When Bill Clinton was a candidate for president, Sen. John Kerry (search) begged his fellow Democrats to turn away from arguments that the governor of Arkansas avoided the draft and military service in Vietnam.

"The race for the White House should be about leadership, and leadership requires that one help heal the wounds of Vietnam, not reopen them... that one help identify the positive things that we learned about ourselves and our nation, not play to the divisions and differences of that crucible for our generation."

Kerry concluded: "We do not need to divide America over who served and how."

Of course, that was a different time. Kerry was criticizing fellow Sen. Bob Kerry (search) — no relation — who was using his own military record to bash draft-avoider Clinton.

Kerry wanted Clinton to win, so he was giving passes on Vietnam.

Now it's a different story. George W. Bush is so despicable to the Massachusetts senator that he's willing to abandon the high-minded principles he begged his party to adopt.

Kerry's people avoid criticism of Clinton and instead launch attacks on someone who served — President Bush.

Kerry says he doesn't have an opinion on Bush, while his minions — Terry McAuliffe (search) of the DNC, for one — say that because Bush doesn't go marching over the countryside with a band of brothers, he evidently did not serve adequately.

I think I like the Kerry of the Clinton era better.

That's My Word.

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