Stick and stones: The state of political discourse


(CBS News) You have to drill deep into modern American politics to find something to feel good about these days.

But the sharp-eyed Ashley Parker of The New York Times actually found something - deep down there, among the sleazy ads, the obscene amounts of money, and the ridiculous, mind-numbing talking points.

And what was it? Well, she reports that for all of his criticism of Barack Obamas policies, some of Mitt Romney's supporters are upset that he continues to say the president is a "nice guy."

But, she reports, Romney's people have decided that won't change.

Tom Rath, one of Romney's key advisors, says Romney will continue to argue the president is not a bad guy, just the wrong guy to fix a bad economy.

Which is much the same strategy the Obama team has settled on - they may compare Romney's old company Bain Capitol to a blood-sucking bat, but the president describes Romney as a "patriotic American who has much to be proud of."

Maybe it's all just political posturing. Maybe both sides just decided this was the best strategy to get votes.

But if you will excuse me for being a hopeless romantic, it could be because both of these men have looked at the sorry, crude state of what passes for political discourse these days and have decided it disgusts THEM as much as it repulses the rest of us.

As I said, I am a hopeless romantic . . .

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    Bob Schieffer is a CBS News political contributor and former anchor of "Face The Nation," which he moderated for 24 years before retiring in 2015.