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Regretfully, we must write this

December 13, 2007 |  6:56 pm

We're ever so sorry to have to point this out, but there sure seem to be an awful lot of apologies flying around in this presidential campaign. Everybody who is anybody is publicly saying how sorry they are about something or other.

Yesterday after the last Republican debate in Iowa, Mike Huckabee walked right up to Mitt Romney and apologized for his question about Mormonism that some took as criticism to appeal to evangelicals.

As he was doing that, Billy Shaheen, husband of the former governor and co-chair of Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire campaign, was publicly expressing his concern that Barack Obama's acknowledged youthful drug use would be pounced on by Republicans next year if the Illinois senator was the Democratic nominee. As Shaheen well knew, such a reminder, coming as that party's race tightened to a dead heat in state polls, could also be seen as quite possibly helping Clinton.

Under a barrage of criticism by day's end, Shaheen expressed regret for his remarks.

Today, Shaheen resigned from Clinton's campaign, repeating regret for his unauthorized remarks, admitting the mistake and relinquishing his role as state co-chair. And as he was doing that, Hillary Clinton walked up to Obama at Washington's Reagan National Airport and apologized for what Shaheen had said, which her campaign has also said was unauthorized.

Then later today, to take advantage of all the attention to apologies, Fred Thompson's campaign issued "heartfelt apologies" of its own to Huckabee for "some references we've made about his record as governor of Arkansas."

The clever apology, however, was also as insincere as it could be, merely an opportunity for Thompson's deputy communications director, Karen Hanretty, to sarcastically repeat her boss's criticism of Huckabee for offering in-state college tuition rates to illegal immigrants, supporting an end to the Cuban embargo and raising some Arkansas taxes.

"We (also) apologize," Hanretty's statement continued, "for telling reporters that a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University doesn't, in fact, make Huckabee more qualified to fight the war on terror than say...Fred Thompson."

Geez, sorry we brought all this up.

--Andrew Malcolm

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