12 October 2010

President's Cabinet Light On Veterans

A quick run-thru of the President's cabinet by the SF Gate shows that there aren't a lot of cabinet members who have had their boots dirty. And contrasts it with the previous administration.

Even though America is fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, members of President Obama's Cabinet are three times more likely to have attended law school than boot camp.

Only two - Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki - among the 16 Cabinet and six Cabinet-rank officials are military veterans. With last week's departure of National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones, a former Marine, the ranks of vets in Obama's national security inner circle just got thinner. Replacement Tom Donilon is another lawyer (and former lobbyist) with no military training.

The Democratic Party has come a long way since 2004 when party biggies were hitting President George W. Bush for serving only in the Air National Guard during Vietnam. Remember? Sen. John Kerry saluted the Democratic National Convention in Boston as he announced he was "reporting for duty." Democrats chastised Vice President Dick Cheney - who enjoyed five draft deferments during that war - as a "chicken hawk."

Now it's 2010. America is at war - two wars. The commander in chief has never served in the military. Vice President Joe Biden received five student draft deferments during Vietnam. And you don't hear the term "chicken hawk" any more.

By: Brant

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