Saturday, Jul 21, 2018
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Endorsing common sense on White House visit

While the Lucas County commissioners snubbed an invitation to the Trump White House, all three major candidates for Toledo mayor have said they would accept invitations to meet or work with members of the Trump Administration. 

RELATED: Lucas County commissioners decline White House invite

Ideally, candidates should not get points for embracing obvious common sense and decency, or rejecting foolishness.

But in the real world they must.

So, good for the candidates.

During a Blade-sponsored debate, incumbent Democratic Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson and her challengers, Democratic Lucas County Treasurer Wade Kapszukiewicz and Republican City Councilman Tom Waniewski all said they would take any opportunity to advocate for Toledo in Washington, regardless of who is President.

Mr. Kapszukiewicz said the commissioners made “a mistake” in declining the invitation last month.

Mr. Waniewski said: “I think I would tell the President, you know, Ohio and Michigan were very good to him, and we have a very good manufacturing base with a wonderful workforce, so I think establishing that relationship is important for the city.”

Commissioners Pete Gerken, Carol Contrada, and Tina Skeldon Wozniak said, in rejecting the invitation, that they had to stay in Lucas County to work on projects here.

They all know, full well, that federal and White House contacts are invaluable.

Their stand was simply posturing — thumbing a nose at the current President.

They only hurt themselves and the people of the county. For, as the mayoral candidates all agreed, the commissioners were sacrificing the chance to make important personal connections Lucas County might need in the future.

The commissioners are not the first to pass up an invite to the Trump White House. Some members of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots skipped the ceremonial White House visit in protest of Mr. Trump. Likewise, Kennedy Center honoree Norman Lear boycotted the White House reception that is part of the annual Kennedy Center honors because he said he objects to Mr. Trump’s policies.

But an invitation to the White House is not just an opportunity to meet the current President (who was out of town in this case), it is an honor. The White House is a special  place. It belongs to the country and the country’s history. The White House is the home not just of a president, but many presidents and the presidency itself.

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