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Saturday, April 4, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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He refuses to apologize, but Rammell’s one sorry guy

There was a time back in my naive younger days of journalism when the imbecilic behavior of politicians would confound me.

“How can these so-called leaders be such embarrassing clods?” I would ask myself.

As I grew older and wiser I realized the truth.

Silly me. I had been holding politicians to a totally unreasonable standard, namely normal behavior.

But politicians aren’t like you and me. These are deeply flawed human beings we’re talking about.

That’s why they lie so much and toe-tap strangers in airport toilet stalls.

That’s why Rex Rammell keeps digging himself into a deeper and deeper hole.

Rammell is an Idaho Republican gubernatorial candidate. He has made a lot of headlines lately, although not the kind that will win you an election for dogcatcher.

Rammell is the focus of a foot-in-mouth scandal. It involves a crass quip he uttered last week about buying hunting tags to shoot President Barack Obama.

“The Obama tags? We’d buy some of those,” he said.


Nine out of 10 shoppers at Wal-Mart would know what the smart play for Rammell would be.

Admit you made a stupid, brain-cramp mistake.

Say you’re deeply sorry.

That’s right – apologize.

Loudly. Profusely.


See, remarks about hunting the commander in chief aren’t funny anywhere. Not even in a rugged pickup and gun-rack kind of state like Idaho.

Normal people know this.

You’d think Rammell would be more sensitive, too.

He is from Rexburg, after all. Last year, some bus-riding school kids got Rexburg nationally recognized by chanting “Assassinate Obama.”


The Rexburg mayor was savvy enough to apologize publicly for this youthful outburst of ignorance. And I’m hoping the embarrassed parents took their foul-mouthed brats to the woodshed, too.

Rammell, alas, is a slow learner.

The candidate is stubbornly sticking to his, um, guns.

After failing to convince anyone with the old “it was just a joke” defense, he’s now trying to convince America that he – Rex Rammell – is the real victim.

Rammell is fighting mad at Idaho bigwig Republicans for condemning his Obama-tags remarks.

“They’re trying to ruin my run for governor,” he claimed during a press conference Tuesday in Boise.

Poor Rammell. We haven’t seen such righteous heartburn since Moses broke the tablets.

Rammell is on the attack:

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter is “betraying the conservative movement.”

Congressman Mike Simpson is “literally selling Idaho and America down the road.”

Even former Idaho Gov. Phil Batt can’t escape the Wrath of Rammell. He’s guilty of letting the feds drop “wolves on our big game herds in 1995.”

Idaho’s GOP chairman, Norm Semanko, has fired back, calling Rammell’s press conference antics a “ridiculous and desperate publicity stunt.”

It’s pretty darned entertaining, though.

Politicians. There oughta be a law against them.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman- Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at

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