The elder Bush took a major hit years ago when he revealed his unfamiliarity with the bar codes attached to virtually every consumer product in America. So Sen. John Kerry may have seen political advantage in the current President Bush's response — "That's interesting, I hadn't heard that" — when asked Tuesday about gas prices reaching $4 a gallon by Memorial Day. Kerry promptly expressed his indignation over the comment. Only one thing: This isn't 2004 and neither Bush nor Kerry is running for president.

Nelson Benton is editorial page director.

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