The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

‘It’s up to Etheridge to convince voters that the inexcusable outburst was a one-time intemperate indiscretion.’


The Greensboro News Record is reexamining its opinion of North Carolina’s Rep. Bob Etheridge after his physical altercation with two young men asking him a question on the streets of Washington:

Whether partisan political operatives or college students, as alleged, they deserved to be treated civilly.

To his credit, Etheridge, a Democrat representing the state’s 2nd Congressional District, promptly apologized after a video of the incident taken by one of the young men was splashed across the Internet…

Not surprisingly, some Republicans are calling for Lillington resident Etheridge to resign. For now, his relatively unknown opponent, Renee Ellmers of Dunn, says she’s not going to take advantage of the situation.

Yet the ugly incident should be fair game during the campaign. It’s up to Etheridge, who first was elected to Congress in 1996, to convince 2nd District voters that the inexcusable outburst was a one-time intemperate indiscretion, not a character flaw.

At the same time, the public needs to know more about who made the video and their motives. But even if it was “ambush journalism,” Etheridge should have reacted differently.

Meanwhile, the Raleigh News & Observer says Etheridge’s rival, Renee Ellmers, received about 300 contributions totaling nearly $25,000 in little more than 24 hours, according to her campaign manager.

Tags: Bob Etheridge , Renee Ellmers


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