For Obama, time to govern | Nov. 4
Voters' obvious signal is missed
David Broder's column says that the election message from Americans was that President Barack Obama should not change his goals but merely the way he operates. Additionally, he states that Obama should be more bipartisan but not change his agenda. He also says that Obama has been governing on the model preferred by congressional Democrats and that he should try governing his own way. Really? Most of us have a completely different understanding of the message sent by the electorate.
"Now he should try governing his own way"? We need to remember that Obama has never governed in any way before being elected president. It's not like he changed his way of governing and we'd like to go back to his old way.
It's really amazing how such a clear message of Americans' wanting directional change can be misunderstood by anyone.
Jeff Reckson, St. Petersburg
A leader for all
This morning I am reminded of John Steinbeck's words:
"The president must be greater than anyone else, but not better than anyone else. We subject him and his family to close and constant scrutiny and denounce them for things that we ourselves do every day. A presidential slip of the tongue, a slight error in judgment — social, political, or ethical — can raise a storm of protest. We give the president more work than a man can do, more responsibility than a man should take, more pressure than a man can bear. We abuse him often and rarely praise him. We wear him out, use him up, eat him up. And with all this, Americans have a love for the president that goes beyond loyalty or party nationality; he is ours, and we exercise the right to destroy him."
God, forgive us!
Sue Goldman, Indian Rocks Beach
Don't expect new leaders
to tackle entitlements
It is generally agreed that this nation must reduce spending or face economic decline. The only way to make any dent in spending is via entitlements: Social Security and Medicare. Who among the newly elected politicians has the intestinal fortitude to seriously address reductions in these areas?
George W. Bush, when first in office, suggested something had to be done and invited both sides of the aisle to address possible solutions. One of his suggested proposals was permitting (not requiring) the current work force to put a portion of their deduction into some other type of investment rather than giving it to the government to administer for them. This was made to sound like the president was taking away seniors' Social Security, and the whole idea was quickly dropped.
Does anybody think that seniors are willing to accept reductions in these entitlements so our grandchildren can live in a free America? And are any of our new legislators willing to be voted out of office if they pass bills that may make some of us sacrifice something that many feel we are owed?
Bottom line: I will be very surprised if any of our newly elected people act any differently regarding the curtailing of entitlements than the politicians they replaced. With the exception of the Florida governor's race, the electorate chose to send the same old politicians back into office when they had the chance to replace them with people from the private sector, i.e., Nevada, Connecticut, California.
A side note: I have difficulty understanding why people criticize successful CEOs for using their own money to get elected to office, yet have no problem with politicians using taxpayer or special-interest money.
Perry J. Dahl, Tampa
Lack of integrity
By electing Rick Scott as governor, the voters of Florida have sent a powerful message to the Jim Greers, Jim Normans and Bo Johnsons of our state. Get on up to Tallahassee — no need for integrity there.
Janet Graber, St. Petersburg
Among the several lessons to be learned from Tuesday's election is the decline in the influence of newspaper endorsements. Formerly people would look in newspapers as elections approached to see which candidates were endorsed; some readers would in large part base their decisions on the recommendations of newspapers that reflected their political points of view.
However, as notably can be seen in the governor's election, such endorsements had little impact on the outcome. Alex Sink was endorsed by every newspaper in the state, including the most conservative. Rick Scott received no newspaper endorsements; he, however, emerged the winner.
This change in the influence of such endorsements may well reflect the reduced readership of papers as people rely more on blogs and on television ads for their information as they make their voting decisions. These sources of information are unlikely, however, to produce an informed electorate.
Judy Moore, Lutz
Status quo in Florida
So I guess all the Floridians who voted to keep the Republican Party in charge of our state are happy with the status quo and think nothing needs to change in Tallahassee.
Was there a mass serving of Kool-Aid that I somehow missed out on? That's the only logical explanation that I can think of for the election results.
Sarah Robinson, Safety Harbor
Bonuses are back
All our anger should be directed at two entities — the big banks and the people in government who continue to allow them to be a detriment and a burden to the American people. This includes many politicians and pundits on both sides of the aisle.
With hundreds of thousands of Americans losing their homes, guess who's back to issuing billions of dollars in bonuses again? The big banks.
What have these bankers done to deserve huge bonuses except to find clever and devious ways of lining their pockets at our expense? Why are they being allowed to withhold loans to small businesses, misprocess foreclosures and gamble with our savings?
Why are we excited about putting new people in government who will eventually operate in the same manner? Without implementing some real changes, both parties will continue to do the same thing over and over.
Bobby Lonardo, Seminole
After the most annoying and frustrating political campaign season in recent history, I have one question: Do political robo-calls ever work? Has anyone bothered studying the efficacy of bombarding potential voters with obnoxious recorded messages day after day in order to earn their vote? Is this form of voter harassment a wise use of campaign funds?
Silvia Curbelo, Tampa