November 06, 2008

A final repudiation of Bush's leadership

The long dark night of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney was repudiated on Tuesday ("It's Obama," Nov. 5).

They weren't on the ballot, but make no mistake, it was they whom the people vanquished, not the stand-in surrogates of Sen. John McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Sen. Barack Obama has come to the rescue, and not a moment too soon. With his eloquence and inspiration, he has brought hope, as plainly seen in the tears of the throngs of people that we witnessed Tuesday night in Chicago's Grant Park - and not just to them but to people everywhere in this country and all around the world.

He is the transformational figure we need so much in these troubled times.

The people are ready to follow his lead, to sacrifice and muster whatever effort is needed.

Jan. 20, 2009 cannot come too soon.

Dave Lefcourt, Ellicott City

Tuesday's historic election outcome is attributable to many factors, from the war in Iraq to the dismal economy to the president-elect's remarkable personal qualities.

But at the top of the list of causes has to come the calamitous failures of the present occupant of the White House, which created the extraordinary desire for change that brought about Tuesday's result.

Thus our 43rd president's disastrous legacy is redeemed ever so slightly by the fact that his final accomplishment may be the election of President-elect Barack Obama and a solidly Democratic Congress.

Matthew Weinstein, Baltimore

He's a skilled orator, but there's more to job

Sen. John McCain was just plain outclassed ("It's Obama," Nov. 5). Sen. Barack Obama was a better campaign speaker, faster on his feet and a better storyteller. He was easily the better politician.

But, mind you, these aren't good things. Being the best politician involves skills such as evading sore subjects, smiling and making promises, and smugly dismissing one's opponents.

We elected Mr. Obama because he's a skilled orator.

Do Americans need more uplifting speeches in the mold of those of Presidents Franklin Roosevelt or John F. Kennedy?

Well, that probably wouldn't hurt. And if that's where the job of being president ended, I wouldn't be too worried.

But that's not where it ends. Not even close.

The problem with Mr. Roosevelt was not his efforts to inspire us but his efforts to try to fix what didn't need fixing - at least by the government. He mistook the need for reassurance for a need for interference.

So I look forward to more of Mr. Obama's speeches. They'll make me feel warm and fuzzy. But what would make me feel better is the knowledge that the new president will keep his hands off citizens' wallets and freedoms and let market corrections and wealth creation proceed at their natural pace.

Of course, I don't expect to feel that good any time soon.

Tim Stonesifer, Westminster

Dealing a death blow to American dream

The conservatives shot themselves in the foot ("It's Obama," Nov. 5).

The liberals shot themselves in the head.

The American nightmare has begun.

The American dream is dead.

Richard Seymour, Baltimore

Redeeming promise of reconciliation

As an avid fan of history, I have literature from Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign, which happened long before I was born.

His main theme was described in a line from his campaign literature: "I run for the presidency because I want the United States to stand for the reconciliation of men."

Forty years later, with the election of President-elect Barack Obama, that promise of reconciliation has come true.

That reconciliation will be along not just racial lines but also ideological ones.

I believe that Mr. Obama can be a great president and get away from the "us vs. them" mentality that has strangled Washington in recent years.

He will have a great mandate based on this election, and I believe that he and America can achieve greatness in the months and years ahead.

Steven M. Clayton, Ocean, N.J.

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