McCain's war story is a fading memory in Vietnam

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For most Vietnamese, though, McCain's story is an obscure artifact of a receding history. In a week of interviews around Hanoi, neither his imprisonment nor his presidential candidacy seemed to arouse much excitement.

Vietnam's relations with the United States are on an even keel, and Vietnam has little at stake in the election.

While McCain wins points among some Vietnamese for having supported the normalization of relations with the United States in 1995, his story, for the most part, has taken on an aura of wartime kitsch in Vietnam, like the self-parodying propaganda posters that are now sold in galleries, or the "Good Morning Vietnam" T-shirts popular with tourists.

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