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Race engenders strong feelings

May 15, 2008

Re "Clinton wins by a landslide in W. Virginia," May 14

Hillary Rodham Clinton wins the West Virginia primary, and now people are saying that the Democratic primary contest that was over last week isn't over. Clinton's win must be making the pundits pull out their hair. But the bigger problem is what happens if neither Barack Obama nor Clinton reaches the number of pledged delegates necessary to win the nomination? And how did a party come to a situation in which the real voting may be meaningless if superdelegates are to decide the nomination?

I would like to know what is going on to persuade these superdelegates, and if there are promises being made to secure their votes -- promises that in another context would raise eyebrows.

Barry Levy

Hawthorne

If the next few weeks afford Clinton a single moment of introspection, she should ask herself the following question: Has the fighter become a piranha?

Anna Shaff

San Francisco

Re "Hanging on to Clinton dream," May 13

Reading your campaign articles, a reader would be left with the impression that only racists and knee-jerk feminists support Clinton. The not-so-subtle subtext is that working-class voters are supporting Clinton because they are racists and that women are supporting her only because she is a woman.

As a multiracial, college-educated alumna of Obama's law school, I find this insulting in the extreme. There are many valid reasons to support Clinton that have everything to do with her record of achievement. Similarly, there are many valid reasons for not supporting Obama.

Where are the articles about the men who refuse to support Clinton because she is a woman, or the stories about the fact that it is equally racist for some African American voters to support Obama simply because he is an African American man?

Angela M. Sousa

Los Angeles

We are in a war, and I need Clinton in my foxhole to watch my back. She is a fighter, intelligent and bedrock competent; Obama is inexperienced. The only reason Clinton is lagging behind Obama is because males and the media do not want to deal with a powerful, extremely intelligent and competent woman. Sexism is alive and well.

Peggy Calhoun

Newport Beach

Those women mournfully hanging on to the Clinton dream should recognize that their very insistence that a woman (any woman?) should be president is itself sexist. Obviously no one demands that we have a man as president, and it would also be prejudiced to demand that we have "an" African American president. We vote for specific people, not abstractions. Clinton's candidacy was compromised from the start by her association with Bill Clinton. Surely the time will come soon when a woman running on her own steam becomes a presidential candidate.

Marjorie Perloff

Pacific Palisades

An Obama nomination should not be understood as a referendum on how this nation feels about a woman president. I believe we are in fact quite ready for a woman president. Rather, Clinton's failure is an indication of how many Americans feel about this particular woman as president.

Robert Ouriel

Brentwood

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