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WHAT'S BEHIND BASHING OF CLINTONS?

Liberals hate Clintons, too - Jan. 30, commentary by Jonathan Chait

Maybe liberals can hate the Clintons, but why does the St. Petersburg Times hate Hillary Clinton so much? When endorsing Barack Obama, the paper stated the candidates' policies were essentially the same, which is simply not true. Look again at their health care plans, for instance; Clinton's is clearly stronger, offering more coverage.

When Clinton won in New Hampshire, all we heard about were her tears. When she won in Florida, you claimed it was simply because Obama did not campaign here. Neither did Clinton. We Democratic Floridians have had access to numerous debates and countless articles (many of them biased against Clinton). We know the candidates. We chose Clinton.

So my question is: Does your extreme negativity stem from sexism, or do you simply think Obama is a more interesting story? Either way, I'm disappointed in "Florida's Best Newspaper" and am beginning to think it no longer deserves this title.

Kathryn Duncan, Temple Terrace

The right always knew

The Democratic Party has come to understand what the GOP has always understood about the Clintons. They are cold, calculating, mean-spirited, power-hungry individuals who will stop at nothing to achieve and keep power. Ask Barack Obama. Even a conservative like myself can feel for the junior senator from Illinois while he weathers the Clinton slime machine. This is business as usual for the Clintons.

Is it not understandable that her negative rating is nearly 50 percent in national polls? The GOP has pointed out the evil side of the Clintons for years and the liberal media have swept the evidence under the carpet. Well, liberal America, welcome to the party.

Heaven help Obama for standing in Mama's way. The Clintons are finding out the hard way that there is no inherited right to rule in this country.

Jay Johnson, St. Petersburg

Liberals hate Clintons, too - Jan. 30, commentary by Jonathan Chait

Just look who won

I have been watching quietly as the TV political talking heads have for months tried to convince Democrats that Hillary Clinton embodies the worst of human nature. I've also seen the St. Petersburg Times print an overwhelming number of opinion pieces helping to create this caricature. However, this recent article finally provoked me to respond.

Almost a million Democrats in Florida (conservative, liberal and moderate) who were exposed to all this garbage went out on Tuesday and gave Hillary Clinton an enormous victory. We've seen her opponent's commercials, been inspired by his speeches, celebrated his historic achievement and watched the bobbing TV heads gush on his behalf. Yet most of us still went out and voted for Hillary Clinton even though we knew our votes might not even count. We did this because we can think for ourselves and evaluate the candidates based on how each presents his or her case for addressing the complex problems our country faces.

We are all working hard, but we need a president who is on our side and has the knowledge to make things better. We don't need a philosopher. We need a doctor.

Steve Baylis, St. Petersburg

Liberals hate Clintons, too - Jan. 30, commentary by Jonathan Chait

There's nothing new

Recent opinion columns by Jonathan Chait, Philip Gailey of the St. Petersburg Times and national writers such as E.J. Dionne all have a similar theme, as if the scales have suddenly been lifted from their eyes regarding the sleazy tactics of the Clintons. Nothing's changed since 1992-2000, except it was fun then when Bill was employing the same tactics against the other party.

Bad behavior is bad behavior, so people on both sides of the aisle shouldn't let party loyalty prevail over what they know is unacceptable. Hopefully, a lesson has been learned, one that will survive this year's primary season.

Peter Ford, Tierra Verde

Anti-Clinton to excess

About 30 years ago I stopped reading the Tampa Tribune because of its blatant editorial biases. I've always been proud of the St. Petersburg Times for its more balanced viewpoint, until now.

With attacks on the Clintons' character by Philip Gailey and Jonathan Chait, and including Caroline Kennedy's lengthy endorsement of Barack Obama, I have to wonder: Are you pushing your endorsement of Barack Obama on your readership, beyond your editorial recommendation?

I don't appreciate it. Surely there are some writers who support Hillary Clinton. After all, quite a few voters do. Any many of them live in Florida.

Jeanne P. Hilburn, Temple Terrace

Clinton's turncoats

Recently I have been quite stunned by the blatant lack of loyalty that many Democrats have displayed toward the Clintons.

Evidently the amiable ties between the Clinton and the Kennedy clans over the years were not enough to compel Ted, Caroline and Patrick Kennedy to endorse Hillary for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Regardless of the evidence supporting the Clintons' countless deceptions throughout the years, Democrats always responded by referring to the "vast right-wing conspiracy." Now these very same people are viewing the Clintons from a Republican perspective and expect to be taken seriously; their hypocrisy is staggering.

Former President Clinton compared Obama's presidential bid to that of Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988. Many Democrats feigned shock and outrage at Bill's "racist comments." Is this what political dissenters have to look forward to when they disagree with President Obama? Hypersensitivity should be excluded from the political arena.

I am by no means a fan of Bill and Hillary Clinton, but it is indisputable that they have been a consistent ally of the poor and minority populations in America for many years. To suggest otherwise is untruthful.

Thomas W. Cunningham Jr., St. Petersburg

3 things we learned from Florida - Jan. 30

Insulting implication

I could not believe the arrogance shown by Bill Adair, the Times Washington bureau chief. His implication that the approximately 1.7-million Democrats who voted on Tuesday could not make an intelligent and informed decision in the presidential primary because we were not force-fed a bunch of trite campaign speeches and bombarded with 30-second truth-bending ads is insulting.

Does he think we live in the 1800s, when the only way to get information on a candidate's position was to go hear them give a speech from the back of a train when it made a brief stop in your town? This is the age of cable television and the Internet. I have heard parts or all of many of Barack Obama's speeches. There have been multiple debates where the candidates have expressed their positions. There have been numerous news and interview shows where the candidates have answered questions. As a responsible American, I made sure I watched as many of these shows as I could.

Mr. Adair, just because the outcome did not agree with your preference does not mean that the voters made an uninformed decision, and I am insulted that you would make such an implication.

Emma A. Lopez, Palm Harbor

3 things we learned from Florida - Jan. 30

Useful lessons

I thought the article was great. I like how it sums up Florida's primary elections. I think we did learn a few things on how the primary in Florida gave us a perspective on the election and how future candidates can learn from it.

Rudy Giuliani's plan with Florida bombed, and it shows that American voters like to jump on the bandwagon and vote for winners. I think it's also true about not winning if they don't campaign. I think campaigning helps the candidates a lot. Most people I talk to are not aware of the other candidates, other than Hillary Clinton. If Obama had campaigned a little and gotten his name out there, he could have won Florida.

Diana Ciezczak, Tampa

It's a toss-up

I am an independent voter. I ignore party lines and vote for the person I think is best suited for the job. This election year, I am up in the air.

I look at the Republican candidates and I keep hoping one of them will reach out and grab me. That hasn't happened yet.

Hillary Clinton had my interest. She has some very good ideas, but some are way out in left field and would never pass in Congress.

Barack Obama is an enigma - intelligent, poised. One day he seems very presidential and the next, he sounds like Oprah's pet of the month.

In November, I guess I'll just flip a coin!

Larry Tokar, Clearwater

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