Thursday, January 29, 2004

What you say ... on the N.H. primary

I think that we Democratic voters have, over the last few weeks, become focused on selecting a candidate on the basis of one criterion: his ability to beat President Bush. As much as each of us would like to vote for the candidate who best represents her or his values, in the end we seem to agree on removing from office a president who has turned our longtime allies into adversaries, abandoned the war we must fight - against terrorism - to fight a war we should never have fought, burdened future generations with the largest deficit in our history, and turned back years of environmental efforts. Will the results of Tuesday's primary affect who I will vote for in Ohio's primary? You betcha. As long as the guy on top coming out of next week's primaries is not morally decrepit (and from what I can tell, all of the top candidates fill that bill in a way that exceeds the last two presidents), I will vote for him based on his electability. Period.

Richard L. Westheimer, Batavia

Don't get me wrong. I think John Kerry would make a great president, but I also believe the same toward Howard Dean. I believe that the only reason Dean came in second to Kerry is because of the negative publicity of his speech after coming in third in Iowa. In the Jan. 27 Enquirer, there was an article stating that Kerry took pieces of Dean's speech for his own use. I think Dean deserves the nomination because despite the negative publicity, he's still an honest man who would know how to run the country, unlike President Bush is now.

Erin Schmutte, Colerain Township

I was appalled with Kerry's win in New Hampshire. Surely the people who vote in primaries would also be appalled if they knew the three senators running for the presidency - John Kerry, John Edwards and Joe Lieberman - all failed to vote against the omnibus bill that will significantly restrict who can receive overtime pay. If these people can't take an hour or two out of their campaign to do their job, why would we want any of them as president? Wes Clark took time off his campaign to testify against Slobodan Milosevic in the International Criminal Court. The New Hampshire primary has only reaffirmed my support of Clark.

Andrew Haggard, Milford

Have a topic you think readers should sound off on in this space? Send it to Ray Cooklis at rcooklis@enquirer.com; (513) 768-8525.

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