Thursday, January 12, 2012

Political slogan harks back to JFK

Lay aside for the moment any consideration of the policy positions of the remaining Republican candidates for president. One candidate has found what should be a winning slogan. The candidate is Jon Huntsman, whose 17 percent third place in New Hampshire was by far his best showing thus far but was not good enough to pull him out of the long-, long-shot category. His slogan: Country First.

It has a John F. Kennedy ring to it. "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." Huntsman has taken some heat from die-hard Republican voters for serving as President Obama's ambassador to China. He has defended his decision to leave the governorship of Utah to serve in Beijing as an obligation, a duty when country calls. He also reminds voters that two of his sons are active-duty military personnel.

I'm not suggesting that Huntsman is more patriotic than his more popular and better-funded rivals. Ron Paul and Rick Perry are both military veterans, for example. But Huntsman's slogan has raised a point that has too often been ignored in recent political races — politics is about more than which party has the power or who can win the next election. The slogan turns back the calendar 50 years to a time when Washington was less partisan and more respectful of differences of opinion.

What candidate, if any, will put the interests of the nation above personal or partisan interests?

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