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Was John Kerry "Swiftboated" in 2004?

No surprise in the Times' choice of verb.

Blogging from the Democratic Convention at the Pepsi Center in Denver, the Times' Katharine Seelye detected "an odd lack of energy" Wednesday night compared to Tuesday, a pall that not even Bill Clinton's speech could totally dissipate. But Seelye sounded impressed with failed candidate John Kerry's angry speech, as he continues to refight his own personal Vietnam against the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth:



Mr. Kerry is letting it rip, much of his anger from 2004, when his own military record was swiftboated, bubbling to the surface. He asks how dare the Republicans try to do the same thing to Mr. Obama. "You don't decide who's a patriot," he declares, or whose service counts and whose doesn't. "That flag doesn't belong to any ideology."



Seelye's use of the new verb "swiftboated" implies there was something disreputable about the charges, which is an opinion that comes through clearly in the paper's news coverage.