John McCain brought up his time in the Hanoi Hilton on Leno last night:
“You’ve got enough of those,” Leno cracked. “You need a white one, too.” Later, he asked McCain: “For $1 million, how many houses do you have?”
At that, McCain got serious, saying he had been imprisoned for five-and-a-half years during the Vietnam war, and that “I didn’t have a house. I didn’t have a kitchen table. I didn’t have a table.”
I think when you’re bringing up the subject on late-night TV — when it’s already becoming the fodder for late-night monologues — you’re skating really close to self-parody.
In one respect, the longer he exploits his time as a P.O.W. the less impact it will have to the point that the voters will get tired of it, which is fine with me; maybe we can make the election of 2004 the last election about the war in Vietnam. But it doesn’t do any favors to the other soldiers who also served time in the P.O.W. camps and who mean it when they say they don’t want to talk about it or use it for political gain.