It was just last week that an angry John McCain rebuked a pair of Time reporters for asking about his two boys in the military. "We don't talk about our sons," he sniped. Yet last night, during the candidate's hero-worship extravaganza at the Republican National Convention, Cindy McCain was all too eager to boast about their bravery and military accomplishments. (Fred Thompson did the same on Wednesday, and they were mentioned in McCain's introductory video.)
From Cindy's speech:
Our son, Jack, will graduate from the United States Naval Academy next year, fourth generation, ready to do his service. And our son, Jimmy, a lance corporal in the Marine Corps, served honorably in Iraq … Jimmy served honorably in Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of other young men and women just like him are doing for America and freedom everywhere.
The stakes were never more clear to me than the morning I watched my son, Jimmy, strap on his weapons and board a bus headed for harm’s way.
For a while, the McCains maintained that they didn't talk about their sons for the two boys' own safety, so they didn't find themselves specially targeted while serving overseas. It made sense and seemed respectful. In fact, you rarely even saw them. Now, Jimmy is set to go back to Iraq in December, and Jack will likely be sent abroad when he graduates, but his parents have decided to start including them in their pitch to voters. Surely it makes sense to have Jimmy and Jack present on such a big night for their dad. But have John and Cindy's concerns for the two young men's safety gone out the window in the service of solidifying McCain's messianic story line of patriotism?