This really is 'Saving Private W.'
The president gets called on to step up to the plate and say one way or another way he supports his friends' (rapidly deteriorating) smears on his opponent's military record.
And he just won't do it.
First, he sends out his chief spokesman to dodge the question.
Then he dodges the question.
And now, politically on the defensive, he calls another veteran and asks him to rush over to the ranch to face Max Cleland.
(It turns out that Patterson, the guy who got the 911 call from the president, has received $150,000 in campaign contributions from Bob Perry, the funder of the Swift Boat ads.)
Needless to say, the president doesn't have to play into the Kerry photo op by showing up to take Cleland's letter; a straight answer about the Swift Boat smears would do nicely.
But he just can't do it -- a classic bully.