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No debate over who won

October 06, 2008

Re "A 'heckuva' night," news analysis, Oct. 3

As a feminist who voted for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, I am terrified at the prospect of Sarah Palin anywhere near the White House.

"She committed no major mistakes" because she dodged most of the questions, answering in beauty-pageant, preprogrammed sound bites. She told the moderator that she didn't have to answer questions directly if she didn't want to. Is it really acceptable to not play by the rules because you can't or won't follow them? Didn't we get enough of that with Vice President Dick Cheney?

Can our country really be fooled into four more years of a folksy prevaricator running the country into the ground? Ann Summa

Echo Park

Re "The Joe and Sarah show," editorial, Oct. 3

A lot of your editorial has it mostly right in appraising Thursday's debate, although I think you're too harsh on Sen. Joe Biden, who was trying to answer questions in a strange atmosphere that allowed Palin to stay entirely in her bubble.

Although we could give Palin credit for getting through the debate without a meltdown, there is no possible way to see her as qualified. Palin only managed to recite memorized attack lines and slogans drilled into her by right-wing handlers; any substance found beyond this fog varied from the incoherent to the horribly simplistic.

She is attractive and perky, but she made absolutely no case for putting McCain-Palin in charge of putting America back on track.

John von Szeliski

Santa Ana

I am embarrassed that The Times editorial board did not fully endorse the clear victory of intelligence over blather. Thinking people need to stand on their rooftops and shout to their neighbors: "Fear ignorance!"

Palin was pathetic. Please, this woman cannot be put so perilously close to the presidency. That is seriously a matter of national security.

Erick Weiss

Los Angeles

That was no debate. It was Gwen Ifill interviewing Biden while Palin played the role of a spokesmodel doing a Republican Party infomercial.

Infomercials prey on the uninformed, play fast and loose with the facts and never live up to their promises; the products they advertise look better than they work and end up costing a lot more than they are worth.

Rick Gitchen


Re "Impartial, dignified, classy: Ifill was the perfect referee," Column, Oct. 3

Although I too admire the career of Gwen Ifill, what debate did James Rainey watch? No questions about earmarks and Palin's use of them, nothing about Troopergate, nothing about the "bridge to nowhere" -- and little of substance questioning Biden's vote for the war, condemnation of Barack Obama in the primaries and other controversial actions during his long career.

I agree with your editorial: "These two candidates -- aided and abetted by the singularly inarticulate work of moderator Gwen Ifill -- combined to produce one of the worst debates in modern American presidential history."

Patrick D. McGuire

Pacific Palisades

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