Everyone wants to get into the JFK comparisons, even supporters of John McCain. In this NY Daily News essay, Bartle Bull -- whose pedigree describes him as a former publisher of The Village Voice and New York State chairman of Democrats for McCain -- makes the case that McCain's background of service in the military is more like President Kennedy than the current Democratic nominee, Sen. Barack Obama, supported by JFK's daughter Caroline and brother, Sen. Ted Kennedy. Since we've written much about the Camelot comparison -- what we call "Compare-Alot" -- we were a sucker for this one too.
Like Jack Kennedy, McCain is grounded by heroic service as a naval officer. His patriotism requires no parsing. Like JFK, McCain understands that you cannot conduct foreign policy without understanding history. No person of that background could suggest a unilateral strike on Pakistan, as Obama did last year, apparently forgetting that this United States ally has nuclear weapons. Calling Obama's threat to Pakistan "misguided" at the time, Sen. Joe Biden also said the freshman Illinois lawmaker was unprepared to lead America. Calling McCain "my hero," Biden has stated that he would be delighted to share a ticket with the Arizona senator, whom he has suddenly begun to denounce.
But Bull's analogy may have even more significance regarding RFK, suggests Mr. Bull. As he writes about a Robert Kennedy-McCain comparison:
When Robert Kennedy ran for President in 1968, Eugene McCarthy was the darling of our party's "limousine liberals," as Obama is their cocktail today. Arthur Schlesinger Jr. wrote that Bobby became "the hate object in sections of the intellectual left, at least in New York." RFK turned to the blue-collar Democrats, some of whom are now shifting their support from Hillary Clinton to McCain. As Robert Kennedy's New York campaign manager, I recall his concern about young voters who believed they saw inspirational "hope" and "change" in McCarthy.