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Hoyer's Apology

Steny apologizes for "slavishly" remark.

An emailer says the Hoyer episode brought back a memory:

I couldn't help but be reminded of the turning point in New York's 1992 Senate campaign. In that race, incumbent Al D'Amato trailed Robert Abrams, the state's attorney general, in the polls all year, until Abrams made an off-handed remark, calling D'Amato a "fascist." D'Amato, an Italian-American, and his supporters, immediately and vocally took offense, calling it an ethnic slur. They kept the issue alive for days, and Abrams was taken completely off-guard. After some prolonged fumbling, Abrams eventually apologized. But it was too late- D'Amato had gained the momentum and won a slim victory, in a terrible Republican year.

Could Steny Hoyer's "slavish" remark be Cardin's "fascist" moment?

Maybe, though it's somewhat different when a supporter/associate of a candidate makes this type of mistake than when the candidate does it himself (or herself). Still, if Cardin has one worry it's that African-Americans will defect to Steele, and Hoyer's unfortunate choice of words is just the type of thing that might increase the odds of that taking place.

I'm not sure if Steele is going to get any mileage out of this or not - but he's certainly trying. In that case, he might as well respond to Hoyer the same way D'Amato did to Abrams back in 1992: write a letter saying that "only when the political damage became too great did you offer an apology. I neither forgive nor excuse your behavior."