Senator Clinton Is No Role Model

To the Editor:

One of the most interesting aspects of Senator Hillary Clinton to be gleaned from the Steve Kornacki piece, “Forget John Spencer: Hillary’s Win Means Iowa Caucus Next” [Sept. 18], is that she is completely evasive and lacking in candor. Doing a nuanced tap dance while waiting for her handlers to sweep her away from reporters is a very dubious characteristic for a Presidential aspirant. What we need is a person who is forthright and honest—someone who actually believes what he or she is saying. We need a person who inspires confidence in government and who can serve as a role model. Mrs. Clinton is not that person.

Nancy Barell


Wal-Mart and WWI

To the Editor:

I enjoyed Nicholas von Hoffman’s piece “Honest Talk Punished by the Diversity Police” [The National Observer, Sept. 18] and do not disagree with his points about the P.C./diversity police attempting to stifle generally accurate (if unflattering) commentary. There is an argument that shoddy merchandise and high pricing (with correspondingly high gross margins) were inescapable (or necessitated) due to the lack of scale economies and inherent security risks of operating tiny groceries and convenience stores in lower-income neighborhoods. There is also a reasonable case that Wal-Mart, whatever your feelings about the corporate ethos, is simply a more efficient structure in which to deliver goods to these areas/people. No matter. The reaction to the commentary was the focus of Mr. von Hoffman’s article, and effectively so.

However, his argument jumped the tracks a bit at the end. Bringing World War I into the piece seems to open up a can of worms that he did not bother to deal with. Is he arguing that American involvement in World War I was retrospectively mistaken and predicated on a baseless affinity for Albion? If so, doesn’t he think that’s a wee bit controversial, given the primacy in world affairs it bought for the American nation? There may well be an interesting argument to be made there, but as some sort of a reductio ad absurdum for his thesis, I would think a little more support to be necessary.

Ross Levin



To the Editor:

Thank you very much for the John Maine article [“John Maine, Baseball Hero,” John Koblin, Observer.com, Sept. 18]. I’m a lifelong Mets fan, and I have to say, it has been my favorite Mets-related article all year. Mr. Koblin really did a great job of painting a picture for the reader. Crazy to think that Maine is living in the Ramada Inn, but it makes sense.

I look forward to reading more of Mr. Koblin’s articles, and maybe even to watching Maine pitch in the playoffs.

Jeff Gontero


To the Editor:

I just wanted to tell you that I enjoyed Mr. Koblin’s article on John Maine immensely. He has been getting a fair amount of press recently with his scoreless inning streak and just pitching well overall. However, Mr. Koblin’s article was about more than the game; it was about the pitcher.

Thanks for introducing Mets fans to one of our own.

Rory Malone

Montpelier, Vt.

Edwards-Gore ’08!

To the Editor:

Re Steve Kornacki’s “Gore Can Only Watch as Edwards Stakes ’08 Claim” [Sept. 11]: I have to agree that there is a great deal of speculation about Al Gore. With the new book and tour, some are saying that he cannot run if he is so heavily involved in other commitments. And some, like Mr. Kornacki, say that he is waiting for Mr. Edwards to stumble. That’s not going to happen, unless there’s a personal crisis that takes him out of the race.

For me, there’s another scenario for the escalating ramp up to 2008: an Edwards-Gore ticket. It would make Mr. Gore the first person to serve under two different Presidents as Vice President and president pro tempore of the Senate—not too shabby. And he’s good at it—really good at it. Just something to think about as the journey unfolds. Also, what a great backup man: How thankful and compassionate do you think America would feel if he offered to run as Mr. Edwards’ V.P.? I would vote for that ticket!

Sara Starkey

Sherman, Tex. Letters