Democrat vs. Democratic

White House correspondent Ann Compton blogs:

When President Bush offered his very public compliments to the new leaders of Congress at the start of his State of the Union address, the intention was to move past politics. "Some in this chamber are new to the House and the Senate," he began. "And I congratulate the Democrat majority." There was extended applause.

And then came the complaints from Democrats, bloggers, and a few pundits who considered his pronunciation "Democrat" instead of "Democratic" to be disrespectful. A day later the Washington Post gave the flap front-page treatment in its Style section.

Press Secretary Tony Snow insists it was anything but a slight.

"I want to thank everybody for making three mountains out of a molehill," Snow told his morning briefing. "When we asked him about it, he said, 'What?' 'What, oh, I didn't mean anything by it.' "

The advanced text of the address was written "Democratic," and Snow accused reporters of picking a fight that doesn’t exist.

"He spends an entire speech about reaching out and working together. And a few people who apparently haven't gotten the message run out and they complain the letters 'ic' were missing from 'Democratic.' That looks like an exercise in looking for offense rather than looking for a way to work together," Snow added.

The Washington Post story pointed out that conservative radio talker Rush Limbaugh often uses the adjective "Democrat" as an intentional dig.

Snow appeared surprised when told the official White House schedule this week also drops the "-ic" in announcing the highly unusual invitation for the President to address the House Democratic Caucus this coming weekend. That was not intentional, either.

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