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Presidential Candidates: Name Recognition Versus Issues

The opinion-page column "After the Coup, a Gloomy Political Climate for Democrats," Aug. 27, suggests that it will be difficult for a Democratic candidate to receive much attention at this time.The author talks about Gov. Mario Cuomo's "stature," but says nothing of the governor's ideas or program for the country. I continue to be astonished that journalists are still looking for a Democratic candidate whose prime qualification is "name recognition." None seem to give notice to the one candidate who has committed to writing his comprehensive plan and strategy based on sound principles. Paul Tsongas is a bright, decent, and thoughtful man who had the courage to lay out his program for all to see a full year and a half before the 1992 presidential election. While other candidates are ducking and dodging, sticking their fingers in the air to see which way the wind is blowing, Tsongas has looked at our country, identified the enormous problems in education, ethics, economics, energy, environment, and our culture and addressed them. I've been a Republican all my life, but I have never read a sounder political plan than Tsongas's "A Call to Economic Arms." I am baffled by the media's seeming purposeful disregard of a candidate who has a fine political background and who has been back in the world of business for the past several years. Niels Andersen, Cedar Springs, Mich.

Qualifications for 'world president' Regarding the editorial President of the World Aug. 29: It is arrogant to consider the president of the United States to be "president of the world." In any case, our president does not seem suited for this role. A world president should be skilled in peacemaking; two wars have been fought by this administration plus continuing proxy wars in Central America. A world president should actively discourage a weapons trade that almost guarantees future wars; the US now leads the world in arms sales. A world president should care about all nations equally, and all the peoples of the world, especially the poor who form the vast majority; conditions for the poor in this country deteriorated during the 1980s and do not ap pear to be improving under this administration. Helen Ring, Wilton, N.H.

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Teenage success stories James J. Bausch, president of Save the Children, and our entire staff would like to thank you for your recent series of articles about teenagers around the world which concluded with "The Shared and Separate Roads of World Teens," July 2. Our goal for the past 60 years has been to help "at risk" children grow up into healthy, productive adults. Your profiles illustrated the many ways youngsters from diverse cultures overcome tremendous challenges daily - and become success stories in their own right. Thank you for this insightful look into our most precious resource, the future leaders of the world. Wendy Christian, Westport, Conn., Save the Children

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