Truce and War

As the Democrats tamp down their tiff, the Republicans go at it.

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At the same time that the Democratic presidential candidates were calling a truce in their war of words this week, a Republican presidential wannabe was starting one of his own.

The national media paid a great deal of attention to the denouement between candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama:

"We may differ on minor matters," Mrs. Clinton said of Mr. Obama, "but when it comes to what is really important, we are family. Both Senator Obama and I know that we are where we are today because of leaders like Dr. King and generations of men and women like all of you."

Mr. Obama, meanwhile, said on a campaign swing through northern Nevada that he was concerned that a heated discussion of racial issues in the presidential campaign could divide the Democratic Party.

"I don’t want the campaign at this stage to degenerate into so much tit for tat, back and forth, that we lose sight of why all of us are doing this," he said at a news conference.

"We’ve got too much at stake at this time in our history to be engaging in this kind of silliness."

There was less attention given, however, to Mike Huckabee's verbal spar with Mitt Romney:

Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee went from Mr. Nice to Mr. Nasty when rival Fred Thompson started calling him what he considered a bad name—a liberal.... Huckabee said Friday that the lawyer-turned-actor-turned-politician had little to show for his time in the Senate.

"Eight years is a pretty long time to get a check from the federal government and not be able to say" he passed a major bill, Huckabee sniped.

In fairness, it was Thompson who started the spat, calling Huckabee a liberal on the economy and foreign affairs in Thursday’s GOP debate in South Carolina. He ticked off Huckabee’s alleged sins against that most hallowed of Republican institutions, the church of Ronald Reagan.

Huckabee has long been known in Arkansas as being thin skinned and unable to take punches with aplomb. That and his history of ethical, shall we say, challenges is still largely unknown to his mainly evangelical followers. I have referred to them in prior posts.

But this seems to have been the first time since he launched his national campaign that he was written up for turning into "Mr. Nasty." It will be interesting to see how the church crowd reacts once it learns more about his transgressions.

On another note, in my last post I criticized Obama for using harsh words against the Clinton campaign (to wit, ludicrous). Obama then turned around and became the first of the two (him and Senator Clinton) to call for a truce in their war of words. Well done, Obama!

It makes him appear all the more statesmanlike and able to carry through on his promise to unite the country, though I still maintain that's a bigger job than any one person can complete.