The title of Susan Reimer's column "A woman - but why this woman?" (Sept. 1) proposes a legitimate question: Does one-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin have the necessary qualifications to become the first female U.S. vice president?
The answer is yes, partially because one-term Sen. Barack Obama's nomination for president has lowered the bar considerably, as less than four years ago he was an unknown state senator, and he still has zero executive-level experience.
However, Ms. Reimer's column crosses the line with outlandish commentary of the sort that one would expect to find in the nether reaches of the blogosphere, not in a big-city newspaper such as The Baltimore Sun.
In fact, not even the most partisan backers of Sen. Barack Obama would use Mrs. Palin's Down syndrome child to make a point ("You want to look good to the evangelicals? Choose a running mate with a Down syndrome child").
Why do The Baltimore Sun and columnist Susan Reimer believe is appropriate to critique the qualifications of Republican candidates, especially in such an undignified manner, and then conveniently overlook Mr. Obama's lack of executive-level experience?
David Richardson, Bel Air
Susan Reimer's column "A woman - but why this woman?" is one of the more patently offensive pieces printed in The Baltimore Sun in some time. While Ms. Reimer is free to support any candidate she pleases, her puerile and shallow rant against the selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as Sen. John McCain's running mate should not pass by without rebuke.
In one disturbing swoop, Ms. Reimer takes unnecessary cheap shots at Mr. McCain's age and health, Mrs. Palin's gender, Mrs. Palin's education at a public university and, most shockingly, Mrs. Palin's young child with Down syndrome.
It is unacceptable and inappropriate to demean Mrs. Palin in this manner, particularly when her qualifications, experience, ethics and judgment far exceed those of Sen. Barack Obama.
Brian Griffiths, Pasadena
The writer is president of the Anne Arundel Young Republicans.
Apparently Susan Reimer has never learned how to disagree without being disagreeable.
It is one thing to question Sen. John McCain's choice of an inexperienced woman, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, as his vice presidential running mate; many people do.
But to make such disgusting comments as, "Want to look good to evangelicals? Choose a running mate with a Down syndrome child," is unacceptable. Nor does she stop there. Ms. Reimer goes on: "I don't know what I'll do if she trots out the story of her 5-month-old baby to shore up the Republican base."
I'd like to tell her what she can do right now: Pack up her computer until she learns to treat pro-life people with the same dignity and respect with which she would want to see pro-choice people treated.
Myra Welsh, Cockeysville
Susan Reimer's column on Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin epitomizes the misconception many Democrats have about Sen John McCain's vice presidential choice: This choice is not about Ms. Reimer or the women Sen. Barack Obama has alienated; it is about people like me, those in the conservative Republican base.
Mrs. Palin is an unapologetic, unashamed conservative in the style of Ronald Reagan.
I want candidates on the presidential ticket who have demonstrated social, political and economic values similar to mine.
And for president, I want a person who is ready to assume the responsibilities of the office. A vice presidential candidate does not need to be ready to be president but must be ready to rise to the presidential role if needed.
While Senator McCain has demonstrated he is ready for the office of president, Mrs. Palin's record shows that she is ready to rise to the occasion if she must assume the office of president.
Unfortunately for the nation, on the other ticket, Sen. Joe Biden has demonstrated he is ready for the office of president while Mr. Obama's record demonstrates he is only ready to rise to the office.
Paul Spause, Hanover