Among the endless encomiums for John McCain on today’s Morning Joe, one stood out: Andrea Mitchell lavishing praise on McCain for, together with John Kerry, giving political “cover” to “accused draft dodger” Bill Clinton. Mitchell:
“One of the most sterling parts of his character is the way he grew and changed and reached not just across the aisle but across huge gulfs. And I am really struck by what I was covering back in the ’90s, which was the growing relationship when I was covering the Senate between John Kerry and John McCain, not likely partners on anything when they first joined hands on that POW/MIA Commission in ’90/’91 in the Senate and then decided on a long flight to Kuwait that year to join together across their divide over Vietnam and make peace, help Bill Clinton eventually in ’95.
. . .
Together they gave political cover to an accused draft dodger back in the day when that almost derailed his campaign in the primary in 1992, aside from the other stuff that happened. That was just such a big gesture. I can’t even imagine what it took for John McCain to stand up for Bill Clinton in 1993 when he was under fire and help him satisfy the Joint Chiefs and satisfy all the veterans groups who were out there. I was there on Memorial Day in 1993 at the Vietnam Memorial, and Bill Clinton was being screamed down by groups — we did a piece that night. And by two years later, he was able to normalize relations with Vietnam.”
Draft-dodging Clinton defeated not one, but two, authentic WWII heroes: George H.W. Bush in 1992, and Bob Dole in 1996. McCain’s giving of “political cover” to Clinton came after the 1992 election, but might have been useful to him in defeating Dole four years later.
Note: Mitchell sugar-coated Clinton’s record by labeling him merely an “accused” draft dodger. As this article makes clear, Clinton was a very avid, and ultimately successful, draft dodger who at one point wrote a later to the director of an ROTC program thanking him for “saving me from the draft.”
Note segundo: Mitchell also praised McCain for “how he grew and changed” and built a relationship with John Kerry. And that was a good thing because?