Blackmon request backfires politically

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 5, 2003

Is this really the way women want to campaign against each other? We really thought we had seen all the dirty campaign tricks &045;&045; at least the public ones &045;&045; until lieutenant governor candidate Barbara Blackmon asked incumbent Amy Tuck last week to sign an affidavit that she’d never had an abortion.

What on earth was Blackmon thinking?

What next? Ask candidates to swear they’ve never cheated on their spouses? Maybe Ronnie Musgrove will ask Haley Barbour in the second debate when he stopped beating his wife.

Email newsletter signup

There have been a number of valid issues raised in this race &045;&045; tort reform, economic development, jobs. While abortion is an issue that is important to many voters on both sides of the argument, it isn’t one that has dominated this campaign.

But forcing a candidate to announce whether or not she has had an abortion violates every standard of decency we know. Tuck, who says she has been pro-life all her life, says she’ll sign the affidavit. From a political standpoint, what choice does she have?

But such issues are private and should be kept private. That now-clich/ term &uot;the politics of personal destruction&uot; has certainly taken on a new meaning in this race.

This isn’t a partisan issue. We’ve seen Democrats try to take down Republicans by exposing personal foibles (true or untrue) and vice versa.

But this time the political attack seems to have backfired &045;&045; Blackmon’s vague statements about the issue raise questions about her own stand and the implication of her request raises questions about her character &045;&045; or at the very least the wisdom in her choice of advisers.