The Boston Globe reports that Kerry biographer, historian Douglas Brinkley, the author of "Tour Of Duty," explains Kerry's emphasis on Vietnam:
"Kerry decided to make Vietnam the centerpiece of his campaign for one clear reason: Imagine him without his military record -- he would just be another liberal from Taxachusetts."
Kerry should follow former President Clinton's advice and stop talking about Vietnam. Kerry is not going to get elected president because he tells everyone he can, as often as he can, that he won medals during his four months on a Swift Boat in Vietnam.
According to the Globe, in 2002 Kerry made a choice to highlight Vietnam in this campaign even though Kerry had been warned by Aides and Senator McCain about the perils of emphasizing Vietnam in his candidacy:
That Kerry made the decision to highlight Vietnam in his campaign despite the warnings demonstrates two things. First Brinkley is right without Vietnam Kerry is just "another liberal from Taxachusetts." Second, Kerry exercises
Four years ago, Kerry was warned about the perils of emphasizing Vietnam in his candidacy by his friend John McCain, a former POW whose White House bid in 2000 was damaged by angry veterans who said McCain had "abandoned" them in the Senate. The role Kerry and McCain played in normalizing US-Vietnam relations was still controversial with many veterans, McCain told him. Vietnam divided the nation in the 1960s and '70s, and the wounds have not healed.
[. . .]
The Democrat's preoccupation with McCain's failed race led him to call an unusual meeting in 2002: Aides from McCain's primary organization met with Kerry to talk about the role of veterans and the shadows of Vietnam in modern politics. They echoed McCain's advice from 2000 -- veterans could be enormously helpful or hurtful in another veteran's bid to become commander in chief.
poorer judgement than I can accept from a man who would be president.