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Letters to the Editor

Readers write about Bill Clinton's place in this year's campaign, nationwide climate change education, the age factor in government, and the Navy's use of sonar technology.

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Clintons evoke questions about campaign protocol

Regarding Andy Zelleke's Jan. 25 Opinion piece, "Chill, Bill": Chill? I hope he's just getting warmed up!

Politicians running for public office have learned, often the hard way, the deadly risks of not responding promptly to negative personal attacks or gross misstating of facts. For recent examples, talk to Michael Dukakis and John Kerry about the perils of "playing nice."

The fact that Bill took off what could be called his "statesman emeritus" robes long enough to defend his wife, political partner, and lifelong soul mate should be commended, not reprimanded.

Regarding Andy Zelleke's recent Opinion piece about President Clinton's involvement in Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign: While I thought the article was well written and insightful, it dismayed me that Mr. Zelleke has seemingly come to accept that "those seeking high office" routinely "employ the tactics of distortion and innuendo." That the greater part of our country's populace has acquiesced to this fact is an even more disconcerting assumption.

Lowering our expectations to meet the inappropriate behavior of those wishing to lead us is an exercise in social contradiction.

We are, as citizens, responsible for the ways in which we allow the political process to play out. If we demand honesty and fairness (basic values held by us all), and are willing to withhold our votes from those who fail to represent those values, we will have leaders that we can collectively respect, if not agree with politically.

Failing to hold this standard, we will be effectively asking to be misled and should not blame our politicians when they do so.

Regarding Mr. Zelleke's recent Opinion piece on Bill Clinton: Sen. Barack Obama is right in wondering whom he is running against, Hillary Clinton, her husband, or both.


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