest offices in the land. And for the first time since 1944, not one of them has ever served in the uniform of our country. Barack Obama graduated from high school in 1979, well after the draft had ended. While he claimed in at least one interview that he did “entertain the idea of joining the service” after high school, he added that, “it’s not an option that I ever decided to pursue.”

Mitt Romney received a draft deferment after high school as a Mormon minister of religion for the duration of his missionary work and then received an additional three years of deferments for academic studies. He was eligible and available for the draft for one year – in 1970 – but drew a very high number in the lottery when the highest number called that year was 195.

Joe Biden received a total of five student deferments before taking a physical and receiving a draft classification of 1-Y due to having asthma, essentially removing him from consideration.

Paul Ryan, the youngest of the four by nearly a decade, was obviously never subject to the draft. He graduated college in 1992 with degrees in economics and political science and immediately went to work as an aide to Senator Bob Kasten of Wisconsin, beginning a career in politics which continues to this day. I have not located any quotes about whether or not he ever considered enlisting.

Obviously military service isn’t a prerequisite to serving as President, but should it matter to voters? Does one have to have served in the military to truly “get” the military when they step into the role of Commander in Chief? The fact that we’ve had veterans in contention for the last 68 years seems as if it would be telling to some degree, but the times they are a changing. Shortly before Ryan’s selection was announced, Bridget Johnson examined this very question, concluding that the importance we place on military service – or lack thereof – may well depend on where our priorities lie in any given election cycle.

One might draw a correlation between the lack of military representation among nominees and voters’ feeling on military and foreign policy. Gallup polling has steadily shown just one percent of voters this election cycle ranking foreign policy as a key issue at the ballot box, with similarly low or even just trace concern for war, weaker military defense, or national security.

The campaign trail seems to reflect this as well, as the looming defense sequestration that will ax nearly $500 billion from the military has been a topic reserved for impassioned lawmakers in affected districts instead of a priority for the national candidates.

The trend also may indicate that voters don’t think military service is a prerequisite to fully comprehending and executing the role of commander in chief.

The presidential race isn’t alone in its faltering military representation: The number of veterans in the 112th Congress is just over 20 percent, the lowest number since World War II and a full 50 percent less than the number of veterans in Congress in 1975. There hasn’t been a draft since the Vietnam War and the conflicts since then have included the Gulf War, the Iraq War, and the conflict in Afghanistan.

It’s not that we’re not still at war (Afghanistan) or living under the looming shadow of other potential military engagements (Syria, Iran and other troubled spots). But that’s just not where the focus seems to be. As Johnson notes in the same article, public polling in 2012 has consistently shown foreign policy and war to be near the very bottom of the list of concerns cited by likely voters. Americans seem to be looking for a warrior who is ready to win the battle of the budget rather than the Battle of the Bulge.

Are we losing something by weeding out the veterans from the pack of contenders? Would Rick Perry’s history of service have brought something to the table that we need more than the combined business and economic acumen of Team R&R? Or does it just not matter that much anymore?

Update: Doug Mataconis doesn’t seem to think we’re losing much in the deal.

I’m not entirely convinced that military service by itself gives a candidate, for President or any other office, any special insight that would make them to superior to another candidate. The example I used then was Bob Dole and Bill Clinton in 1996. We all know that Bill Clinton didn’t serve in the military, and his story in that regard up is tied up in the still emotionally charged issue of Vietnam era draft deferments (which both Mitt Romney and Joe Biden took advantage of, by the way). Bob Dole, on the other hand, served in World War II where he was badly injured in battle in Italy, earning two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star. That valor notwithstanding, I don’t think there’s any question that Bob Dole would have made a worse President in Bill Clinton in the mid-90s, and I say that as someone who was not very much of a Bill Clinton fan during his time in office. Similarly, John McCain’s service to his country is beyond question, but I would submit that he’s demonstrated more than once over the years that he does not have the judgment and temperament necessary to make a good President. Finally, I think Rick Perry demonstrated during the primary campaign that he didn’t have what it takes to be President not withstanding his military experience.

In any case, purely because of historical accident and demographics, we are likely entering an era where veterans on a Presidential ticket are going to become more of a rarity. Personally, I view that as more of a curiosity than a loss of anything.


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While he claimed in at least one interview that he did “entertain the idea of joining the service” after high school, he added that, “it’s not an option that I ever decided to pursue.”

Frank Marshall Davis said “no.”

TarheelBen on August 12, 2012 at 12:26 PM

And I hear that Mass. Senator who ran in 2004 was also a vet. It was said that he fought in ‘Nam.

honsy on August 12, 2012 at 11:08 AM

And Cambodia…on Christmas.

A hero for the ages.

Solaratov on August 12, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Our solution is to actively and financially assist Veterans running for election to Senate and House. More Vets will strengthen any organization, but especially Congress.

indyvet on August 12, 2012 at 12:27 PM

The lack of military experience could be because ruling the world isn’t exactly priority anymore over balancing our checkbook.

Spliff Menendez on August 12, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Neither candidate have military experience. Why bring this up?

faraway on August 12, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Here is a novel idea…have the President appoint someone with experience to help him.

Any person chosen will have a “hole” in his experience, on energy, economics, foreign policy, military…no one knows everything, or has experience in everything.

Carter was military, how did that help? Too bad President Bush didn’t use his veto pen as effective as he could fly…LBJ, served as congressman, senator, military, how did has the “Great Society” worked out lately?

right2bright on August 12, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Neither candidate have military experience. Why bring this up?

faraway on August 12, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Voter suppression, to keep Republicans home on Election Day.

Liam on August 12, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Neither candidate have military experience. Why bring this up?

faraway on August 12, 2012 at 12:28 PM

You don’t think like a lib, Barky’s been CinC for almost 4 yrs, what has Romney ever done. Get it, it works for them now.

D-fusit on August 12, 2012 at 12:30 PM

And I hear that Mass. Senator who ran in 2004 was also a vet. It was said that he fought in ‘Nam.

honsy on August 12, 2012 at 11:08 AM

It was also said he fought in Cambodia.

Steve Eggleston on August 12, 2012 at 12:31 PM

what has Romney ever done. Get it, it works for them now.

D-fusit on August 12, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Romney could imagine British warships from his office window.

faraway on August 12, 2012 at 12:34 PM

bifidis on August 12, 2012 at 11:15 AM

I hear ya, sister. Losing his father when Paul was a teenager probably didn’t put his remaining family of five in any sort of economic straits, it’s why Paul drove a hotdog car for money. Rich kids always have such jobs, just ask the Kennedys.

Do you try to look stupid?

Bishop on August 12, 2012 at 11:49 AM

…an OWS grad!…I point these kind of posters out to my kids… as people who studied to be stupid!

KOOLAID2 on August 12, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Hooo, that’s a good idea.

Show face after face of soldiers in uniform wearing their combat ribbons with the caption “I’ve been in combat but I’ve never been invited to visit the war room”.

Then segue to pics of Barky laughing it up with Jay-Z, Beyonce and other pop stars getting their guided tour.

Bishop on August 12, 2012 at 12:25 PM

That works!

VegasRick on August 12, 2012 at 12:45 PM

CABINET

koaiko on August 12, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Having been in the militairy is not the objectiive

The objective is the ability to understand the #1 priority on the list: the safety and welfare of this country.

For the next 4 years, the biggest battle to fight is the fiscal insanity and mess we are in because if we loose that battle there is no country to safeguard any more.

Team obama clearly failed. Looks that bussiness-turnaround wizz Mitt and budget fixer Ryan is exactly what we need

huntingmoose on August 12, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Special Forces Grunt on August 12, 2012 at 12:19 PM
J.E. Dyer on August 12, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Thank you both. I didn’t know that.

MJBrutus on August 12, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Still true, after all this time………………

Tommy

I went into a public-’ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
The publican ‘e up an’ sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”
The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:
O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, go away”;
But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-’alls,
But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, wait outside”;
But it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide,
The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
O it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide.

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;
An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul?”
But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.

We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;
While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, fall be’ind”,
But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind,
There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind.

You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;
An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!

Solaratov on August 12, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Not sure it matters except in the context of the established Constitutional role of having civilian control of the military. Obviously a hedge against having a military culture attuned to feeling that they need to rule. Pretty successful..

The US military has developed a strong ethic of being non political.. in staying out of politics. I can remember strong lectures in Basic about never giving an interview or statement to the media while in uniform, lest somebody think you were speaking on behalf of the services.. a reason I was disgusted by the order that gays could attend gay pride functions in uniform.. because then people will abuse that to attempt to say that the services endorse anything the gay lobby does.. when clearly they take no stand in domestic politics.

I doubt this is much of a trend.. even though being the same age more or less as Obama.. there were few young people standing in line to enlist, in fact the small town culture I know, treated us as exceptional in that we did choose to serve without a draft compelling us… and the while there was no stigma to not enlisting,.. it was relatively limited to those seeking educations and job skills, and those like me who enlisted because it was a given,.. a family tradition of serving, no matter what else was going on. I enlisted the same week of the Desert One debacle.. it gave me the kick start I needed, when the showed an Iranian mullah waving around the charred boot and foot of one of our guys.. I needed to fight someone..

I ended up serving in the cold war, at a SAC missile base..

Just a small cog enlisted man, but it was my small part of a greater good.. I don’t have any ill feelings to those who didn’t enlist, none, not everyone is suited to do it. Some guys cracked in basic.. so no, not everyone could do it.

I’d expect in 20 years.. there will be a lot of veterans in politics.. so many young men serving now.. not all are republicans.. but a large amount are.. so there won’t be such a worry about it then.. these issues resolve themselves whenever we have a long war.

mark81150 on August 12, 2012 at 1:00 PM

A lot depends on who Mitt picks to fill his cabinet and staff. If he’s like Obama then there’s no military types anywhere to be found. Should have some military presence somewhere.

wb-33777 on August 12, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Doesn’t matter if neither served. Love of one’s country will equate with respect for the military. Big difference with Obama who has displayed none of the former.

I served and currently have skin in the game–and all I see is Vietnam redux with this CIC.

Which isn’t surprising since the Dems are in charge.

irongrampa on August 12, 2012 at 1:03 PM

I’d hardly lump Clinton in with “veterans”.

GarandFan on August 12, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Obviously military service isn’t a prerequisite to serving as President, but should it matter to voters?

It wasn’t the last time

Bfidisis- or whatever– you were made to look silly. Thanks for playing.

CW on August 12, 2012 at 1:06 PM

The Civil War ended as well as was possible. I don’t recall Abe ever wearing a uniform.

MJBrutus on August 12, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Abraham Lincoln served as a volunteer in the Illinois Militia from April 21, 1832 – July 10, 1832 during the Black Hawk War. Lincoln never saw combat during his tour but was elected captain of his first company. He was also present in the aftermath of two of the war’s battles, where he helped to bury the militia dead. He was mustered in and out of service during the war, going from captain to private and finishing his service in an independent spy company commanded by Captain Jacob Early.

As much as I distrust wikipedia, this seems accurate to me.

honsy on August 12, 2012 at 1:07 PM

We were designed to have a civilian led-military.

I expect President Romney to surround himself with capable military advisers.

TheLastBrainLeft on August 12, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Who Served?

According to that link, these are Presidents WITHOUT military service:

John Adams
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
John Quincy Adams
Martin Van Buren
James Knox Polk (for whom my g-grandfather Duncan was named)
Millard Fillmore
Andrew Johnson
Grover Cleveland
William Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Warren G Harding
Calvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
Franklin D Roosevelt
Bill Clinton
Barack Obama (not on list because it’s former presidents)

So, on the plus side we have the authors of our two founding documents; a son of a founder; Polk – who promised to complete his limited agenda in 4 years, did so, and kept his oath to not run again; Taft – who did all he could to pare back TR Roosevelt’s imperial presidency and then became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; and the great Coolidge — spoke little, cut taxes, almost non-existent unemployment, super-prosperous period of super-producing USA, and played so much golf he puts Obama’s 100+ rounds to shame.

On the negative side, count how many are progressives. That includes Hoover, BTW. (And of course the regressive Andrew Johnson)

Good presidents are small government, free enterprise – whether they have military experience or not.

I am 100% pro our military and my father proudly served in WWII, but considering so few people have served for the last 40 years, it is going to be slim pickings to ensure a veteran on every presidential ticket in the future — and one hopes it remains that way because the alternative means another world war.

Greyledge Gal on August 12, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Solaratov on August 12, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Playing the Kipling card, are we :-)

MJBrutus on August 12, 2012 at 1:13 PM

honsy on August 12, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Thank you as well. Two other posters also corrected me. I should google a little more myself where I lack a command of history on points like this :-)

MJBrutus on August 12, 2012 at 1:15 PM

As an aside, according to Who Served?, only 5.9% of Obama’s combined President, VP, and cabinet have military service on their resumes. No WWII or Korea vets – all Vietnam.

I doubt Romney can do worse than that.

Greyledge Gal on August 12, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Solaratov on August 12, 2012 at 12:57 PM

A soldier’s life. Spot on. Thanks.

Sgt. Vulcha

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on August 12, 2012 at 1:16 PM

wb-33777 on August 12, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Certainly true. However, I can’t say the Bush, despite his military credentials, was a POTUS I would put up as a role model either.

MJBrutus on August 12, 2012 at 1:16 PM

It doesn’t bother me – their policies matter a heck of a lot more than if they served in the military.

exhelodrvr on August 12, 2012 at 1:19 PM

MJBrutus on August 12, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Not to worry, MJB. I remembered “militia and Black Hawk War,” but had to look up the date and confirm the Illinois Militia.

When I was a kid, they used to teach Lincoln’s life in 4th or 5th grade (which was also when I had to memorize the Gettysburg Address). I understand they don’t do that now.

J.E. Dyer on August 12, 2012 at 1:24 PM

a sec of defense with experience is whats needed.

dmacleo on August 12, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Exactly, it’s with is Sec of Def nominee that Romney needs to address this question. And we have a long way to go and many things to do before we get there, but it needs to be on his “to do” list.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on August 12, 2012 at 1:25 PM

J.E. Dyer on August 12, 2012 at 1:24 PM

I’m sure that it was taught to me. As I’ve gotten older, my mind has become saturated. Every new fact I learn means an old one has to fly out my ear :-)

MJBrutus on August 12, 2012 at 1:27 PM

As a veteran I see no issue with a no vet election. There is a reason why in America the military is subject to civilian control. A very good reason.

History is a wonderful thing to know.

RockyJ. on August 12, 2012 at 1:30 PM

A President who doesn’t have military service, hmmm…been a few of those as has been pointed out who were good Presidents. I mean, so is some guy who may have only been in for a couple of years, or never seen combat, or never been in a command position, or been in the reserves and never really left home really any better at being President or CIC? And isn’t that why we have the Joint Chiefs of Staff?
I have lots of military in the extended family but I’m not sure this is something I would call the major deciding factor today. And there have been Presidents like Carter who had military experience, for which I am grateful, but were terrible Presidents.

Deanna on August 12, 2012 at 1:33 PM

I love telling my Leftist Democrat friends who whined for 8 years about 5 time draft dodger Dick Cheney that their “Vice President” Uncle Joe Biden dodged the draft 5 times as well. They don’t seem to like that very much.

Then I tell them about how their Sugar Daddy George Soros bought $61 million worth of Halliburton 5 years ago and they just mutter “Cheney is a war criminal” and slink off.

Del Dolemonte on August 12, 2012 at 1:35 PM

All other things being equal, the candidate with honorable military experience is the better candidate. Everyone has the right to their opinion, whether they have served or not. It is a God-given right. God gave it to you, but those who served preserved it for you.

Immolate on August 12, 2012 at 1:38 PM

They have absolutely zero working class cred.

bifidis on August 12, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Smells like genuine fear. I love it!

Define “working class cred”.

And then tell us why you think O’bama and Biden have it.

(Starts stopwatch).

Del Dolemonte on August 12, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Thank you as well. Two other posters also corrected me. I should google a little more myself where I lack a command of history on points like this :-)

MJBrutus on August 12, 2012 at 1:15 PM

I seemed to recall Abe’s participation in the Black Hawk War before I looked it up. The rest of the info was news to me – but then, I grew up in Canada where US history was never taught – except for its negative aspects.

honsy on August 12, 2012 at 1:41 PM

HondaV65 on August 12, 2012 at 11:06 AM

You’ve pulled an “AngryEd” and turned the corner.

Welcome, Mobysan.

Bishop on August 12, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Actually, Honda did that several months ago, about the same time angryed did.

Del Dolemonte on August 12, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Also not figured in is that but for the World Wars and Vietnan, Truman, Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and the Bushes would’ve likely never worn a uniform. Even if his poor vision would not have disqualified him from active duty, I think Ronald Reagan (Peace be upon him) would’ve still go to Hollywood instead of into the Army.

Lou Budvis on August 12, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Are we losing something by weeding out the veterans from the pack of contenders? Would Rick Perry’s history of service have brought something to the table that we need more than the combined business and economic acumen of Team R&R? Or does it just not matter that much anymore?

I think that the relative dearth of political aspirants with military service is likely the result of having an all-voluntary military and relative peace over the last 40 years.

In and of itself, I don’t think that this lack of experience is necessarily a bad thing. The prime question for me is how the candidate relates to the troops: Does the candidate see the troops as victims to be infantilicized or villains to be demonized; Does the candidate see the troops as pawns or losers; or does the candidate see the troops as men and women that have volunteered to serve their country, who deserve to be treated as ends in themselves, and put into harm’s way only to advance critical nation security objectives. Which of these is preferable is obvious. Sadly, oftentimes, even people who serve don’t seem to understand this distinction (e.g., John Kerry).

ghostwriter on August 12, 2012 at 1:46 PM

You’ve put forward two white rich boys who have never once in their lives felt the fear the economic deprivation — totally out of touch. They have absolutely zero working class cred. Even Dubya could pull off a bit of good ole boy swagger.

This is the absolutely the worst GOP ticket in history. At least Dubya was likable and sort of funny and genuinely God-fearing.

bifidis on August 12, 2012 at 11:15 AM

You know what dimwit?…

I grew up poor white trash.. served my country.. worked in the lower middle class got married, had kids.. had my back broken, got dumped by a corporation because they could and I was expensive (their words)with just my wife working we became homeless and stayed with family here and there for 2 years till unable to work.. I applied for SSD and got accepted. First try, no lawyer..

I damn well know deprivation to a degree you could not imagine…

So first you tell me spiffy, just how poor Obama was living with his globe trotting mom, his bank exec grandma.. or any of his communist mentors while they cheated the system to get Obama into Harvard in a race based admittance that guarantied they wouldn’t fail him if he smoked weed in the chancellors office.

Ryan wasn’t rich.. not like the pampered Biden was.. and oh.. is his son still in trouble from his drug conviction?

You idiots claim to speak for people like me..

well you do not.

I’d see you in Hell before I’d ever bend my knee to a man who would forever strip my children of a chance to succeed without the dem party’s handwritten approval.. A man who has spit on everything about this nation which makes it exceptional..

YOU DON”T speak for me and my family..

I may be doing alright now.. but that wasn’t Obama’s doing you hack, I paid into SSD for 31 years before I signed on, and I still wish.. dream, I could go back to work.. but unless they can cure arthritis and cure the pain from massive spine fusion, .. no..

so I can only help my children do better than I did, and that ain’t Obama’s game.. I don’t want them to just take a government apartment and a check.. I want them to decide their own fate..

The liberals worst nightmare.. poor people setting their own agenda, deciding their own fate..

so you can do a happy dance straight to Hell..

I’m voting for the men who know what it is to start from the beginning.

mark81150 on August 12, 2012 at 1:48 PM

I am a vet. In Romney and Ryan, I see leadership and love for country. They also do not share the same faith that I have but they do share the same values. They love this country, obama not much. My vote goes Romney/Ryan. Hand salute and carry on.

crosshugger on August 12, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Mark81150…rip em up and tell it like it is….the dems are the party of death and they have to look no further for rich folk than their own party….hypocrites and white washed tombs, baby killers and killers of a great country….no standards, no morals and no scruples….

crosshugger on August 12, 2012 at 1:55 PM

And I hear that Mass. Senator who ran in 2004 was also a vet. It was said that he fought in ‘Nam.

honsy on August 12, 2012 at 11:08 AM

And Cambodia…on Christmas.

A hero for the ages.

Solaratov on August 12, 2012 at 12:26 PM

What was so offensive about that gigolo from MA who ran in 2004 was that he actually had the gall to run on his “military record” in a war that he later trashed, a war that his Party helped to lose and that they would then go on to trash for decades.

And to make it even worse, he then had the arrogance to have his allied in the Democrat Media (in this case, the Associated Press) successfully sue the Bush White House to get his complete military history, then turned right around and had that same Democrat Media participate in an active conspiracy to keep his complete military history under wraps.

He found 3 more than willing accomplices, namely a “reporter” from that very same al-AP, as well as a “reporter” from the NY Times-owned Boston Globe and a “reporter” from the far Left LA-LA Times.

That he actually came within 1 state of pulling an upset in that 2004 election speaks volumes as to how much power the Democrat Media still has. Dr. Goebbels would be proud of them all.

And it also speaks volumes about the Stupidity of the Democrat Voter.

Del Dolemonte on August 12, 2012 at 1:55 PM

I am a vet. In Romney and Ryan, I see leadership and love for country. They also do not share the same faith that I have but they do share the same values. They love this country, obama not much. My vote goes Romney/Ryan. Hand salute and carry on.

crosshugger on August 12, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Well said.

ghostwriter on August 12, 2012 at 1:56 PM

What was so offensive about that gigolo from MA who ran in 2004 was that he actually had the gall to run on his “military record” in a war that he later trashed, a war that his Party helped to lose and that they would then go on to trash for decades.

And to make it even worse, he then had the arrogance to have his allied in the Democrat Media (in this case, the Associated Press) successfully sue the Bush White House to get his complete military history, then turned right around and had that same Democrat Media participate in an active conspiracy to keep his complete military history under wraps.

He found 3 more than willing accomplices, namely a “reporter” from that very same al-AP, as well as a “reporter” from the NY Times-owned Boston Globe and a “reporter” from the far Left LA-LA Times.

That he actually came within 1 state of pulling an upset in that 2004 election speaks volumes as to how much power the Democrat Media still has. Dr. Goebbels would be proud of them all.

And it also speaks volumes about the Stupidity of the Democrat Voter.

Del Dolemonte on August 12, 2012 at 1:55 PM

http://www.patriotsteaparty.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/HalpUsJon1280x800.jpg

ghostwriter on August 12, 2012 at 1:58 PM

crosshugger on August 12, 2012 at 1:51 PM

You know, for all the liberal b*tching about chickenhawks.. there seem to be a large number of veterans and active duty military here at Hotair.

Something the left won’t admit,..

mark81150 on August 12, 2012 at 1:59 PM

We have no King, despite Obama’s wish. We have no Emperor, despite Bloomberg’s wish. We have no Duce, despite Liberals’ wish. While US military service is laudable and not a restriction towards being President, as soon as it becomes a requirement or you think it should be a requirement is when you lose the whole point.

hadsil on August 12, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Barack Obama graduated from high school in 1979, well after the draft had ended. While he claimed in at least one interview that he did “entertain the idea of joining the service” after high school, he added that, “it’s not an option that I ever decided to pursue.”

Barack Hussein Obama Jr, aka Barry Soetero, aka Revolutionary Commandante Choom, graduated from high school in 1979, well after the draft had ended. While he claimed in at least one interview that he did “entertain the idea of joining the Indonesian Islamic People’s Liberation Army” after high school, he added that, “it’s not an option that I ever decided to pursue because I’m a coward and I was shmoking too much illegal marijuana (at the time). Axelrod tells me they wouldn’t dare drug test me now because I’m POTUS so at least I don’t have to worry about that any longer. ”

there ya go, Bommy, Fixed It For Ya

CatchAll on August 12, 2012 at 2:14 PM

mark81150 on August 12, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Well said, Brother! I salute you!

TugboatPhil on August 12, 2012 at 2:20 PM

I grew up in the US Army, and I served six years under Reagan. There is no doubt in my military mind that Romney and Ryan share my values and beliefs in this country, and that Obama does not. I don’t know if Biden ever had enough electrical impulses clumped together in one place to have a belief, although he’s said to be able to follow simple instructions.

Immolate on August 12, 2012 at 2:24 PM

MJBrutus on August 12, 2012 at 1:27 PM

LOL — same here. I just hadn’t forgotten that particular fact yet.

I tend to remember Cicero’s Latin orations memorized in high school now, while forgetting that I have dry-cleaning to pick up. I’ll look at people I’ve known for 30 years and be unable to think of their names, while yet remembering all the kings and queens of England in order.

My brain isn’t always pragmatic in selecting which information to throw out when it’s making room for new bits.

J.E. Dyer on August 12, 2012 at 2:25 PM

General Petraeus here, troops. Isn’t it nice the Muslims invited the Special Forces guys to their last dinner? I mean, they could have just off-ed them on the street. I think having them over to dinner meant the Muslims really did like the American soldiers. They just were following their orders from the Holy Qur’an to slay the infidel but did it in a very hospitable way. Now didn’t I tell you we were making great progress with winning their Muslim hearts and minds? And in such a short time too. Frankly, and I don’t mean to take all the credit, but I see this as a real breakthrough. Romney was a fool not to pick a brilliant strategist like me as his VP as if I were his VP I would be able to bring great success like this all across the Middle East.

VorDaj on August 12, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Military service may not be necessary, but I think it really adds something significant.

The military has a culture all it’s own. Despite having family members who served, including an uncle who was a Medal of Honor recipient, I didn’t fully understand that culture until my youngest son recently joined the Air National Guard. He is currently in tech school having graduated from BMT in June.

They have a goal to get the job done at all costs, including their lives. It’s disheartening to see them used as political pawns. We shouldn’t get involved in any crisis overseas unless it’s truly in our country’s interests because we don’t pay a price as a country anymore, only the troops and their families pay that price. Rules of Engagement may sound nice and fair to politicians, hearts and minds and all that, but what they do is get our guys killed and maimed. If we aren’t willing to fight will the full power of our military and win decisively, we have no business going into a conflict in the first place. The people we’re fighting these days only see us as weak because of ROE, they only respect a greater force.

Romney and Ryan are good men, but I really don’t think they truly understand the military. Allen West was my pick, not only because of his military experience, but because it was executive leadership experience and no one around Romney can understand the Middle East better than Allen West. He’s been there and done that. He knows the stakes.

Common Sense on August 12, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Neither candidate have military experience. Why bring this up?

faraway on August 12, 2012 at 12:28 PM

lol, way to miss the entire point, dummy.

rayra on August 12, 2012 at 2:34 PM

You know, I’m kinda glad there are no veterans. I get sick of the “I honor his service… but screw him” stuff.

AbaddonsReign on August 12, 2012 at 2:35 PM

bifidis on August 12, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Define “working class cred”.

And then tell us why you think O’bama and Biden have it.

(Starts stopwatch).

Del Dolemonte on August 12, 2012 at 1:38 PM

well? I waited over an hour!…sucker prolley doesn’t know what a stopwatch is! … buffoonis prolley always received awards… for “participating”

KOOLAID2 on August 12, 2012 at 2:44 PM

First time since 1944? Truman was the VP candidate that year and hr was a veteran.

kurtd on August 12, 2012 at 2:45 PM

TO address the actual issue / question, it matters in the sense of a candidate that has a better understand, a more inate / personal understanding of the issues of military service, both personal and family. It matters a bit less, when the candidate(s) aren’t raised as american-hating marxist / socialist pieces of crap, such as Obama.
That understanding and trust flows both ways, as was plainly evident in W’s interactions on visits with military personnel. Not the staged claptrap of the Obama campaign.

That said – and as already mentioned earlier – creeps like John F’n Kerry and Wesley Clark demonstrate the difference between people of the military vs people who trade on it. The Swift Boat folks destroyed Kerry because they were there. Their testimonies mattered to a lot of people, in the way F’n Kerry’s anti-war ‘winter soldier’ testimony did not. Their was authentic and honest. JFKerry’s deliberate emulation of JFKennedy’s PT boat history was shown to be the political ticket-punching sham that it was.

So it isn’t just a simple matter of prior service, but the quality of the service and the manner one conducts themselves during and after that service. Bush honors vets and quietly supports them in many ways, particularly amputees. While Kerry shat all over his own service and fellows, dishonoring everything they did. While a craven weasel like Wesley Clarke trades on his as cablenews ‘expert’ and now host of a shitty B/C-list celebrity dress-up “reality” show.

Anyway, that’s how this former Marine Sergeant sees it.

rayra on August 12, 2012 at 2:51 PM

How did the civilian-led Korean and Vietnamese wars turn out?

OldEnglish on August 12, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Korea and Vietnam were battles in the Cold War. A war won by a President whose military service consisted mainly of making propaganda movies in Culver City, CA. That’s not to denigrate President Reagan’s service.

BTW All American wars are led by civilians – just as set forth in the Consitution.

Lou Budvis on August 12, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Playing the Kipling card, are we :-)

MJBrutus on August 12, 2012 at 1:13 PM

A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. ;-)

Solaratov on August 12, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Lou Budvis on August 12, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Which war was won by Reagan?

The ‘overt’ hostilities ended in Korea in 1953.

Viet Nam fell to the North in April 1975.

Reagan took office in Jan. 1981.

Solaratov on August 12, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Lou Budvis on August 12, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Or were you referring to the “Cold War”…and I was slow on the uptake?

Solaratov on August 12, 2012 at 3:54 PM

You know, not to toss out birther red meat, but….
When Obama graduated, was the Selective Service enrollment requirement in effect? Where you can’t get federal money/employment/etc if you don’t fill out and send in your Selective Service form? Hmmmm….
/me walks away whistling……..

(On a side note about the efficiency of government: I received my SS letter at my military address, demanding I show that I was in the military or fill out the form. I was already *in* the military. It took more than one interaction with them to get them to realize that, too. Sheesh.)

GWB on August 12, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Truman in 44, Wilkie in 40, and Landon in 36 all served in WWI. So you have to go all of the way back to 1932 to find an election without a vet.

levi from queens on August 12, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Why doesn’t Mitt vet General David Petraeus as Secretary of Defense. If he checks out ( I can’t see him not) Bring him onto to Team Romney and run with him. I have often wondered why more of the Secretaries are not brought on until after the election.

maddmatt on August 12, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Why doesn’t Mitt vet General David Petraeus as Secretary of Defense. If he checks out ( I can’t see him not) Bring him onto to Team Romney and run with him. I have often wondered why more of the Secretaries are not brought on until after the election.

maddmatt on August 12, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Maybe Romney does not hanker to generals who get American lots of troops killed for nothing but the idiocy of trying to win muslim “[evil] hearts and [primitive] minds”

VorDaj on August 12, 2012 at 4:27 PM

The liking of men running for office from military service has the stamp of discipline, both learned and self discipline which culls out many. A Navy Seal friend of mine was telling me that the training tweaks your discipline and various programs about our Special Forces reenforces that statement. It’s not 100% but very close, however, culling out the trash that runs for office is a task.

mixplix on August 12, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Which war was won by Reagan? He did win the “cold war” but he didn’t get us into any hot wars.

VorDaj on August 12, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Drudge: U.S. military officers are told to plan to fight Americans…

Army Tactical Manuals Describe How to Control Domestic Insurrection…

Military service ain’t what it once was. Not your father’s “Oldsmobile” at all.

VorDaj on August 12, 2012 at 5:07 PM

It did so well in the 2008 elections, didn’t it! The country choose a community organizer over an American hero!
Wow, were we so smart!

Bambi on August 12, 2012 at 5:10 PM

(On a side note about the efficiency of government: I received my SS letter at my military address, demanding I show that I was in the military or fill out the form. I was already *in* the military. It took more than one interaction with them to get them to realize that, too. Sheesh.)

GWB on August 12, 2012 at 4:03 PM

I was already married with children when I received my SS card (at my parents address) demanding to know why I didn’t sign. I sent the card back to them, after writing on the card “cause I’m a girl, and girls don’t need to register.” As always, your government hard at work, wasting money.

skeeterbite on August 12, 2012 at 5:52 PM

VorDa. Maybe Romney does not hanker to generals who get American lots of troops killed for nothing but the idiocy of trying to win muslim “[evil] hearts and [primitive] minds”

Noted. Petraeus pulled off the nearly impossible in Iraq. His political correctness in Afghanistan most likely came straight from our dear leader. Obama has wasted American lives for what appears to be nothing there and the media just looks the other way.

maddmatt on August 12, 2012 at 6:39 PM

Or does it just not matter that much anymore?

It never mattered at all.

Dante on August 12, 2012 at 6:53 PM

When my son was 18 and graduated from high school, he informed me college was not his thing. My response was “well you will get a job, pay rent, upkeep on your vehicle + insurance and abide by the rules of the house still.”

If you don’t wish to pay rent I will drive you down to the recruitment office and you will choose which service you want to enter.

He moved out that very day. Too his credit he never asked for anything after that. That was 4 years ago.

Conservative4Ever on August 12, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Bah hit enter too soon and then a blue screen of death. Anyway, the point I was trying to make is father’s have very little influence of today’s yudts and military service.

I’m a big believer in letting 18 year old men make up their own mind of their future. Even if they are wrong about where their future course of current actions take them.

Conservative4Ever on August 12, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Anyway, the point I was trying to make is father’s have very little influence of today’s yudts and military service.

Conservative4Ever on August 12, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Do you think you didn’t have a major influence on your son by setting limits for him?

The older kids get, the more influence is wielded by a refusal to prop them up in bad habits and ways of life. There’s only so much you can teach them by exhortation and lectures. They reach the age when you have to teach them by matching your actions to your words and principles.

They learn plenty from that, believe me. It affects their outlook like nothing else, and usually in a positive way.

J.E. Dyer on August 12, 2012 at 11:01 PM

Bob Dole, on the other hand, served in World War II where he was badly injured in battle in Italy, earning two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star.

John Effing Kerry got three Purple Hearts. That must mean he’s braver.///

swinia sutki on August 13, 2012 at 7:47 AM

Sorry, that’s three Purple Hearts, a splinter and a paper cut.

swinia sutki on August 13, 2012 at 7:48 AM

I’m not entirely convinced that military service by itself gives a candidate, for President or any other office, any special insight that would make them to superior to another candidate.

As a veteran I 100% disagree and yes having military experience does make then superior to one that does not when one of the main jobs as President is as commander and chief of the military

JeffinSac on August 13, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Sad but totally expected from a small, all volunteer Armed Forces, drawn mainly from the lower middle class and poor. With the exception of the military-school trained officers, there are virtually no college graduates. In the long run the country will suffer for this.

MaiDee on August 13, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Also, under today’s rules of engagement (if we lived by these rules during World War II we would definitely have LOST) where soldiers are sent into harms way to be targets and for PC reasons are not allowed to defend themselves. No wonder vets are getting out all confused and psyched out.

MaiDee on August 13, 2012 at 3:12 PM

How could a guy so full of hot air like Biden have asthma?

Colony14 on August 13, 2012 at 5:44 PM

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