Kerry Resurrects Vietnam
By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 30, 2004; Page A07
Candidate: John F. Kerry
Markets: South Carolina, Missouri
Producer: Riverfront Media
Time: 30 seconds
Images: An African American crew mate of Kerry's in Vietnam; slow-motion footage of Lt. Kerry in helmet and uniform; Kerry talking to a black woman, a black child and a white factory worker.
Audio: [The Rev. David Alston:] When the bullets began to hit the side of the boat--the boom, the pow-pow-pow--we found out that John Kerry could lead. [Kerry:] There's a sense after Vietnam that every other day is extra, but you have to do what's right. You know, it's right to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, to guarantee all Americans health care and invest in our kids. ... [Altson:] He wants better for America. ... This man would make a great president.
Analysis: The use of Alston, a black minister who lives in South Carolina, is no accident, since South Carolina and Missouri have substantial African American populations. In Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Delaware, Kerry is running a similar ad featuring a white crewmate.
His campaign continues to recycle footage of him in Vietnam in an attempt to highlight his heroism and connect it to the image of a bold leader. In a Democratic primary, though, raising taxes on the rich and promising health care (Kerry's plan would cover 96 percent of Americans, not "all") are not particularly courageous stands.
Still, Vietnam "has had an impact on everything he has done in his public life," says spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter. The ad also focuses attention on Kerry's performance in war rather than his controversial vote for the war in Iraq.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company
_____Campaign Ad Watch_____
Video: Kerry Campaign Ad Running in South Carolina and Missouri