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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Romney and Vietnam: Feeling a Draft

NYT with big piece tomorrow on little-discussed Romney years in college, when he was for the Vietnam war (before he was against it).  We get a full rundown on his many draft deferments, the second one when he served 30 months as a missionary--a controversial one, as many complained that this got too many Mormons out of the draft pool.  This rule was later changed, drastically cutting deferments in Utah, but Mitt managed to get one in Michigan.  Then he went back to Utah and, still a Vietnam hawk, got another one! (Romney claimed in 2007 that he sometimes "longed" to have served with the troops in Vietnam.  Damn, missed his chance.)

Much more but I like this tidbit: one of Romney's upper-class dorm advisers at Stanford was David Harris.  Yes, that David Harris--who went to jail over Vietnam and married Joan Baez.  He's quoted in the story re: young Mitt.  Also they present five photos of the following:
As Mr. Romney’s freshman year waned, Mr. Harris won a landslide victory as student body president. Anti-draft demonstrators soon took over the Stanford president’s office.
Mr. Romney demonstrated as well — outside, in khakis and a sport jacket, picketing the occupiers with a sign that read “Speak out, don’t sit in.”
 Of course, many will note that Bill Clinton also remained out of harm's way.  At least one key difference:  Bubba opposed the war, so he didn't display the hypocrisy of being a hawk and refusing to fight.  Also: I'm not aware that he ever said, 40 years later, that he "longed" to have fought there. 

1 comment:

Lionel said...

Greg,
There are loads of key differences between Clinton and Romney. Can you find any political influence used to help Romney? Because it is absolute fact that the highest levels of political influence were used to manipulate the draft on behalf of Bill Clinton: Sen. William Fulbright and Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller. You can look it up. Then theres the fact that Clinton lied about the political influence.