History shows that on April 23, 1975, then-President Gerald R. Ford delivered a televised address pronouncing an end to America’s involvement in Vietnam (“a war that is finished as far as America is concerned,” Ford declared). A week later, the last helicopter took off from the U.S. embassy in Saigon.
Since then, Vietnam has flared up in various ways in various political campaigns. Think Dan Quayle’s and George W. Bush’s National Guard Service. Or Bill Clinton’s draft maneuvering. Or the “swift-boating” of John Kerry. Or John McCain’s stay in the Hanoi Hilton.
So here we are, 25 years and two months after the last flight out of Saigon, with the Vietnam War alive and kicking in California’s governor’s race. Or so believes the Los Angeles Times, which on Sunday would have you believe that Meg Whitman’s campaign is purposely reopening that wound to portray Democrat Jerry Brown as little more than Wavy Gravy in wing-tips.