Over the past weekend, I had the lucky pleasure of another visit to Washington D.C. Free ticket. Among my favorite American cities—right behind Chicago and San Francisco—our nation’s capital just seems to get better and better with each visit. At the Salt Lake City airport, I did my usual routine and bought a bottled water, a banana, a USA Today for the crossword and a handful of other magazines to read on the plane. Among them was the current issue of Men’s Journal, which I was drawn to because of a feature on Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry.
I previously knew little about Kerry other than that he isn’t as liberal as some might think. I knew he served admirably in Vietnam, thus making his voice on security and military matters more relevant and believable than say, those of Dan Quayle, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich and myself. I also knew that if he were ever to run for president, I’d support him for the simple reason that he shares my birthday. I’d like to open the paper some day and see his name right there with Teri Garr, Brenda Lee, Rita Moreno and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn as evidence that Dec. 11 is a pretty good day to be born on. I hope he runs for president in 2004. And wins.
I didn’t go to Vietnam and Kerry did partly because I was born in 1953, 10 years later than he was. I can’t say I’m sorry I missed the experience. It’s fair to say I was nonsupportive of that war. Perhaps weary is a better word. Nonetheless, I’ve always held in high regard those who did go—two of my brothers, two more cousins, and so many Bingham boys like Tim Tibolla, Danny Brentel, Joe Miller, Kent Simpkins, Sammy Fresquez, Nicky Rakich, Gabie Montoya and many more. Also, my late good friend Woody Robinson and my current good friend Joe Caputo.
Joe scored our D.C. tickets for the weekend. He wanted to visit the Wall and this was his opportunity. Among the over 58,000 names etched there, Joe found a man from his 1965 Marine squad who never made it home, Donald Green. That was a rough spot. Not among those 58,000 names is one that for any reason--except for the unexplainable--is not there: John McCain, former POW and now U.S. senator from Arizona. McCain should have died from his severe war injuries. More than once.
In the Men’s Journal article, the author presents an interesting postulation. It seems that the Democrat Kerry and the Republican McCain are buddies. The article all but advocates a “Kerry-for-president-and-McCain-for-vice-president” ticket in 2004. Given the recent ridiculous partisan searches into White House bedrooms and corporate boardrooms, this seems an ideal time to consider a move that may heal a nation while moving it forward. I don’t think these guys would betray us for cheap sex and stock options.
It worked for Lincoln and Grant.