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Stop the nonsense

In Sunday’s editorial, we call on the presidential candidates to give us more than sound bites on the issue of nuclear energy.

It might seem like a narrow issue, more interesting in the Tri-Cities, with its connection to the nuclear industry, than in most of the nation.

Maybe, but compared with the absurd obsession the national media has for the candidates’ most insignificant verbal gaffes, our call for debate on something of substance seems positively erudite.

This latest flap over Sen. Hillary Clinton’s mention of Robert Kennedy’s assassination is a case in point. Clinton has apologized, but it’s not clear what she did wrong.

As reported in The Associated Press, Clinton was responding to a question from the Sioux Falls Argus Leader editorial board about calls for her to drop out of the race.

“My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. You know I just, I don’t understand” the idea of abandoning the race.

Apparently, recalling that historical fact as a way of showing that there’s nothing new about primaries lasting into June is suppose to be disrespectful to the Kennedy family or inappropriate in some other way. Huh?

But even if the hubbub over Clinton’s remarks made sense, it still wouldn’t have anything to do with issues Americans care about — which include things like greenhouse gasses, our dependence on foreign oil, rising energy prices.

The nation needs a serious discussion about nuclear energy. If we’d stop focusing our attention on ridiculous minutia, we’d have plenty of time to do it.