More importantly, what about Biden's judgment? Shortly after he became senator in 1972, he voted to cut off funding the South Vietnamese in their war against the North Vietnamese invaders despite President Richard Nixon's promise to provide financial support and military airstrikes against a North invasion. The country's failure to make good on this promise led to hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese "boat people" and to the murder of an estimated 2 million Cambodians by the Khmer Rouge. Biden opposed the Reagan military buildup and the Strategic Defense Initiative, which even some Reagan-haters grudgingly concede hastened the demise of the Soviet Union. Biden called Reagan's pursuit of SDI "one of the most reckless and irresponsible acts in the history of modern statecraft."
Biden opposed the first Gulf war, the "good" one. He voted for the Iraq War and co-authored a Washington Post op-ed piece in which he warned that our involvement would take a decade and urged the nation to show patience. When the war went south, along with public opinion, Biden suggested breaking Iraq into three parts. Then Biden reversed his support, said he regretted his vote, and opposed Bush's successful "surge."
Former CBS reporter Dan Rather tried to prove -- based on documents that turned out to be fraudulent -- that Bush received preferential treatment in getting into the Texas Air National Guard. Former President Bill Clinton, on the other hand, used familial political and social connections to deliberately delay issuance of his draft notice until after he began his first year at Oxford. Ordered to report for induction the next summer, Clinton again used connections -- including the approval of Arkansas Selective Service director Willard Hawkins -- to join the University of Arkansas ROTC while he attended law school, getting him a reservist deferment and nullifying his draft notice. But Clinton then returned to Oxford, not Arkansas. When the draft lottery placed him at the back of a very long line, Clinton wrote an explanatory letter telling Hawkins that he "loathed" the military. With the Vietnam War winding down and other draft requirement changes making it extremely unlikely that he would be called up, Clinton symbolically asked his draft board to drop his deferment and reclassify him "1-A."
Palin, if she decides to run, faces a grueling series of challenges -- just like the other candidates. Except she'll not benefit from the selective standard that liberals apply when evaluating "their own."