Presidents And Wearing The Uniform

According to Texas Governor Rick Perry, he's running for president because "I want to make sure that every young man and woman who puts on the uniform of the United States respects highly the president of the United States." He later "clarified" by saying that “If you polled the military, the active duty and veterans, and said ‘would you rather have a president of the United States that never served a day in the military or someone who is a veteran?’ They’ve going to say, I would venture, that they would like to have a veteran."

Maybe, but that doesn't mean they'd want Perry. Last time around, Obama ran against John McCain, a decorated Navy pilot and former prisoner of war in Vietnam. Yet according to a report the Center for Responsive Politics released in August 2008, active duty servicemembers deployed abroad gave six times the amount to Obama that they did to McCain. The anti-war Republican Congressman Ron Paul actually raised more money from active-duty servicemembers than McCain as well.

Now given the state of the economy, it's entirely possible that Perry will outraise Obama among this group. But given the fact that McCain's incredibly compelling military record wasn't sufficient to produce knee-jerk support among servicemembers, it's a little far fetched to think that Perry's time piloting tactical airlifts in the Air Force will, by itself, stir much passion in the military. They make their political choices for the same reasons everyone else does, and it's a bit of an insult to their intelligence to suggest that they'd automatically vote for Perry just because he's a veteran. 

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