Coattails? In 6th District, Clinton had no coatIn a story...

LETTERS

November 17, 1996

Coattails? In 6th District, Clinton had no coat

In a story on Maryland congressional elections and quoting a Baltimore County professor, your reporter says the president's coattails were not "long enough" to carry the 6th District Democratic challenger to office. The theory's flawed.

Bob Dole carried every county in Western Maryland. U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett carried every county in Western Maryland. Mr. Bartlett carried most counties by a smaller margin than did Mr. Dole. And Democrat Steve Crawford ran ahead of President Clinton nearly everyplace. So what's this about coattails? Mr. Crawford's? Mr. Dole's?

Certainly not Mr. Clinton's.

Don Allensworth

Hagerstown

Lessons from Election '96

A number of people of every political stripe can't understand how President Clinton, with all his flaws, won this election. There are several reasons, some more important than others.

First, the crop of Republican contenders was nothing to write home about, and I'm not sure any of them would have won. Phil Gramm never caught fire with the public. Pat Buchanan would probably have lost by a larger margin (though the campaign would have been more interesting). Steve Forbes had a more unbelievable tax program than Bob Dole. Richard Lugar was even less interesting than Mr. Dole. And Lamar Alexander had as many questionably ethical situations as Mr. Clinton. Mr. Dole was our best guy running in 1996.

That said, Mr. Dole ran a miserable campaign. He wrote off large states such as Pennsylvania early, then committed vital resources to California, a state Mr. Clinton had cultivated for four years.

In this county, probably the most Republican in Maryland, Mr. Dole failed to break 60 percent, this despite a well-run local effort led by Dave Blair and tireless volunteers.

Finally, as Mr. Clinton said in 1992, "It's the economy, stupid." Voters vote their pocketbook. If they perceive things are going well, they tend to support the incumbent, particularly for president. Perception is reality in politics.

As far as Congress, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett won, and he'll probably always win in Western Maryland.

The school board election showed that people are content with our school system and will not support candidates they see as not committed to public education. Some members of local Republican clubs would do well to temper their enthusiasm and refrain from officially endorsing candidates not duly nominated by Republican voters.

Frank H. Rammes

Finksburg

Perot's slogan and Eldersburg plans

During the recent election, Ross Perot reminded us that, "You own this country, not the federal government." While this sounded great as a campaign slogan, it holds very little water in the real world.

Witness the new Post Office proposed for Eldersburg. Everyone agrees we need a newer one and most favor the business park location on Route 32.

However, everyone from the county planners to the local residents have opposed an entrance onto residential Bennett Road. An entrance from Route 32 into the business park already exists, but "our" federal government, because it has the power to override local government, has chosen to ignore the wishes of the people as well the county master zoning plan, and will use whatever access it wants.

Bob Hodgkiss

Eldersburg

Pub Date: 11/17/96

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