Prediction: Roy Hoffman will be focus of Swift Vets ad #3

Just when John Kerry finally began responding personally to the first ad from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the Swiftees rolled out their second ad and knocked him further off-balance. At the moment, Kerry and his troops are attacking the motives and funding of their critics rather than refuting the Swiftees’ accusations with facts of their own. This tracks closely with the default Democrat approach of the past decade, and they will almost certainly keep trying to smear the Swiftees. Based on that and on the Swiftees’ proven patience and boldness, I have a hunch about the content of their upcoming third advertisement.
Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John KerryI’ve just finished my copy of “Unfit For Command”, and I was struck by a passage on pages 68 – 69 that described two phone calls that John Kerry made to Admiral Roy Hoffman, his former commander in Vietnam.
Back in 2003 Kerry called Admiral Hoffman and asked for his support in the presidential race. Hoffman, whom Kerry slandered as a sickening butcher in “Tour Of Duty”, told the candidate to take the proverbial long walk on a short pier.
On March 15, 2004 Kerry called again after hearing that Hoffman was busily organizing the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Kerry made an offer: if Hoffman would back off and drop his efforts, thus killing the Swift Vets organization in the womb (how apropos), then Kerry would rewrite “Tour of Duty” to treat Hoffman fairly and retract the admittedly unfair accusations against him.
No matter how he might try to spin it, it’ll look bad. The most plausible explanation is that Kerry is an untrustworthy liar who made up his accusations against Roy Hoffman in “Tour Of Duty”, and only offered to quietly delete the lies when faced with impending disaster. Alternatively, the phone call demonstrates that Kerry is the kind of man who will whitewash war crimes if it will help him achieve his ambitions for higher office. It’s a no-win situation.
Watch for Swift Vets ad number three to highlight Kerry’s calls to Hoffman. Once Kerry gets himself way out on a limb over the next few days by calling the Swift Boat Vets liars, I think the Swiftees will saw off that limb by introducing his incriminating rewrite offer. What do you folks think?
Incidentally, guess who’s been making phone calls again?

UPDATE: That was quick. I guessed wrong. This latest ad is a very brief, very straightforward denial of the “Christmas in Cambodia” story, which Kerry’s campaign has admitted was a lie. However, Kerry still claims to have gone into Cambodia at other times. This ad features Steve Gardner, Kerry’s gunner, categorically denying that Kerry ever went to Cambodia.
I’ll take another stab at foretelling the future. In my post above, apply my guesses about the third ad to the fourth ad.

  1. First off – Great blog!
    I think this is a fairly accurate prediction. I would definitely expect the Swifties to come back with something from the ‘Winter Soldier’ hearings and then contrast that against Kerry’s platform today.
    The Swift Vets have a very effective strategy but they are a one-trick pony. An adept strategist in the Kerry camp should be able to diffuse this in short order. The ads are receiving undo praise for lowering Kerry’s numbers in battleground states when in fact the majority of the 2 point loss comes from the time-lapse since the conversion.
    The Swift Vet ads are probably most effective with voters that have chosen not to do any personal research or to buttress the views of narrow-minded voters that have already chosen a side. I would hope that ads such as these would have little effect on the voter that has taken the time to read all sides of the story and then selected a candidate based on his/her political ideals.
    Here’s my prediction. Look for the Swift Vets to run one more ad before Bush pulls in the reigns. This will give the Bush camp the necessary time to deflect American interests from his administration and focus on their convention. Once the convention is over I’d expect to see Bush soft money going out to expanding his convention message. Remember, we still have little idea what he has planned if he is re-elected. Aside from more tax cuts and free enterprise to promote growth.
    Kerry’s Camp will focus on middle America, job growth, health-care and foreign relations. It would behoove both sides to stay away from the Vietnam issue. Kerry’s story is too controversial and Bush is accused of special treatment in his service in the Guard.

  2. Thanks for offering your compliments and thoughts.
    Bush can’t pull in the reins. First, to try would be considered illegal coordination between a candidate and a 527 committee, which is forbidden by the BCRA. Second, the Swiftees don’t work for Bush, and a good chunk of them don’t support him; they’re an independent group that’s not “pro-Bush” but is instead “anybody-but-Kerry” (see Question 4 here).
    Personally, I think they’ll run at least two more ads.

  3. What’s funny is that I didn’t really care about the Swift Vet ads until Kerry started making a big deal about them. My initial reaction was “It’s mudslinging, plain and simple, and Bush supporters – who I’m one of – should stop making such a big deal about Kerry’s war record.” I’d never vote for him, but I don’t think Kerry is quite the cowardly cretin the right makes him out to be.
    Anyway, when Kerry started screeching about 527s and demanding – demanding! – that Bush put a stop to the Swift Vet ads I started to get annoyed with him. Especially seeing as he’s gotten millions of dollars and man-hours of indirect support from 527s himself; MoveOn alone has done 10 times as much to promote Kerry as the Swift Vets have to slam him. If the candidate is responsible for what a 527 says about his opponent, Kerry has way, way more to answer for than Bush.
    I’ll agree with Bush rebuking the Swift Vets when Kerry rebukes Michael Moore, MoveOn, ANSWER coalition, and the 90% of Hollywood that has done nothing but slam President Bush for the past two years.

  4. PP – Legally speaking you’re absolutely correct. Candidates are not to dabble in the affairs of the 527’s. In reality, this is marginally enforced and oft abused. A few well placed words here and there and things will happen. Everything I learned in school is just background noise for the reality of a real campaign.
    It will be interesting to see what materializes from both candidates over the next couple of days. Kerry stands to lose more by calling off the 527’s since he has more monetary backing there but Bush has the Swiftees landing head shots.
    Neither Bush nor Kerry can come out and state that they are personally going to make the ads go away but I guarantee that if they feel it’s in their campaign’s best interest the ads will stop.
    I’d say one more week of posturing to carry everyone to the RNC and then more of and issues based attack going into November.

  5. Sandor: My initial reaction was “It’s mudslinging, plain and simple, and Bush supporters – who I’m one of – should stop making such a big deal about Kerry’s war record.”
    The “big deal” Bush supporters have made of Kerry’s war record is not dwarfed by the big deal Kerry has made? Who among us truly believes that Bush has even the remotest desire to discuss Vietnam in any way, shape, or form? Ironically, anything which distracts from Kerry’s hyper-liberal voting record, (when he voted at all), is at least partially a plus for him…
    Further, it’s not about his record per se– it’s about whether he’s a pathological liar and an egomaniac.
    Which I kinda think is relevant, ya know?
    Nice blog, but may I suggest changing the colors from soft grey text on a soft blue background..?

  6. How’s the black-on-soft-blue look on your monitor, Eden?

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