How's this for a possibility:
Kerry's hero was Kennedy so when he reached the appropriate age, Kerry enlisted in the Navy, just like JFK (the first one). Kerry even volunteered for Swift Boat service since that's what replaced the PT boat.
Kerry soon found that a swift boat in Viet Nam wasn't as glamorous as a PT boat in WWII and got out of Viet Nam early on the basis of some minor wounds. This was no big deal, everyone did it.
Once back, he was so disillusioned about the war that he became a leader for an anti-war contingent.
This is pretty close to his official narrative except that it admits some mistakes on his part, the biggest ones being enlisting and volunteering for swift boat duty in Viet Nam.
I would think better if him if this was how he presented his service and subsequent actions.
The problem for Kerry is that it doesn't allow him to criticize Bush and Cheney for not going. If going to war was a mistake then Bush and Cheney did the right thing by avoiding service.
Too bad Kerry's primary reason for being president is that he is a vet.
What about Cheney? The Democrats say that he did everything he could not to go to war. What did that consist of? He went to college and his wife had a child.
Kerry runs a risk here. A lot of men went to college to escape the draft. College enrollment in the 1960s reached an all-time high because of this. There are tens of millions of men who did this. If the Democrats are not careful they risk calling these tens of millions of men cowards.
That's going to turn out the vote.
I was 18 when the draft ended so I was never at risk but people I knew were.
Several things should be kept in mind. The deferments were legal and everyone knew about them. The idea was to promote certain activities - sort of a tax break from the draft. Originally anyone in college was exempt. When college enrollment skyrocketed, they changed the rules so that only certain majors were exempted, mainly doctors and teachers. Even later, they eliminated most excepmtions unless you were married and had children. You also were exempted if you served in the National Guard or the Peace Corp.
Nixon changed things in 1969. Prior to that the Selective Service was looking for bottom-of-the-barrel types to press into service and you were reevaluated annually for years. Nixon changed that to a single lottery for 19-year-olds with very few exemptions.
The true draft-dodgers were not the ones who took legal exemptions, they were ones who took more extreme measures. Many went to Canada. A few resorted to self-mutilation by having their spleen removed or something similar.
Kerry has a Clinton moment
When asked about the Chevy suburban in his driveway, Kerry said that it is his wife's. "The family has it. I don't have it."
What does a former ambassador to the UN have to say about 9/11 and Iraq
Assuming that Bush is re-elected, who will be the next standard bearer? Vice Presidents usually have first shot at this but Cheney has said that he does not want the role and I doubt that anyone else wants him at the top of the ticket. This would be a good year for him to announce that his health will not allow a second term and let someone with positive charisma run as VP. Besides Rumsfeld, there are only two cabinet members who do well in front of a camera Colin Powell and Condolisa Rice. I don't think that the country is ready for a black president but a black conservative VP could be a winner.
There is also Ken Blackwell, Ohio Secretary of State, possible candidate for governor in 2006 and the only elected official in Ohio with solid Reagan Republican credentials.
There is also McCain but I doubt that he and Bush could stand to see each other on a regular basis. If Cheney continues as VP then expect McCain to run against Hillary in 2008.
The April 30 Nightline episode spent a lot of time on Cheney. They felt it was unlikely that Bush would drop him.