4.06.2008 | Civility on the campaign trail

Back in January, President Bill Clinton said that if his wife and Senator John McCain "wound up being the nominees of their party, it would be the most civilized election in American history, and they're afraid they'd put the voters to sleep because they like and respect each other."

"She and John McCain are very close. They always laugh that if they wound up being the nominees of their party, it would be the most civilized election in American history, and they're afraid they'd put the voters to sleep because they like and respect each other."

— President Bill Clinton, January 2008

The most civilized election in American history. Hillary certainly seems to believe that the primary season has been civil thus far, so we can only imagine what flowers are waiting to bloom between whenever the nomination contest is settled and November should she become the nominee.

But you have to wonder about this civility thing. After Hillary tried to revive the scandal surrounding Barack Obama's ties to Reverend Wright, Obama responded by saying that it was "fair game" to do so.

John McCain, on the other hand, recently said Barack Obama would be "absolutely qualified" to be president, while when given the chance to compare herself to McCain, Hillary left Obama out in the cold.

Two points I want to make here: One, it is a good thing that this election season so far is even allowing us to contemplate who is being the most civil (instead of who is reaching lowest in the bag of political tricks). Two, I'm not sure all the candidates are equally displaying the potential for civility that exists. I'd love to be proven wrong.

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