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Last summer, Livingston and his wife Bonnie suffered the tragedy of losing their middle son, Richard, to a freak accident as Richard was trimming a friend’s Katrina-ravaged tree in New Orleans.
As background, Livingston describes himself and Hunter as longtime “friends. Not really close friends, but we’ve worked together ever since 1980 and gone fishing together and he’s always been a great guy. Very direct, no malice, not at all Machiavellian, and generally a very, very positive individual.”
Anyway, Livingston said, he and his family were in New Orleans preparing for Richard’s funeral when they got word that Hunter had altered his plans in order to stop in New Orleans, en route home to a busy schedule for the House’s August “recess,” just to show support for the Livingstons.
“That Saturday morning, I figured I would go on over to Duncan’s hotel to thank him for coming,” Livingston said. “I realized I had the key to Richard’s truck instead of my car, so I got into the truck and got halfway downtown and I noticed the fuel gauge starting to drop like a rock.”
The truck’s fuel line had sprung a major leak, and soon Livingston was out of gas and calling AAA on the phone for help.
“I called Duncan and told him I was stuck waiting for the tow truck, and he said to just wait there. Soon he showed up with two cups of coffee and we just shot the bull and waited for Triple A. He had just gotten on a plane and stopped by to wish us well, just to be a friend, and I don’t think I will ever forget it.”
Hunter clearly was surprised to be asked this week about that private act of friendship. But he quickly launched into praise for the Livingston family, and then said: “I think this is the real valuable part of this business, is the people. The most obscure part but the important part is the friendships and the loyalties you develop for people. Sure, on Capitol Hill you can find some of the worst people anywhere, but the best people in the world also work on Capitol Hill. With the good ones, you just care about each other.”
Such is the innate decency of Duncan Hunter, presidential candidate. Conservatives ought to give him a listen.
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It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
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