Veteran Politicians, Yes - Veterans, No!

by Jay Zimmer

Since 1944, every campaign for president has presented at least one major-party candidate who has some experience in the military.  Not this one.  In fact, according to the New York Times, it’s the first time in 80 years that neither has any military hash marks – and yet both are trying to become the Commander in Chief.

To put it into perspective, the last time there was a no-veteran ticket from both major parties, the Chicago Cubs were in the World Series  and a gallon of gas was ten cents.

By Jay ZimmerPresident Obama wasn’t eligible for the last draft.  He was 8 years old during the Viet Nam War.  Romney was 28 but was deferred several times, largely because of his mission work for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

As for the Vice Presidential hopefuls, to find a non-veteran ticket on both sides you’d have to go back to 1932 and John Nance Gardner who was the running mate to Franklin Roosevelt.  And while Roosevelt never wore a uniform, he did serve as Assistant Secretary of the Navy under Woodrow Wilson.  Maybe that counts!

Only one of the potentials on Mitt Romney’s short list for a running mate has military experience.  Virginia governor Bob McDonald retired from the Army Reserves as a Lieutenant Colonel after 16 years of service that included active-duty deployment overseas.

What that might mean in terms of Get Out The Vote, especially among veterans and active-duty military members will be an interesting observation among pundits in the electoral process in 2012.