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Published July 29 2012

Forum editorial: Honoring Humphrey wins roses

Prairie roses: To the organizers and others behind the project to honor former Minnesota Senator and former Vice President Hubert Humphrey, who died in 1978 after one of the most storied political careers in the state’s history. The 7-foot bronze Humphrey statue will be dedicated Saturday on the south grounds of the state Capitol. Luminaries at the dedication will include former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Walter Mondale. Humphrey, who also was a presidential candidate, traced his roots to South Dakota, but most of his political life was in Minnesota. He was a major figure in the contentious politics and civil unrest of the 1960s. As President Lyndon Johnson’s vice president, he was reviled by many in his party for his support of the Vietnam War. Through it all, he maintained the public demeanor that won him the accolade of “the happy warrior.” It’s appropriate to enshrine one of the state’s most beloved public figures in bronze.

Leafy spurge: To campaign operatives, in this case Chris Van Guilder of Rep. Rick Berg’s, R-N.D., U.S. Senate campaign, for being unable to resist characterizing the obvious as something sinister. When asked about a visit to North Dakota by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., for farm forums on behalf of North Dakota Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp, Van Guilder said, “It sounds like these two (Stabenow and Heitkamp) are one and the same when it comes to supporting President Obama and the Democratic Party.” Well, hello. Two Democrats support a Democratic president and their party? What a surprise! And what silliness from the Berg campaign. Stabenow was in the state to talk about the new farm bill. Guess what? She’s chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, therefore has some sway over a bill that will affect North Dakota farmers and the state’s economy. A senator or member of Congress – Democrat or Republican – who can affect farm legislation should be welcomed to the state.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.