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Hang Havenstein! He once quoted the President

One's record is fair game in politics. Bob Smith is regularly reminded of once leaving the Republican Party and, at another time, endorsing Democrat John Kerry for President. (Smith now says he didn't actually vote for Kerry, which reminds us of Bill Clinton saying he once smoked pot, but didn't inhale.)

Jeanne Shaheen may yet be forced to defend her claim of independence while voting 99 percent of the time with President Obama.

Gubernatorial hopeful Walt Havenstein, on the other hand, doesn't have a political record and that is driving his opponents, and apparently some journalists, to distraction, and absurdity.

Fellow GOP candidate Andrew Hemingway was out last week to denounce as "disturbing'' that this Havenstein fellow once gave a speech at his alma mater, the U.S. Naval Academy, in which he quoted President Obama.

The speech was in January, 2009. The new President had barely taken office. In fact, Havenstein's quote was from Obama's first Inaugural.

"As President Obama stated in his inaugural address last Tuesday, 'Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values on which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old,'" Havenstein told Academy students.

"I believe our 44th President is saying that true leadership transcends generational differences."

Hang the man!

Seriously, reasonable people tend to wish the new guy well, for the nation's sake.

Unless we were dreaming, even GOP stalwart Judd Gregg considered joining Obama's first Cabinet on that basis.

Hemingway is undermining his own credibility with this kind of silliness. But his opponent must be thrilled every time people are reminded that Walt Havenstein is a successful business man AND a Naval Academy graduate.

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