We all need a little Swift Boat in our lives

At a rally, John McCain thanked a veteran who told him that his campaign needs a "Swift Boat" reprise.

By Vincent Rossmeier
May 3, 2008 1:24AM (UTC)
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John McCain may want to rethink his strategy of paying a whole stable of political advisors to run his campaign. Today, a voter gave McCain some advice for free.

During a rally in Denver, Air Force veteran Clif Sams voiced his support of McCain, and then said: "I hope that we have somebody called Swift Boats for McCain come out and help you. You're damn good."


McCain responded: "Thank you, sir, and thank you for your service."

Hmm. That seems like a less vigorous denouncement of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth than McCain made in 2004. Just to rehash, the Swift Boaters were the group that ran attack ads during the 2004 presidential campaign questioning John Kerry's military service in Vietnam. As Salon's Joe Conason reported at the time, McCain labeled the ads "dishonest and dishonorable."

So why didn't McCain voice his opposition to Swift Boat as adamantly today? According to CNN, "campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt said the senator had repeatedly staked out a 'clear position' against third-party groups, and 'the only 527 activity is against us.'"

Vincent Rossmeier

Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.

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2008 Elections John Mccain R-ariz.