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The act of discrediting a political opponent by making exaggurated or outrightly false claims about his/her character and past actions.

Coined from the 2004 US Presidential campaign, where the the conservative group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth aired a commercial criticizing democrat John Kerry's reputation as a war hero in Vietnam. It has since become a popular term with leftist journalists.
Jed: Sylva says she's against the war, but she has no idea about how much it protects our country. It's not like she actually earned her PhD in political science - her daddy has influence at that college.

Alex: Dude, stop swift boating my girlfriend!
by ItsumademoOtaku August 22, 2005
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The process of smearing a military veteran's service record for political purposes. Named after the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth, who discredited John Kerry's war record during the 2004 U.S. presidential election.
He was a popular candidate, until the swiftboating started.
by SmileyScout January 20, 2006
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A political ploy whereby allegations, falsehoods, exaggerations, or distortions are publicized to discredit a person or entity and have the intended effect that public attention is drawn to the ensuing controversy about the veracity of the allegations and away from some other political embarrassment.

Questions about Kerry’s military service and whether he deserved purple heart medals was swiftboating the public’s attention from whether or not Bush was AWOL.
by Nels Christianson October 14, 2006
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The act of exposing the exagerated or inflated claims of a person seeking to promote themselves into a position of authority.
He would have gotten away with his outrageous lies if not for the swiftboating he received at the hand of his classmates.
by Bobby Farrelly August 24, 2006
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Swiftboating is a term used to describe the campaign waged by a group named "Swiftvets and POW's for Truth" against presidential candidate John F. Kerry. A swiftboat is a navy craft with a shallow draft used in the Vietnam war (PCF - Patrol Craft - Fast); It is armed with machine guns, usually from two fixed points. It is the type of craft that Kerry served on in the Vietnam war.
Many (not all) of the swiftvets served with John Kerry and didn't believe he was presidential material. They went public with their beliefs. Among their claims was that Kerry gamed the system by receiving Purple Heart Medals for minor injuries in an effort to end his tour of duty. Kerry received three Purple Hearts in four months and shows no debilitating injury; which is most unusual. Moreover, he will not release his service medical records. The intersection of this data strongly suggests that the claims of the swiftboaters has a good foundation.

The petition from the Swiftboat Vets makes, among others, this claim against John Kerry:

". . .Upon your return from Vietnam, you betrayed your fellow veterans by accusing them of engaging in horrendous war crimes. Through your post-war activities, and during Senate testimony viewed by the entire nation, you created and nurtured the myth that American soldiers in Vietnam were involved in such crimes on a daily basis, and that such activity was sanctioned by our commanding officers. Specifically, you stated that we: "had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, and razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan."

The above is a matter of record.

But, this is the political arena. Swiftboating is defined by some as the unwarranted trashing of a good person's reputation. Those are the people who like Kerry. Others will define it as truth coming forward about a person's character.

In the end, a person can fight a swiftboating claim against them by making all their records available for public viewing. For swiftboating to work, it must be stonewalled and the truth hidden. That's what Kerry did.
The claims against this Senator with a sterling reputation are nothing but another form of swiftboating.


The Senator refuses to disclose records concerning his duty, dismissing it as "swiftboating."
by Steven Maikoski August 28, 2006
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"Swift-boating" has entered the political lexicon as a noun, adjective or verb and is usually invoked as a pejorative term by Kerry supporters to indicate that Kerry was treated unfairly when unpleasant but truthful accusations were raised.

Explanatory notes: Such accusations by genuine war heroes and former POWs undercut Kerry's claim to Vietnam hero status. They exposed how Kerry had manipulated the Navy's system to award himself three Purple Hearts in order to limit his service in a combat zone to four months. Democratic apologists blame disingenuously Kerry's flaccid and untimely response to the accusations with the knowledge that, if Kerry released his complete military records, they would show a general discharge for having met with enemy leaders while still in the Navy Reserve. Kerry was restored to Honorable Discharge status by President Carter in 1978. Kerry's supporters then coined the term "swift boating" to shift the blame from Kerry to his political opponents even though a full refutation of the accusations was avainlable if Kerry were to file a SF-180, which he has refused to do for reasons herein laid bare. The president and his campaign staff were never involved in exposing Kerry as a hypocrite and incorrigible opportunist.
Those f&$#ing vets were swift boating the presidential candidate we selected for his ostensible military credentials and electability causing him to lose the election that was supposed to reverse the 2000 presidential election results.
by OESY7 January 30, 2007
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