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Buttafuoco redux

Regarding the Opinion page article ``Politics and Dignity,'' Sept. 17: Vice President Al Gore Jr. did not demean his office by appearing on David Letterman's show. He actually gave a useful demonstration of why there is so much waste in government. And he told the best ``Al Gore'' joke on himself I've heard. Judy Little La Verne, Calif.

I applaud the Opinion page article ``Politics and Dignity,'' Sept. 17. As a loyal Democrat I agree that Mr. Gore should avoid clowning around on TV. But the author's leap from Gore's faux pas to President Clinton's persistently anemic ratings is unwarranted. There are sound reasons for this tepid response to Mr. Clinton: first, the partisan campaign that continues apace after his inauguration; second, Ross Perot's demagogic role as spoiler; third, Clinton's activist presidency that keeps him in hot water. Patricia Wilcox, Binghamton, N.Y.

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