Taking The Pledge

The mudslinging begins as the candidates argue about patriotism

The issues bandied about during presidential campaigns typically have about as much to do with running the country as elephants and donkeys do with party platforms. Prison furloughs, school prayer and the Indiana National Guard are not matters that often cross a President's desk. But to campaign consultants, they are "hot buttons," the so-called valence issues that help voters define a candidate's character and values. So last week, while the national debt was topping $2.5 trillion, while a growing army of beggars wandered urban streets and America's overburdened school systems prepared for the return of classes, the electorate was treated to...

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