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“What Democrats are learning is there’s a way to talk about it in a way that is respectful of the values of people on both sides of the issues,” she said, addressing the sense of intolerance among the Democratic Party that many pundits said was a shortcoming in the ‘04 election.

“Democrats have been less willing to talk about values openly, but I think most people now realize it must be done,” Mrs. Marsh said.

But Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said voters are “smart enough to be able to look at people’s records. I mean, they did with John Kerry.”