Adam Nagourney and James Dao of the Times write on an influx of veterans for Congress:
FOR Democrats struggling to win back Congress, it seemed like the most obvious of election strategies: erase the Republican advantage on national security by running real-life combat veterans as candidates.
In theory, at least, a candidate with a uniform, rank and military résumé should be redoubtable: a symbol of strength, patriotism and resolve, and at least somewhat inoculated from the debilitating personal attacks that have come to represent American politics.
So it is in the 2006 Congressional elections, soldier-candidates are marching across the campaign field in numbers not seen in a half-century, many veterans of the Iraq, Afghan, Vietnam, Balkan and first gulf wars — nearly 100 candidates in all, not including a single incumbent.
I found this segue to be utterly baffling:
Nor is it clear that these veterans will help the Democratic Party.
Many Democrats were cheered when James Webb, a former Vietnam veteran and Reagan-era Navy secretary, announced that he will seek the party's nomination to run against Senator George Allen, a Virginia Republican, this November. And he made his announcement after drawing notice for criticizing Republicans for trying to discredit war-hero candidates by attacking their combat records.
But Mr. Webb, an independent sort, might look to Paul Hackett for how things can go very wrong. Mr. Hackett, a loud, profane and unpredictable Iraq war veteran and Democrat, almost won a Congressional election in Ohio last year and had been running for the Senate this year.
But last week, he quit politics, declaring he had been forced out of the Ohio race by national Democratic leaders who had no faith in his electability in a statewide race. He also contended that he was the victim of a whispering campaign alleging he was responsible for war atrocities.
OK - what about Mr. Hackett's experience is Mr. Webb likely to experience? Are Messrs. Mnagourney and Dao telling us that Dem leaders are about to pull the plug on his money? Doe he have a secret past as a war criminal?
I've only read this twice - maybe someone else can find the answer.
MORE: Background on Hackett at The Moderate Voice, Mother Jones, and Blogcritics. My question is still open - did the Dem leadership really and truly blindside the Mighty Kos with this decision? Where is the L-U-V?