Friday, March 19, 2004

Kerry's VVAW problem

There's a story developing that could actually kill the Kerry campaign. I haven't discussed it since it just seemed too out there to be believable at first, but Captain Ed has been going over the details. From a New York Sun story:
Senator Kerry of Massachusetts yesterday retreated from his earlier steadfast denials that he attended a meeting of Vietnam Veterans Against the War at which a plan to assassinate U.S. Senators was debated. The reversal came as new evidence, including reports from FBI informants, emerged that contradicted Mr. Kerry’s previous statements about the gathering, which was held in Kansas City, Mo. in November 1971.

“John Kerry had no personal recollection of this meeting 33 years ago,” a Kerry campaign spokesman, David Wade, said in a statement e-mailed last night from Idaho, where Mr. Kerry is on vacation.

As I said in the Captain's comments, how do you forget something like that? I mean, Kerry seems to remember every minute detail from his time in Vietnam, considering how every situation reminds him of a new anecdote. I think a meeting where he opposed an assassination attempt and which ultimately caused him to resign the organization would be just a little bit memorable.

And I'm being generous in my interpretation of events: Kerry, hearing about the plans for assassination, was horrified at the thought, argued strenuously against it, and even after successfully opposing the idea, decided that he had to leave the organization. There are much more cynical ways of looking at it, but even this way, guilt by association makes Kerry look very bad. His involvement in a truly radical organization makes him look hopelessly naive at best, more likely dangerously anti-American even if he did have limits.

The more I think about it, the more I think that this could kill Kerry's campaign. It may be enough of a disgrace to force him to withdraw from the race entirely. As I don't think a Sharpton or Kucinich Presidential nomination are very likely, that would leave the Democratic side wide open. There isn't much telling what would happen then.

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