Jeffrey Toobin of the New Yorker noted that this is the first time since World War II that no major candidate for president served in the armed forces. (He doesn't count Ron Paul, who was an Air Force flight surgeon.) Barack Obama and Rick Santorum were too young for the Vietnam-era draft. Mitt Romney got a deferment while he was on a Mormon mission, then had a high number in the draft lottery. Newt Gingrich received student deferments. "Does anyone care?" Toobin asked. "Not much, it seems. For presidential candidates, the issue of military service has gone from obligatory to controversial to irrelevant." He concluded: "We have no fewer wars than we once did – they are arguably greater in number, in fact – but there has been a sort of brutal efficiency in the march from the Second World War to Vietnam to Iraq. They yield fewer veterans, although, lately, more and more deployments. For better or worse, their claim on the nation's attention is smaller. So it goes with their efforts to be president, too."
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