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There's more to the job than just book smarts

July 20, 2006

Re "Still too dumb to be president?" Opinion, July 16

No American president hungered for knowledge as much as Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was able to cast the Civil War into an intellectual framework that the people of his time could understand.

Compare this to President Bush. When a war cannot be intellectually defined by the leadership in a way that is symbolically understandable, then that leadership has failed its citizens in the worst possible way. Perhaps it is time for Bush to "gut" judge his own performance.

KEN C. ARNOLD

Santa Monica

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There is a difference between being dumb and doing dumb acts. I am not a Bush loyalist and did not vote for him. But I am bothered by Jonathan Chait's derogatory characterization of our president. What would be preferable is an intellectual analysis of Bush's policies and decisions. What specifically are the cataclysmic consequences of the president's "narrow intellectual horizons"? I would not attempt to judge Chait's intelligence solely on the basis of his writings.

DONALD L. HAGER

Los Angeles

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Intelligence may be a necessary requirement for the job of president, but it is not sufficient. Much harm and misery have been caused by leaders who were absolutely brilliant. Wisdom and compassion are also needed.

Unfortunately, Bush has none of these.

JOSEPH GIUS

Los Angeles

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