Wesley Clark-like attacks on McCain won’t fly and may backfire, even if the person leveling them has strong military credentials. I suspect the Democrats are misreading the Swift Boat situation from 2004. If it weren’t for John Kerry’s testimony after returning from Vietnam and already existing antipathy toward him among veterans, those ads wouldn’t have been as effective either. Attacks work when they reinforce the voters’ perceptions of a candidate, not when they tell the voters something they know is not so.
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