From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Draft, or pull out?

September 23, 2004 5:11 PM

The answer to this question Andrew Sullivan posed on Tuesday just hit me. "The question lingers: why would anyone in the administration want to leak to Robert Novak that Bush is contemplating a quickish exit from Iraq?"

It's to counter the draft meme!

Novak's column came out on the 20th. Howard Dean brought up the draft on the same day in his weekly column, and Kerry picked it up yesterday in a speech.

So my theory is the Bushies got wind of this coming, and sought to pre-empt it with the Novak column. The Kerry speech had to be in the works for awhile, and Dean was probably tasked with going out with it first to create a one-two punch. But there's no need for a draft if there's no war, and since it's Novak, who no one takes all that seriously, it's not official policy.

Just enough to muddy the waters.

More from the archive in Howard Dean, John Kerry, Politics.

Draft, or pull out? (09.23.2004)

Next Entry: John Kerry's biggest mistake? He believed George Bush. (09.25.2004)
Previous Entry: You can't lie to God, silly! (09.23.2004)

Read the 9 comments.

Kent Bye:

Very observant conclusion that it was a PR tactic to counter talks of the draft. Haven't seen anyone else mention this yet, but I think you're exactly right.

I have just posted an extensive timeline recounting of the Bush Administration's PR campaign to sell the war in Iraq at
I noticed that they have three levels of PR - White (openly listed talking points in their daily global message), Grey (messages in speeches designed to insinuate conclusions as well as quotes from anonymous senior administration officials), and finally Black (leaked material, off-the-record comments, and PR tactics that are free of their official fingerprints).

Fri Sep 24 2004 7:57 AM


For some reason I don't see the RNC planning stategy around the speaches given by the third (or was it fourth?) place finisher in Iowa. No more then Bush or Kerry is reacting to the charges and rants of Nadar.

As for reacting to Kerry, ever play pinball? He can't stay on subject for then a day or two anyway and then he contradicts himself a week or two later. Best strategy there is let him attack his own position.

Fri Sep 24 2004 8:32 AM


Excellent, Jim. I came up with the same conclusion.

Fri Sep 24 2004 11:35 AM

Tom from Madison:

If only Cheney & Rumsfeld would spend half as much time planning the war as the RNC spends planning the next attack ad on Kerry. At some point the reality of 1,000+ American soldiers dead with no end in sight will have to sink in. It doesn't matter whether Howard Dean was the first one to raise the issue. Kerry should raise it again.

It would be interesting to hear President Bush suggest what an acceptable death toll is in Iraq. On average more than 2 Americans are being killed each day in Iraq with no end in sight. Wouldn't it be nice if the President would tell us what he's doing to help that situation. He seems totally dis-engaged.

Fri Sep 24 2004 1:27 PM


Depends on your definition of acceptable. Here in the US 40,000+ people are slaughtered on the highway every year and its acceptable, actually considered an IMPROVEMENT over previous years. An additional 3.2 MILLION suffer injuries ranging from John Kerry like war wounds to permanent disabilities. Sounds like we are worried about the wrong war zone.

Fri Sep 24 2004 2:39 PM


Few seem to care about the 10,000+ Iraqi civilians who have been killed. Also, little mention of the 10,000+ American soldiers maimed.

Fri Sep 24 2004 4:16 PM


CBS is at it again, reporter Richard Schlesinger used debunked internet hoax emails and an unlabeled special interest group member in his story that the U.S. government is poised to resume the draft.

CBS News also reported that there are two bills in Congress to reinstate the draft, but failed to mention that they were both introduced by Democrats.

Wed Sep 29 2004 11:23 AM



Is this a new take on the draft? Mandatory two years service to be eligible for college?

"As part of his 100 day plan to change America, John Kerry will propose a comprehensive service plan that includes requiring mandatory service for high school students and four years of college tuition in exchange for two years of national service"

Thu Sep 30 2004 7:18 AM


Drart away

Tue Nov 23 2004 8:26 AM

Jim Gilliam
Jim Gilliam


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