- The Washington Times - Monday, May 7, 2012

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

And they’re off! No, I’m not referring to Saturday’s Kentucky Derby but the 2012 presidential campaign. Over the next six months, voters will be asked to “look forward” with Barack Obama or “believe in America” with Mitt Romney. Thankfully, both slogans are positive affirmations.

During the course of the campaign, I hope the challenger and the incumbent will remain as positive as their slogans are today. Early indications are that this year’s presidential election, like some great horse races, will be won by a nose. If either Mr. Obama or Mr. Romney pulls out the whip and goes negative, it will be a very long, tough slog for the candidates and the nation.

Decades after the infamous 1964 Lyndon B. Johnson “Daisy” commercial and the 1988 George H.W. Bush “Willie Horton” ad, our political landscape remains scorched. After those campaigns ended, the producers of both spots said they wished they hadn’t sunk to such lows.

Let’s hope both Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney remind themselves to appeal to voters’ better instincts between now and November. That would be good for them as candidates and a blessing for the country as a whole.

DENNY FREIDENRICH

Laguna Beach, Calif.

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