Are Swift Boat Veterans Giving John Kerry A Pass On Secretary Nomination?


I wrote previously about Swift Boat Veterans Founder John O’Neill’s claim that should Senator John Kerry received the nomination from Barack Obama that the group would resurface and protest his nomination. However, it appears from reports that there will not be an organized effort by the group to challenge Kerry’s nomination.

Back in 2004 the group took on Kerry’s campaign for the White House and many believe it was effective enough to keep the Senator from gaining the chair of the Oval Office.

“If Obummer had put Kerry up for Sec Def, I think there would have been a visceral reponse from many veterans, but most feel he won’t be any worse than his predecessor as Sec State,” Kenneth Cordier, a former POW who appeared in a Swift Boat ad in 2004 and was kicked off President Bush’s campaign because of it, said in an email to BuzzFeed. The ad, “Sellout,” features Cordier and two other veterans criticizing Kerry as a tape of Kerry describing atrocities committed by American troops plays.

“Pretty much I was hoping that Ms. Rice would get the nomination and then they would battle it out in the Senate,” Cordier said. “My personal opinion is [Kerry] doesn’t have the strength of character and integrity that we need in a high position like that. He’s sold himself cheaply before and I wouldn’t trust him again now.”

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Scott Swett, a conservative author who wrote a book about the Swift Boat veterans who opposed Kerry (To Set The Record Straight: How Swift Boat Veterans, POWs and the New Media Defeated John Kerry), said, “I haven’t heard of any organized effot to oppose Kerry as Secretary of State.”

O’Neill has been having some health issues lately, but previously he had told Sean Hannity, ““To make him secretary of defense or the secretary of state would be a disaster for our national security. It really would be a total forfeiture of the loyalty that we owe the troops in the field.”

In early December the Wall Street Journal quoted O’Neill from an email reaction concerning Kerry:

For all the controversy over Ambassador Susan Rice—National Journal reports that the president is “genuinely conflicted” over the choice between Ms. Rice and Mr. Kerry—the prospect that Mr. Kerry might head state or defense is more shocking. Mr. Kerry “is well qualified to be the Secretary of Defense . . . of Cuba or Venezuela” is how the leader of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, John O’Neill, reacted in an email last week. “He [is] certainly an expert on surrender and can run up a white flag with the best of them.”

Interestingly enough, we haven’t heard much from Republican Senators against the Kerry nomination either, nor have we heard from Kerry on the matter. In fact, it’s highly unusual for the person nominated to not speak at a press conference that has been held to present him for nomination. CBS News’ Mark Knoller tweeted:

Usually the nominee is given a chance to make some remarks, but not today. Neither did Pres Obama respond to queston about the fiscal cliff.

— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) December 21, 2012

Current Secretary Hillary Clinton will be stepping down shortly after the inauguration in January and says that Kerry is “an excellent choice.”

“President Obama and I have often asked Senator Kerry to undertake delicate diplomatic missions and to deliver difficult messages,” she said. “He has forged strong relationships with leaders around the world. As I have learned, being able to talk candidly as someone who has won elections and also lost them is an enormous asset when engaging with emerging or fragile democracies.”

Should Kerry be confirmed, it has been rumored the Republican Senator Scott Brown, who was defeated by Elizabeth Warren in November, will seek to be a candidate in that special election against several Massachusetts House members on the Democrat side.

I’m wondering if the Senate will just go along with the nomination to be politically expedient or if they will actually bring challenges to Kerry’s nomination and I’m also wondering if the SBVs will actually resurface or whether they will just law low. We’ll see.

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