COLUMBUS (TDB) -- The Ohio Republican Party has a trio of postage-stamp sized photos on the front-page of its official Web site that display the faces of Democratic presidential frontrunners John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Edwards and Clinton are caught with unflattering facial expressions that make them look like total goofballs. Are the Republicans trying to say Hillary is casting a spell, that she just discovered Chelsea joined the Marines, that her shoes are too tight?
Sen. Obama gets the straight treatment. His mug isn't the target of the GOP croppers, probably because the Republicans feared a backlash if they mocked a black man. Of course, they have no trouble mocking a lady, do they? The photos appear over a fundraising squib. Are the Dems supposed to frighten Republicans out of their money?
But the biggest picture on the Ohio Republican portal is Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator and first GOP president. A national holiday Monday will memorialize Lincoln's importance to the nation. We'll remember that he spoke of charity to all and malice toward none of our fellow Americans -- a sentiment apparently beyond the zealots who like to pose their political foes in goofy poses.
Lincoln himself was no Hollywood matinee idol, and it is said he endured some cruel pokes about his appearance. He was called common-looking. There are several versions of his reply to this put down. "God must have loved the plain people: He made so many of them." Or, "God loves the common man, he made so many of them." Or this story, "He (Lincoln) was in a party of plain people, and, as it became known who he was, they began to comment on his appearance. One of them said -- 'He is a very common-looking man.' The president replied -- 'The Lord prefers common-looking people. That is the reason he makes so many of them."
I wonder what Lincoln would have to say about the pictures on the GOP portal. Maybe, "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time."