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Assessing the Hopes of Democratic Hopefuls

October 16, 2003

Re "Clark, Dean Are Targeted in Debate," Oct. 10: Watching the Democratic debate, it quickly became clear to me that career politicians and perennial losers in presidential politics Rep. Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.), Sens. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) are not leaders, merely miniature attack dogs yapping at the heels of the front-runners. The Rev. Al Sharpton, former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois, Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) have an insignificant following and display no stature; they've been toast for some time.

The only viable Democratic presidential candidates are former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark, and observing Dean's personality in the last two debates has completely turned me off him. Clark is the only Democratic choice and has the makings of a great president.

George Schwimmer

Los Angeles

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Michael Ramirez's Oct. 11 editorial cartoon (Commentary) implies that Clark's shift from past support for the GOP is opportunism. Politicians change their affiliations all the time as a consequence of a core shift in their ideology and views; e.g., Ronald Reagan, Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.) and former Texas Gov. John Connolly. Were these people opportunists?

It seems that the conservative Ramirez is worried about Clark beating Bush in 2004 and is already on the attack.

Richard R. McCurdy

Burbank

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