The true Roberts?

? Kansans who care about character have reason to wonder what?s going on with Pat Roberts.

What at first seemed to be a throw-away moment at the end of last week?s televised Senate debate between Pat Roberts and Greg Orman hit a nerve with us. After working through the prepared questions, moderator Darren Dedo of KSN News personally invited each candidate ?to say something nice about your opponent.?

Greg Orman, the independent, went first: ?I appreciate Sen. Roberts? service to our country. I appreciate his service in the Marines and I will have to say that every time I have had opportunity to talk privately with the senator, he has been a gentleman with a great sense of humor.?

Then it was Republican incumbent Pat Roberts turn: ?I would say you are a very well-dressed opponent. I admire your accumulation of wealth?I have a question how you got there, but I think that?s the American Dream. I would hope we can make that possible for everybody up and down every Kansas community, I think yours has been a little different. You have a very nice smile.?

Print loses tone of voice, but the words still communicate the difference: Orman was sincere; Roberts could not resist the opportunity to take one more dig at his opponent.

With his non-stop attack ads, during both the primary and general election campaigns, Pat Roberts may be faithfully following the strategy advice of national advisers, but he is making it increasing difficult for Kansans who care about character to support his re-election. For even a moment, could the veteran senator not set aside the political barking and respond graciously?

Sen. Roberts, take ownership of your public persona. Frankly, it?s getting harder for a lot of us to say something nice about you based on the messages you seem to approve. ?DR

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