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THURSDAY, AUGUST 10, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Riley ties to Bush, Cheney turn off some Alabamians

Gov. Bob Riley is misreading the Alabama electorate's mood if he insists on running his re-election campaign on ties to the Bush White House.

Far ahead in the polls after the spring primaries, the governor seemingly could have coasted to victory with his often repeated promise that "good things are coming" to whatever city he happened to be in that day.

But the governor had Vice President Dick Cheney in Dothan recently for a fundraising event, which punctuated his ties to the faltering Bush administration.

This week, disavowing any political overtones when he helped honor eight recently returned combat veterans, he stuck to the party line that staying the course in Iraq is the right thing to do.

More people, including Alabamians, are abandoning that belief as the war chews up American lives and machinery and disintegrates into full-scale civil war. These are people who have a heart-felt concern for the soldiers.

What appears to be the governor's blind loyalty to a failed policy might figure into the fall race, given the lack of other hot issues.

Many people, while supporting the troops, disagree with his philosophy that, "Certain things should transcend politics. The United States at war is one of them."

A growing number of Alabamians think the war that began March 20, 2003, and threatens to grind on longer than World War II, should end.

There are a lot of in-state issues the governor could talk about, such as the proliferation of mobile classrooms that public school students begin classes in as the new school year starts.

The governor's support is broad but shallow. Many people haven't forgiven him for the $1.2 billion tax increase he proposed early in his administration but still see him as the best choice. And a growing number of Alabamians are not happy with any officeholder who advocates keeping American troops in a no-win situation.

Perhaps, the governor should stick to promising unspecified good things for communities as he travels around the state.

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