Kenneth Cleaver 

Consumer Correspondent

Feb. 2, 2003

Sen. Tom Daschle
509 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Sen. Daschle:

I figured I'd wait until the fires of public controversy were cold ashes before letting you know how much I appreciated your apologetic invention on behalf of Sen. Trent Lott. When even members of his own party were tweaking their denunciation speeches, you had the decency to offer him the benefit of the doubt.

When commentators pointed out Lott's dubious history of affirming neo-Confederate groups, and his love affair with the legacy of Cracker Republic President Jefferson Davis, you boldly suggested that it was merely a slip of the tongue.

As one whose verbal recklessness has made me far too acquainted with the taste of Kiwi shoe polish, I appreciate your sense of fair play. Apologizing just seems to come naturally to you. Unfortunately for me well, let's just say if frequent-flyer miles were accrued for nights spent on the living room futon, I'd be in Tahiti.

At any rate, I hope you will consider offering me some pointers on apologizing. As an expression of my gratitude, I've enclosed a campaign contribution of $2. I look forward to your next apology.

Kenneth Cleaver


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