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John McCain Calls For a Return to Respect in the Campaign

After a solid couple of weeks of increasingly fervent campaign rallies, ever more scathing ads, and time spent in what some are calling the "dark side" of campaigning, it seemed like the campaign had nowhere to go but from tough to brutal. That may have changed yesterday.

At a rally in Minnesota yesterday, McCain acknowledged the "enthusastic" turn the rallies had taken, but firmly and often called for a return to respect. Cue: choir of angels. In the clip above, he said:

I want everyone to be respectful, and lets make sure we are. Because that’s the way politics should be conducted in America.

When one supporter said she wanted McCain to tell the truth about Obama, seeming to be angling for actually something quite different, McCain said there's a, "difference between record and rhetoric, and I plan to talk about his record, respectfully . . .I don't mean that has to reduce your ferocity, I just mean it has to be respectful." To see the strongest line of the event, read more.

The kicker of the event was when one questioner began her question, "I'm scared of Barack Obama . . . he's an Arab terrorist . . . " McCain swiftly interrupted, "No, no ma'am. He's a decent family man with whom I happen to have some disagreements." Obama has thanked McCain for his stand against the hostility.

Where has the hostility McCain doused come from? Has it been bred by the ferocity of the campaign or fostered among supporters — is it even all that bad? With three weeks and a scootch until we vote, is it possible or even prudent to see ugliness leave and respect reign?

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