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Obama Campaign Attacks McCain’s Military Record in Trial Balloon.

Posted by iusbvision on July 1, 2008


Sunday on Face the Nation, the CBS Sunday morning political talk show, Obama campaign minion, former General Wesley Clark, launched attacked McCain’s military record as not being one that helps him qualify to be Commander in Chief.

UPDATED: SEE BELOW – Another Obama campaign minion goes after McCain’s service.

UPDATED II: SEE BELOW  – Now other Democrats are piling on McCain over service.

UPDATED III: SEE BELOW – Democrats criticizing McCain for making military service a part of his campaign – themselves ran for office using their military service.

Here is the Video:


Of course it is the unspoken message that goes with Clark’s comments that generated the controversy and generated a rebuke of Clark in the blogosphere and in the media.

Most of the media is missing the big picture on purpose. Allow me to explain.

No campaign sends one of its guns to the Sunday morning talk shows without well scripted answers to imagined questions and talking points. Being the July 4th week patriotism was bound to come up. What we saw yesterday was a trial balloon to see if it is possible to hit McCain where he is strongest. Odds are internal polls show that when it comes to “patriotism” Obama has a problem. Obama has stated that this impression has been worsened by his own gaffes. After the no flag pin gaffe, the comments about “guns and religion”, the no hand over the heart gaffe, wanting to withdrawal (lose) in Iraq before this near victory we have now is secured, sitting in that pew for 20 years in Rev. Wrights church while he damns America, then getting caught giving thousands in donations to Pfleger’s church who is renown for his hate America rhetoric. 



So Obama’s campaign tried to float trial balloon to see if they could try to even the score by hitting McCain where he is strongest. When it didn’t work Obama triangulated against Clarke (who is a part of his own campaign) and has an excuse to make that speech with his pronouncements about patriotism, but carefully not naming Clark specifically. The media went nuts covering the speech making Obama look good, playing that clip over and over, thus raising his poll numbers when it comes to patriotism.  What we saw was a conflict set up between two people, Clark and McCain, then along comes Barack Obama to “take the high road” and get the press to go ape over it. This political maneuver is called “triangulation” and it was mastered in the 1990’s by political genius Dick Morris when he was the senior political advisor to the Clintons.

Here is the Clip:

Senator Obama with Wesley Clark.


Of course, Wesley Clark told the world that John Kerry’s military service made him more qualified to be Commander in Chief during his speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention:

John Kerry has heard the thump of enemy mortars. 

CLARK: He’s seen the flash of the tracers. He’s lived the values of service and sacrifice. In the Navy, as a prosecutor, as a senator, he proved his physical courage under fire. And he’s proved his moral courage too.

John Kerry fought a war, and I respect him for that. And he came home to fight a peace. And I respect him for that, too.

John Kerry’s combination of physical courage and moral values is my definition of what we need as Americans in our commander in chief.


Now you can see why what Clark did was a trial balloon. McCain’s service is well known to anyone in politics; it is one of the most told stories in politics since the 1980’s. For those who may be unaware here are a few of the details:

McCain was awarded a Silver Star Medal for resisting “extreme mental and physical cruelties” inflicted upon him by his captors from late October to early December 1967, the early months of his captivity, according to the citation. The North Vietnamese, according to the Navy, ignored international agreements and tortured McCain “in an attempt to obtain military information and false confessions for propaganda purposes.

“McCain was taken prisoner in October 1967 after he was shot down while on a mission over Hanoi. He wasn’t freed until March 1973, after the United States signed peace agreements with the North Vietnamese. His captors tortured him and held him in solitary confinement. Still, he declined an offer of early release until those who had been at the prison longer than him were let go.

That decision earned McCain a Navy Commendation Medal. Although McCain was “crippled from serious and ill-treated injuries,” he steadfastly refused offers of freedom from those holding him prisoner. “His selfless action served as an example to others and his forthright refusal, by giving emphasis to the insidious nature of such releases, may have prevented a possibly chaotic deterioration in prisoner discipline,” the citation says.He retired in April 1981 with the rank of captain. In that time he received 17 awards and decorations. Besides the Silver Star Medal, McCain also received the Legion of Merit with a combat “V” and one gold star, a Distinguished Flying Cross and a Bronze Star Medal with a combat “V” and two gold stars.

The citations refer to his “accurate ordnance delivery” and his “aggressive and skillful airmanship.” He earned his Bronze Star the day before he was shot down, for participating in a mission over an airfield in Phuc Yen, 11 miles north of Hanoi. The citation for his Distinguished Flying Cross sums up McCain’s misfortune the following day:”Although his aircraft was severely damaged, he continued his bomb delivery pass and released his bombs on the target. When the aircraft would not recover from the dive, Commander McCain was forced to eject over the target.”


Does anyone seriously believe that a retired general such as Wesley Clark genuinely believes that such service is not an asset to anyone running to be Commander in Chief? Didn’t Wesley Clark run for president on his own military record?

Obama has still not rebuked Clark by name.

For those who think that I am just shilling for McCain, I have made it clear that I will likely not be pulling the lever for him in November.

Chuck Norton


UPDATE: Obama campaign advisror Rand beers says that McCains military service “hobbles” him as a war time president (via ABC News):

While Barack Obama was urging supporters not to devalue the military service of rival John McCain, an informal Obama adviser ( Rand Beers) argued Monday that the former POW’s isolation during the Vietnam War has hobbled the Arizona senator’s capacity as a war-time leader.

The Beers remarks, which were made at the liberal Center for American Progress Action Fund in Washington, D.C., drew a swift rebuke from a McCain spokesman who portrayed them as an example of Obama saying one thing and his supporters doing another.

“Mr. Beers’ remarks are part of a pattern of Obama supporters attacking John McCain’s military service, and a reminder of why it’s what Sen. Obama, his supporters and his campaign actually do that matters most,” McCain spokesman Brian Rogers tells ABC News.


Bob Dole released a statement today on the issue. It speaks for itself.

Here is another article about the far left’s attacks on McCain’s service, while not asscoiated with the Obama campaign itself it speaks volumes on the venom of the political extremes.


UPDATE II – Democrat Senator Jim Webb piles on. Says that McCain should “Calm Down” when it comes to his service:

Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) waded into the debate over John McCain’s military service Monday to say that the Republican should avoid using military service in politics.

How interesting – Obama aids and supporters attack McCain’s service and its McCain who should calm down.  As Jim Webb started to run for Senate, did he say this about John Kerry who themed his night at the 2004 Democratic Convention based on his 3 months of service in Vietnam? Did Jim Webb ever say this about Wesley Clark who ran for president on his military record? If anyone wanted proof more that this is not a coordinated attack on McCain in one of the areas where he is strongest … I predict we will get more as the campaign continues.

Update III – Webb ran for Senate on his own military service. Here is the opening words of his first campaign ad:

RONALD REAGAN: One man who sat where you do now is another member of our administration, assistant secretary of defense James Webb, the most decorated member of his class. James’ gallantry as a Marine officer in Vietnam won him the Navy Cross and other decorations…

ANNOUNCER: Soldier, scholar, leader. Now Jim Webb is running for Senate.



One Response to “Obama Campaign Attacks McCain’s Military Record in Trial Balloon.”

  1. Danny Vice said

    Wesley Clark trips all over himself every time he says anything, and does nothing more than make his liberal cohorts look like the power lusting, lying, manipulative flip floppers that they are.

    Last go around, Clark crowed endlessly about Kerry’s service, and how horrible it was that anyone would doubt Kerry’s integrity. He held Kerry up as a hero and ABSOLUTELY advertised his service as a reason why Kerry was fit to be commander in chief.

    Now he flip flops right on his face – as he usually does.

    Conservatives flip flop from time to time, but they don’t throw any vet under the bus unless that vet is out there denigrating our troops – like Kerry did.

    They are two peas in a pod.

    Clark is a disgrace to the uniform and it’s a tragedy our soldiers and vets had to listen to him denigrate their service in such a way.

    He had NO reason to even bring the issue up other than to attack someone for his own selfish purposes.

    Danny Vice

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