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Time To Get Serious

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.


9/11. It's impossible not to think about where you were when the planes hit that day. It's hard not to reflect on the sorrow and the horror. America was attacked, and we realized for the first time that we were vulnerable, and that we were hated.

So seven years later, the presidential candidates will visit Ground Zero.

And the campaigning will stop. The mud slinging and accusations will cease. And there will be sobriety. The focus will be on something important. And maybe 9/11 can serve as the real beginning to the home stretch of this political season.

Osama bin Laden is still at large. Afghanistan is again overrun with Taliban. Will the Pakistanis put up with American troops plunging into their country to attack Al Qaeda? Is America safe? Is the military stretched too thin? Why are Russian war ships being welcomed in Venezuela? And when are the Russians going to leave Georgia? Are the Iranians really working on a nuclear weapon?

It's time to put away the lipstick, and get serious. Please.

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