There was an interesting article by Night Ridder about the Fightin' Dems called "Democrats turn to ex-soldiers for some wartime credibility". http://www.kansascity.com/...
It asked the important question:
"Will the vets change the image of the party - or will the party's traditional culture undercut the vets?
In other words, will the Fightin' Dem concept go bust?
According to the article:
"Democrats think they've finally figured out a way to put some machismo into their party image, and thereby erase the widely held perception that they lack the requisite toughness to defend America in wartime.
Will you please welcome the 'Fightin' Dems'".
It goes on to say that "Liberal activist and Democratic operatives are thrilled by the idea that these vets, simply by wearing the Democratic label, will vet the party on national security and make it tough for Karl Rove's Republican campaign apparatus to play the wimp card yet again".
But according to the article there are various concerns. First of all "ex-soldiers will be fighting on very unfamiliar terrain". They are all rookies. The article gives an example of how Wesley Clark who as a rookie running for 2004 Democratic presidential nomination made several contradictory answers that eventually helped to derail his candidacy. Also, they gave the example of how Patrick Murphy has been tripped up on his answer on the 2002 war authorization vote. He got his political baptism on Hardball where he couldn't give a straight answer on whether he would have voted to authorize the war (sounds like Kerry). Thus there is a concern that the "verbal wars of politics (may) yield heavy casualities".
Also another problem is with the Democratic Party itself. Even if these war veterans paint a strong picture, they are fronting for a party that has no consensus message of its own about Iraq. Paul Hackett makes the important point that "the Democrats would love to wrap themselves up in veterans. But, unless they come up with a war message, their attempts at image enhancement risk looking like 'nonsense'".
Furthermore, another point that article makes is these candidates could be labeled too one dimensional. Amy Walter, who tracks House races said "But while Iraq is crucial, voters want somebody who is more than one-dimensional. It's also, 'What do you think about the traffic?' Tammy Duckworth ...will be asked more questions about O'Hare Airport than almost anything else".
Overall, I LOVE the concept of the Fightin' Dems and I am hoping that at least one of them gets elected to the House but it is going to be a long tough road.
Will the Fighin' Dems be a bane or bust? Tell me what you think.