It is easy to tell that Paul LePage is the front-runner in Maine’s gubernatorial race. That is why the always “nonpartisan” press decided it needed to “play” LePage.

He can attend a press conference in a state with record-high taxes, high unemployment, out-of-control welfare rolls, a terrible business climate, high energy costs, etc. But what does the press want to talk about? Of which state is your wife a legal resident? And what about that homestead property tax exemption?

After all, that $191 tax credit is huge news compared with the other trifling problems our state is facing.

When Paul angrily responded that he was not playing the reporters’ game and stalked from the room, Bill Nemitz was quick to take him to task in his Wednesday column.

“Paul’s not playing,” Bill whined. Why, he actually showed some anger at being played by the press. “That is not the way a real politician responds in these situations,” opined the ever-neutral Bill.

Paul should take some tips from William Jefferson Clinton. Instead of becoming angry and leaving the conference, he should have said while waving a finger, “We did not have a tax exemption with that state, Florida.” Or he could have come up with even more nuanced “It all depends on the meaning of the words ‘tax exemption.’ “

These are the smooth political responses that Bill Nemitz admires. Honest anger and disgust are suspect.

If Paul LePage’s greatest sin is taking an extra $191 homestead tax credit while in a complicated extended family/household situation in two states, he will go down as one of the more honest politicians in state or national history.

Paul LePage has some great ideas to improve Maine. Let’s debate them and leave the dirty tricks to the politicians.