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Military Victory Has Always Been Touted in Presidential Campaigns

Recorded on May 2, 2012

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.

President Obama is not the first chief executive to use military glory in their campaign.

From George Washington to Dwight Eisenhower, twelve U.S. Presidents were former generals. Some were storied like Ulysses S. Grant and Andrew Jackson, others you probably didn't know were generals, like James Garfield and Benjamin Harrison.

Victories have always been used to win votes. And even a sound decision—like Jimmy Carter's support of a hostage rescue—sometimes ends up in failure.

But don't confuse political courage with military courage. Making an indoor decision far from the battlefield should never be equated with the bravery of those who risk their lives.

It's normal for a President to crow about success on his watch. But if a President praises themselves as courageous, rather than the war fighters, or if they claim political opponents would have been cowards—that's when they've crossed the line.

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.