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Presidential Campaign

November 03, 1996

Ronald Brownstein uses a sports analogy in "Clinton Grabs for Prizes at Safe Pace" (Oct. 26), to report that President Clinton is "running up the score" (pursuing electoral votes) while "running out the clock" (promoting noncontroversial programs). Brownstein seems to lament Clinton's "conflict avoidance," but those of us who do not see politics (or news of politics) as sport are happy to see the president speak of things most of us can agree on.

Many voters are taking a second look at Clinton, not only because of their lack of satisfaction with Bob Dole, Newt Gingrich or Ross Perot, but because of the positive sense of vitality and hope Clinton conveys. For me, this hope is made up of small common-sense steps toward the future, coupled with Clinton's repeated insistence that we go forward together with as little partisan acrimony as possible.

JANE WARDLOW PRETTYMAN

Santa Barbara

* I wish to take issue with those who say that World War II happened a long time ago and is of "no importance" in this political campaign. Every time that someone mentions Pearl Harbor, the war is evoked. Every time someone calls anyone "Hitler," the war is evoked. Every time someone recalls the Holocaust, the war is evoked.

World War II lives in the minds of young and old alike. That is why Dole, who almost lost his life in that war, is relevant today.

JESSIE G. DEMASSA

Huntington Beach

* Mary Matalin (Opinion, Oct. 27) misses the point completely when she suggests that the American electorate fails to see Dole as "smart, substantive, honest, trustworthy . . . dedicated, fair to a fault," and so forth. Even those of us who are far to the left of Dole recognize, respect and salute these characteristics. What is missing in her list is the attribute of strength. That is, does Dole have the fortitude to stand up to the extremist right? I strongly believe that the answer is no, and that a vote for Dole is in effect a vote for Gingrich, Jesse Helms, Strom Thurmond and Rush Limbaugh.

MARK CANTOR

Woodland Hills

* Americans are obsessed with saving a buck any way they can. They clip coupons to save a few pennies, or wait in line for hours to get gas at a cheap price. People will even travel an extra hour to save a few bucks on a purchase. Yet the government can continue to eat away at our earnings and the majority don't mind.

Over $1,000 is confiscated from the average family's paycheck every year thanks to Clinton, yet he still leads in the polls. When Clinton ran for president, he promised change. Now change is all we have left, after taxes. If he is reelected, sharpen those scissors, because we are all going to need as many coupons as we can get. If you want to save a buck, vote ABC--Anybody But Clinton.

JOSEPH R. LEVINGSTON

Anaheim Hills

* Dole's uphill fight to overcome Clinton's 20-point lead is due mostly to his past voting record. In 1965, he voted against the creation of Medicare. In 1985, he voted for $114 million to aid the Nicaraguan contras. In 1988, he voted against a family and medical leave bill. In 1995, he voted to cut federal support for Medicaid. Not to overlook his personal financial advisor David Owen, who was convicted on tax charges during Dole's 1988 presidential bid.

I think his constant, continual hatchet attack against Clinton is doing him more harm than good. He should stick to the issues of his platform.

LAURENCE GAHLBECK

Los Angeles

* I haven't seen any contemplation about the effect of the nonstop Clinton-bashing that began before the president took office and virtually eliminated the honeymoon traditionally granted a president. I think that bashing is part of what makes it so difficult for Dole to be heard. There isn't anything that Dole has to say that the electorate hasn't heard and heard again--and the country is still here and doing pretty well.

I think that when the books are written about this period, that nonstop attack by the right will be cited as one of the major elements in nullifying Dole.

JOAN E. MEIJER

Los Angeles

* Interesting how Dole flings the "liberal" label at Clinton as if it was the lowest blow of all and Clinton dodges it in kind. Fling away, Bob. I only wish it was true.

ART VERITY

Van Nuys

* A letter by June V. Hughes (Oct. 28) stated that Dole should not be bothered by campaign donations to the Democrats since he and other Republicans voted against campaign finance reform. This argument is completely without merit. So, because his campaign reforms didn't pass, Clinton decided to take advantage of the system? Absurd.

To blame Dole for the illicit back-room donations taken by Clinton and the Democrats is like an armed robber blaming politicians for a lack of gun control laws allowing him to commit a crime.

WIL CUADROS

Long Beach

* That does it for me. I could never vote for a presidential candidate who is selling out to foreign interests for campaign contributions. Now, will it be Ross or Bob?

BILL GOURLAY

Westlake Village

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