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A campaign oddity: John McCain's camp urges folks to vote in Washington, D.C.

Let us now praise the anonymous John McCain staffer (or staffers) who a few weeks back sent out an e-mail intended for residents of the District of Columbia.

The guts of the message: "The last day you may apply for a general election absentee ballot is October 28, 2008. We recommend sending your application as early as possible."

D.C. is an odd governmental duck. Created to serve permanently as the nation's capital -- distinct from any state's jurisdiction -- it is a federally supervised municipality. It took about 150 years for the city to gain anything approaching self-governance rights, and it still does not have voting representatives in Congress.

Beginning in 1964, though, it became part of the presidential voting process. And since then, there has been no surer thing in U.S. politics than a Democrat carrying the district and its three electoral votes.

How sure of a thing? The worst showing by a Democratic candidate in Washington, D.C., came in 1980, when then-President Jimmy Carter won ONLY 74.8% of its vote. Four years ago, John Kerry racked up 89.1% of its vote (not quite a record; that was set in '64, when then-President Lyndon Johnson won 90.3%).

All of which is to take note of this -- when someone working for the Republican presidential ticket encourages Washington, D.C., residents to cast their ballots, that truly is an example of putting country first, self-interest second.

-- Don Frederick

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Comments () | Archives (3)

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Each day Barak Obama increases his lead over John McCain. The Republicans want to lock people into an early vote before disclosures like Troopergate come into the public eye.

I am so tired of McCain and his vice president making slanderous remarks in their speeches before they even discuss what is going on in the world. They are so busy thinking up garbage day after day. I feel very sorry for this country if McCain wins. The people don't want intelligence they just want to be able to use guns and deregulation as McCain keeps preaching day after day. How stupid look where that has got us.

This is what happens when you outsource your presidential campaign to workers in a foreign country where they don't know the track record of Washington D.D. Or get it confused with Washington State....


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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