The most vicious presidential race since the days of the liberal attacks on “Tricky Dick” Nixon (“Would You Buy a Used Car From This Man”) ended in an across-the-board sweep by the Republican Party. The GOP held onto the White House and even added to its majorities in the House and Senate, and, as icing on the cake, defeating nasty, highly partisan Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle in South Dakota.
As an added pleasure for conservatives, John O’Neill and his Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth had the last laugh over the New York Times, the Washington Post and the rest of the liberal media, which had treated O’Neill and his men with disdain bordering on contempt, calling the O’Neill/Swift Boat veterans’ book Unfit for Command “Unsubstantiated, Untruthful, and uncorroborated” and even refusing to review it. But the book was a huge bestseller and the riveting TV spots produced by the Swift Boat Veterans, focusing on Kerry’s disputed Vietnam service and his attacks on the U.S. military after the war were, in the opinion of neutral analysts, the most effective of the campaign. They immediately called into question the honesty of John Kerry and cast serious doubts on his ability to be commander in chief.
Their ads halted Kerry’s momentum after the Democratic convention, and he never recovered.