Wait, Wait… John McCain Served in Vietnam?


Kathryn Jean Lopez giddily posts the new Mitt Romney campaign vid in which the iron governor jogs through a scenic forest with nary any damage to his hair enamel.

I think I also hear some of the guys in the Team Romney headquarters in Boston saying, "I'd like to see, Fred, Rudy, or McCain try that."

To be fair, I hear that Fred Thompson did try to cut an ad like this but couldn't get the Active Mobility scooter to reach the right velocity. McCain's campaign responded to Lopez:

Mark Salter of Team McCain e-mailed me that McCain "Courageous" mini-documentary with the note: "And we'd like to see Mitt try this."

"This" is a video about McCain's service in Vietnam and the torture he survived in the Hanoi Hilton.

Well-edited, powerful stuff. Unfortunately, it's all information we learned back in 1999 and 2000 when John McCain and Mark Salter published a best-selling book about his time in Vietnam. I remember watching college students chase after McCain clutching copies of Faith of My Fathers, begging him to sign them. I'm guessing some of the New Hampshire voters who are turning to Romney and Giuliani this year read the book, and even if they haven't they're aware of McCain's story.

I wonder if McCain got spoiled by his long love affair with the press and reckons voters and reporters will turn their backs on Romnuckabee just in the nick of time to prop him back up. This is a comeback narrative (hero stays true to himself, overcomes adversity, wins election, nukes Iran) without a hook.

Here's another book about McCain.

UPDATE: The clip of John and Cindy McCain in this video is really unfortunate. I don't know if he's slouching or her hair is particularly high but it looks like they're auditioning for roles in Peace and Love: The Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich Story.