Pick results in upside-down ticket The idea that you can "add experience" by osmosis will not wash on Election Day. In the end, the vice president is basically a spare tire. The best thing that Joe Biden brings to the Obama ticket is some geographic balance, since Delaware is a border state. At least Obama did not make a bad choice.
Putting Biden on the ticket only reminds voters how inexperienced Obama is. It is an upside-down ticket. The Democrats would have been wiser to do what the Republicans did in 1952: pick an experienced person to run at the top of the ticket (Eisenhower had plenty of that running the Army) and find a junior senator who could use the training and run later for the top job (Nixon).
Leonard Martino, Tampa
Biden is down-to-earth
Not only is Joe Biden a terrific choice, but his selection says a lot about Barack Obama.
I watched most of the Democratic debates, and found Biden refreshingly candid, down-to-earth and very knowledgeable. At 65, Biden will be focused on what's best for the country, not on his own political future. Some would equate the Biden choice to Bush choosing Cheney, but that's a false analogy. Bush was always an incurious intellectual lightweight, whereas Obama is anything but. The idea of a man as inquisitive and thoughtful as Obama leading our nation with a sharp-eyed, straight-shooter like Biden at his side should thrill and comfort all Americans.
Moreover, Obama's choice of Biden shows that he is not just a romantic idealist — and what's wrong with believing we can do better? — but also a sober realist. He recognized that he needed someone with sharp elbows and legislative know-how to help push through his agenda, and he chose wisely by selecting a man widely respected on both sides of the aisle.
Tal J. Zlotnitsky, Trinity
Same old Washington
Obama pulled a fast one. He lied to us when he talked about changing Washington. He brings to the ticket a Washington insider with 35 years in the Senate.
I thought Joe Biden was the people who Obama was going to change. He has been part of the problem in Washington for years. The only change we will have is new faces but politics as usual. Duped again.
Carl Schirg, Gulfport
Middle school politics
I find myself very uncomfortable watching the recent campaign ads on TV. As a teacher for many years, I have struggled to combat bullying on the playground and in cyberspace. What are 7th graders supposed to think when our candidates for the highest office do exactly what our parents, teachers and preachers say has no place in community life?
John McCain stated his stance on "issues" for several months and nobody listened, but when he "went negative" against Barack Obama he got traction and people paid attention. Obama responded in the same manner or he would have been called a wimp. Obama's running mare, Joe Biden, is referred to in the media as Obama's "attack dog." What a sorry title for a long-serving U.S. senator. I worry that this says more about the media and us as citizens than about the candidates and their campaigns. I would request that the media, as a leader in building opinions, fight against this "middle school" approach and help give us a campaign that honors the greatness of America.
David Elliott, Dade City
McCain badly out of touch
I have been not only shocked by the recent comments by John McCain, I have been insulted. Here is a man who thinks you are not rich unless you make more than $5-million a year; he is asking for my vote but doesn't even know the America in which I and my family live.
I used to consider myself middle class; I have a steady job with a major corporation that offers me health care coverage. In the last few years I have seen my pay decrease, my vacation and holidays decrease and my health insurance cost double — all while the CEO takes a $26-million bonus.
Each month I feel a little more pinched. All costs are up: food, fuel, insurance and housing. I do not consider myself middle class any more.
Does John McCain know me? I don't believe so!
Charlotte Sullivan, Tampa
McCain's the elitist
John McCain says "rich" people are those who earn $5-million or more per year. Does he define people who make $2-million as middle class? As a working wife and mother with a bachelor's degree in business, my husband and I have never made more than $50,000 per year — combined! So what class are we?
McCain sees our economy as strong. Of course he does. He makes six figures and owns seven houses, so this recession hasn't affected him.
What really bothers me about this are all the "elitist" remarks about Barack Obama a few months ago. If either candidate could truly be described as elitist, it would be McCain, not Obama, who only owns one house and began his career trying to help the poor.
Sandy Wilson, Lakeland
Musharraf's road ends | Aug. 19, story
A lesson in rule of law
It's good to see that some countries still are willing to rid their country of their president when he doesn't follow the rule of law.
Just think how quickly Pakistanis would have impeached Pervez Musharraf if he used lies to lead them into an unnecessary war that helped to cripple their economy and killed thousands of their citizens.
Scott McKown, Palm Harbor
Tropical Storm Fay
Neighbor helping neighbor
I awoke from a brief nap to notice that Tropical Storm Fay's waters were invading my home.
Off I went to a city-designated location for free sandbags and sand. A constant 20 to 30 people were filling sandbags in the rain with me.
I was struck by the same camaraderie and cheerful attitudes I had experienced when filling sandbags for Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne. Here are a few comments overheard from my fellow sand-baggers: "It could be 20 degrees and icy," "Let me help you with those," "Thanks for the shovel, pal," "Anyone bring beer?" "Good luck, neighbors!"
This "let's pull together and deal with this" attitude is not exclusive to Deltona; I believe it is an American thing.
Two men were diligently working as a team filling sandbags for anyone who needed them. One yelled, "Got two bags ready here." To my surprise, he was Deltona Mayor Dennis Mulder. His partner filling the bags was City Commissioner Paul Treusch. I later heard that the Mulder/Treusch team filled over 150 bags. Very nice.
Lloyd Marcus, Deltona