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September 07, 2004

Anyone remember Paul Tsongas?

He was the Massachussets Democrat (former) Senator who left the Senate in 1984 to deal with cancer. John Kerry was elected to the open seat.

In 1992, he was deemed healthy enough to re-enter politics, and ran in the presidential primary campaign. Not being economically liberal enough for the majority of Democrats, he lost to Bill Clinton. He was, from all the accounts I've heard, a decent fellow.

During the '92 campaign, his earlier battle against cancer was — rightly, to my way of thinking — an issue. Americans prefer that their candidates be in good health.

In 2003, Tsongas' successor in the Senate, John Kerry, underwent surgery to remove his cancerous prostate gland. We have yet to get any glimpse whatsoever of Kerry's medical records.

Meanwhile, like the previous JFK, Kerry spends a great deal of time being photographed while engaged in vigorous pursuits — in Kerry's case: skiing (and cussing at Secret Service Agents), bicycling, sailboarding, shooting.

Robert Musil notes:

So why does Senator Kerry bring the media along on his sporting jaunts so often, even with a potential downside so obvious and potentially serious and sometimes clearly experienced? Certainly some physical activity helps present the image of a vigorous leader. But the current and most past presidents have not felt the need to go beyond taking the media along on presidential jogs or periodic wood chopping on the ranch. Why does John Kerry go so much further?

Well, one thing an over-documented sporting life has been used for in the past is to conceal serious health problems - with the most notorious example being John F. Kerry's idol, John F. Kennedy. John Kennedy is now known to have been a very sick man, with a seriously injured back and Addison disease, among other problems. At critical points in his term he was impaired by powerful painkilling and anti-inflammatory drugs. It is now also known that John Kennedy and his organization used an ultra-active media campaign depicting Mr. Kennedy in sporting and physical activities to distract attention and counter adverse consequences arising from his precarious health.

(Emphasis in the original; link via JustOneMinute.)

After the 1992 primary campaign, Paul Tsongas lived just five years. The cancer that everyone thought he had beaten finally killed him. He was only 55 years old.

It's time for Kerry to release his medical records.

Posted by Russ at 11:13 PM, September 7, 2004 in Politics

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Tin soldiers and Bush is coming.
America all alone.
War for oil, the Neocons drumming.
A thousand dead in old Iraq.
A thousand dead in old Iraq...

How many more?

Did you happen to catch the evening news or 60 Minutes tonight? Maybe you read the Washington Post Not only was Bush AWOL (Something any soldier should detest) but he is still elligable to be called to active duty. Maybe they'll send him to Iraq.

Posted by: Billy The Blogging Poet at September 8, 2004 09:59 PM

Why would I watch anything purporting to be news from CBS? If I want Dim-ocrat spin, I'll just listen to Kerry or Edwards.

But I suppose it's fair to ask if you've read this in The Hill? ("The Newspaper for and about the U.S. Congress")

Posted by: Russ at September 9, 2004 12:12 AM

Only problem with your answer: Bush enlisted for a six year term but completed less than five. When you were in the military did you expect to get out early just because life might not be going exactly as you had hoped? Of course you didn't, you completed your obligation as best you could and detested those who you believed were trying to fake their way out early.

So tell us: Why is it okay for a President to go AWOL or ask out without meeting his obligations when the rest of you were expected to fufil your commitments?

Posted by: Billy THe Blogging Poet at September 9, 2004 09:38 PM

Actually, with the post-Cold War drawdown, I received an "early out" myself. Nothing unusual about that, particularly in a period of post-conflict downsizing. Especially in fields that are over-staffed. Like fighter pilots after Vietnam.

Just ignore the fact that Bush actually did complete more than 6 years worth of service (check out the points he earned). Also note his Honorable Discharge.

You cannot prove he was AWOL - no one has, and no one can, because it pretty obviously didn't happen. Witnesses to his presence for duty have spoken up already, and no doubt more will.

Posted by: Russ at September 9, 2004 11:08 PM

Oh, and if you can't stay on topic to the post, don't bother commenting. You have your own blog - use it.

Posted by: Russ at September 9, 2004 11:08 PM