Editor's note: The Sept. 8 dueling guest columns Palin's remark belittles work of volunteers by Bob Loring and Palin gives hope to women and average citizens by Mary Partington generated significant reaction. Readers posted 55 comments on our Web site at www.Tampabay.com/opinion/columns and e-mailed other correspondence to the newsroom. Here are your letters to the editor about the guest columnists' response to Sen. John McCain choosing Alaska Gov. Sara Palin as his running mate on the Republican presidential ticket:
Why is Palin avoiding media?
It is less than 60 days until the presidential election in America and the McCain camp is saying that this election is not about the issues. It is less than 60 days until the presidential election in America and the American press is "off limits" to Gov. Palin, the vice presidential candidate.
This election will set the course for the next four years of American policy and the lives of Americans and for the lives of others around the world. People will live or die based on the results of this election and the candidate for vice president is not available to the press? Americans must demand that all candidates for the highest office are available for interviews.
This election is not an audition for Family Feud. This election is about the issues and we better get started.
Peno Hardesty, New Port Richey
GOP reaches across aisle
Bob Loring's bias shows when he takes Palin's comment out of context. The shot was not at community organizers per se, but an answer to Mr. Obama's ungrateful and ungraceful comment about small-town mayors, which apparently you choose to ignore.
We, as a nation, need to step back and realize that neither of the parties has all the answers and we need to work together. My suggestion is to vote for whichever party you feel will do the best job reaching across party lines. And grow a thicker skin. Both sides will make uncalled for remarks. It seems to be the nature of the political beast, but in the end which party will be the most flexible and reach across the aisle?
I believe that both McCain and Palin have a history of doing just that. I believe the fact that the Republican Party let Joe Lieberman speak at their convention shows a lot of headway in that same direction.
Doc Hofmeister, Spring Hill
McCain's VP pick a ploy for votes
I disagree with Mary Partington's guest column. She describes Sarah Palin as a "political neophyte" and "one of the common citizens." Why does this qualify her to be a heartbeat away from the presidency? Our leaders should be the best and the brightest with experience in national government.
Many women view McCain's choice as a ploy for the women's vote and find that demeaning. Hopefully, all women will vote for a candidate based on the issues.
Cathy Dempsey, New Port Richey
Thrilled by Palin? Not so much
I read with some dismay the guest column of Mary Partington and felt moved to respond. How can you be energized by someone who as mayor moved to fire the town librarian because she refused to ban books? How can someone be energized by a candidate who does not yet know exactly what a vice president is?
I guess the fact Palin endorses that abstinence-only be taught thrills you to pieces. We have all seen how well that works.
I also take issue with the Harvard lawyer dig. I guess that was directed at the Obamas. Perhaps like their parents you should instill in your granddaughters the idea that even people of limited means can aspire to an education in schools such as Harvard and Yale.
LeAnn Kahl, Land O'Lakes,
GOP tactics are very divisive
Sarah Palin does not support my views. I am a 40-year-old, working mother of three young kids who does not appreciate at all the smears and offensive sarcasm in which the McCain/Palin campaign is engaging. I also cannot believe the blatant lies coming from Gov. Palin and Sen. McCain regarding Gov. Palin's record and positions.
They are more concerned about dividing our nation along imaginary cultural divides than building it up. Yet, the mainstream media allows these tactics to continue without setting the record straight. I thought the media had learned from their mistakes after 9/11.
The little substantive facts that I am able to obtain from the medi, only support the position that Palin is more like President Bush than even McCain, not only with respect to her policies but by her lack of intellectual curiosity and refusal to put opposing views within reach in her administration, not to mention her politics. I see nothing of substance coming from either Palin or Sen. McCain that supports the concerns of women or the middle class for that matter. I am very worried about my kid's future and the future of our country.
Maria Zlotnitsky, Trinity