Superdelegates need to decide
It is time for the superdelegates to make their decisions, as the outcome of the Democratic primary race is now inevitable. Unfortunately, some of these party representatives continue to hold out, most likely so they can get their 15 minutes of fame, including interviews with news media, and perhaps a call from a senator and future presidential candidate.
The claim of the need to allow the remaining states their voices is not very credible in a primary process that deems voters in Iowa and New Hampshire to be more important than those in other states. As an ardent Hillary Clinton supporter, I am ready to support Barack Obama's campaign against Sen. John McCain.
Bernard Appleman, St. Pete Beach
What Hillary knows
The election results from Indiana and North Carolina ensure that Barack Obama will win the Democratic nomination for president. But Hillary Clinton continues her campaign because, I believe, she knows that Obama will lose the general election, though unlike me she cannot say so publicly.
The problem is working-class whites who have decided presidential elections since 1964. From that time, Southern Democrats have won four of six elections they contested while Northern Democrats have lost all five times they have run, the latest being in 2004. If Democrats could not win with a Northern white male four years ago, how can they expect to win with a Northern African-American this year?
Working-class whites tend to be Democrats because of their economic needs, but they culturally side with Republicans. Southern Democratic candidates appear to be able to reach these voters while Northerners cannot. The controversy over the Rev. Jeremiah Wright has convinced many working-class whites that Obama will discriminate against them because of his 20 years in that church. Republicans will know how to manipulate these feelings in the fall.
Arthur Volbert, St. Petersburg
Protest the DNC's
Let's focus on grievances of Florida and Michigan voters having their presidential primary votes discarded by the Democratic National Committee's "rules." These "rules" remind me of American Revolutionary War times: "No taxation without representation."
Arbitrary rules give special rights to Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. These four states generated a total of 137 pledged delegates. Heck, we once had "rules" keeping blacks from voting. It took a Civil War to change those rules. It's time for major changes.
Florida and Michigan voters would have created 313 pledged delegates, almost 2 1/2 times more than the four states of special primary privilege. Florida and Michigan taxpayers paid millions to finance their party primary elections but a little clique of Washington DNC party princes set down rules about whether our vote counts. They decide. We pay.
Let's sit-in at Washington DNC headquarters and get back to our '60s social action traditions. Maybe dump some tea into the Potomac while we are at it.
Eric M. Filson, Largo
Clinton, Obama gas rift is telling | May 6, Adam Smith story
Pompous and biased
Adam Smith's political bias is showing. Since when do different political views constitute "bickering"? He describes Sen. Hillary Clinton as "ruthless" and "pandering" while Sen. Barack Obama is described as "Adlai Stevenson reincarnated."
Personally, I take offense at the pompous attitude toward the "working stiffs" (Smith's description). I will remind Mr. Smith these people buy the newspaper and consequently contribute to his salary.
Charlotte Kayavas, Dunnellon
Bill's biggest gamble ever | May 4
Bill goes overboard
As a fan of former President Bill Clinton, I found it outrageous and a bit sad to read of his intense and risky tactics in seeking to see that his wife becomes the Democratic nominee for president. It seems inappropriate and somewhat un-American for him to be so intensely involved in her campaign, especially as a way to "extend, polish and cleanse his own legacy," as noted in Sunday's story.
Spouses should certainly support their wife's or husband's campaigns, but not as a way to answer their own desires for power and influence. Americans have not in the past shown a desire for a dual presidency. Should Sen. Clinton be the Democratic nominee, Republicans may exploit those feelings among the electorate come November.
Judy Moore, Lutz
Indiana revels in its relevance | April 4, story
Hoosiers in the spotlight
Thanks for a great piece! I grew up a Democrat in Indiana and know well the feeling my vote would never count. Friends and family back home are very excited to make their voices heard in a meaningful way this time around, and it is nice to see the state in the spotlight.
One small correction, however: People from Indiana are "Hoosiers," never "Indianans"!
Brad Bryan, Odessa
Time to change directions
The average voter this November will be confronted with thousands of adverse ads. There is enough evidence to convince us about all the deceit and lies we have heard these last seven years.
The appointments that were made by this administration these past seven years to vital federal agencies have been outrageous. There has been a total disregard for the middle class and working consumer. The tax cuts are leading us toward bankruptcy with all the deficit spending we have had.
During the late 1920s and early '30s there was a groundswell at the polls that completely changed Washington, and many of us are still reaping the benefits today. There is enough innate intelligence on the part of the voters to do the same.
Jack Levine, Palm Harbor
Hurting and helping
During World War II, we had gasoline rationing, plus other restrictions and brought the war to an end relatively quickly. We've had no restrictions with this war and the end is not in sight.
Maybe we should not have it so easy, and raise the tax on gasoline, since there seems to be plenty of it — at a price. That will bring usage down as well as the basic price.
We on the home front don't seem to be hurting, but those on the war front, if you can call it a front, are fighting a war we don't understand for a people we don't understand. But it still has all the hurts and body bags of a real war.
If we shake things up a bit here on the home front, perhaps our leaders will find a way to shake us loose from the war front.
We had better find solutions soon, or we'll all run out of gas, as well as the ability to cope.
Hartley Steeves, Tampa