In one recent installment of Shooting War, published June 28, Jimmy's embedded with a team of Marines on patrol, whose mission is diverted when they get a tip on the whereabouts of kidnapped Lt Jimmy McCain -- the President's son.
Flash forward to today, in the real world. Time magazine reports that 18-year-old Jimmy McCain is reporting to Marine boot camp ahead of his likely deployment to Iraq, a move that will improve the prospects of his father's anticipated 2008 presidential bid.
(One small detail doesn't quite fit -- unlike his Dad, brother, grandfather and great-grandfather, Jimmy is joining the Marines, not the Navy)
Here's more from Time:
McCain already has strong national-security credentials. His son's service only strengthens his position. It will neutralize the assertions of the left that Republicans are "chicken hawks," pursuing the war for ideological reasons without any connection to the pain of it. And it will probably have a broader effect on McCain's credibility. Critics have accused McCain of pandering to the right in order to solidify his front-runner status, but the power of that argument would be diminished if McCain were seen steadfastly supporting a war even as it endangered his youngest son.
More than anything else, though, the country may find itself viewing Iraq through McCain's eyes as it follows his son's progress. And nothing is more powerful for a candidate than sympathy.