Comments: An Observation About Dangerous Old Men (and Women)

Things can change pretty quickly. Who ever thought of Barack Obama as a presidential candidate 8 years ago?

Posted by: Tartan69 at April 8, 2008 at 09:28 AM

It's not that unusual to go for long stretches with Presidents that have had no military service. After Teddy Roosevelt left office the next President to have served in the military was Harry Truman.

You get stretches of military presidents after a major war that involve much of the nation's manpower, most notably the periods following the American Civil War and WWII. Conflicts involving a fraction of the population (War of 1812, Mexican-American, or more recently Gulf War and GWOT) rarely get more than one or two of their veterans elected President, and usually those representatives are victorious generals (Jackson, Harrison, Teddy Roosevelt, etc.)

Posted by: Mark L at April 8, 2008 at 09:32 AM

Who ever thought of Barack Obama as a presidential candidate 8 years ago?

Barack Obama did.

:-)

Posted by: Sterling at April 8, 2008 at 09:42 AM

I wonít ever vote for a President who has not served in our nationís military because 1) if you want the power to send our troops into battle, you had damned-well have been willing to go yourself, and 2) there is no more honorable or selfless calling than that of military service to your nation.

Posted by: Robbie at April 8, 2008 at 10:20 AM

Well there are Iraq war vets who are starting to run for Congressional seats in the house. It won't be long before you have State reps,governors, who are WOT veterans. If the RNC is smart they will mentor the best of them.

Posted by: toad at April 8, 2008 at 10:40 AM

Mark- FDR was Asst. Secretary of the Navy during WWI IIRC. Just a quibble but I think that counts as military service, of a sort.

Posted by: Barry Caro at April 8, 2008 at 11:32 AM

"Mark- FDR was Asst. Secretary of the Navy during WWI IIRC. Just a quibble but I think that counts as military service, of a sort.
Posted by: Barry Caro at 11:32 AM"

NO, it definitely does not count as military service. That is the whole thing about civilian leadership.

Here is the real difference. If you are in the military and you decide to quit you're declared a deserter and if caught can be courts martialed and sent to the brig. If you are the Secretary of the Navy you write a letter, shake the president's hand and leave to make big bucks. Seems like a big difference to me. Also, there is that the distinction that one job can involve being told to go somewhere where they might shoot at you and the other does not.

Posted by: largebill at April 8, 2008 at 12:44 PM

"Mark- FDR was Asst. Secretary of the Navy during WWI IIRC. Just a quibble but I think that counts as military service, of a sort.
Posted by: Barry Caro at 11:32 AM"

What a perfect example of what this article worries about. No veteran would confuse a civilian job with a military one.

Expect even more of the same in the future.

Posted by: wlpeak at April 8, 2008 at 01:54 PM