Linda Chavez

 But Edwards did no better than Kerry in explaining what the Democrats would do differently. "We need a president who will speed up the training of Iraqis, get more staff in for doing that. We need to speed up the reconstruction so the Iraqis see some tangible benefit. We need a new president who has the credibility, which John Kerry has, to bring others into this effort."

 But Edwards' answer begged the question. The Bush policy is to train the Iraqis as quickly as possible. They've succeeded in getting other nations to pitch in on this effort, including NATO. And even John Kerry admitted yesterday that he won't have much luck in bringing French or German troops to Iraq. "Does that mean allies are going to trade their young for our young in body bags? I know they are not," Kerry said at a campaign stop in Iowa.

 Whatever John Kerry or John Edwards are saying, their actions have belied their rhetoric. Given his absence from his Senate duties, it's hard to know where John Edwards stands on important defense issues besides voting against the money to protect our troops in Iraq. But Kerry's record is long -- almost 20 years in the Senate alone. As Cheney pointed out, "A little tough talk in the midst of a campaign or as part of a presidential debate cannot obscure a record of 30 years of being on the wrong side of defense issues." Based on their records, neither John Kerry nor John Edwards deserves a job promotion.

Linda Chavez

Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and author of Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics .

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