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Touchy-feely isn't enough

November 02, 2008

Re "Confessions from the campaign trail," Column One, Oct. 28

Your reporter covering the Obama campaign bemoaned the candidate's failure to "loosen up." What did he want? A confession about his struggle to fit into his Hawaiian high school? An intimate sharing of how he wooed Michelle? His preferred shaving lotion? Beer?

Barack Obama didn't get where he is today by being everybody's favorite drinking buddy. He didn't become the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review by letting it all hang out. He got where he is through watchful listening and measured actions.

A young black man in a white man's world, he charted his own course through prejudice and discrimination.

Frances Davis

Summerland, Calif.

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With a week to go before the elections and voters still mulling the issues, Nicholas and Maeve Reston offer the readers lengthy, substance-free, page-one ruminations about ... themselves.

How nice the candidates are toward reporters must be a lot easier to write about than what they would actually do once they are in office.

Jon Emery

La Crescenta

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Although I doubt she intended it to come out that way, Reston's breathless chronicle of her days as a reporter in John McCain's inner circle provides a chilling and cringe-worthy portrait of a journalist thoroughly co-opted by her subject.

The most revealing example of the reporter's co-dependence on her subject comes when she confesses that when she finally did manage to ask McCain a question that made him uncomfortable, it literally "churned" her stomach!

Someone should inform Reston that making a candidate squirm is not only OK, it's part of a reporter's job.

Vince Waldron

Eagle Rock

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