What Becomes a Leader Most?
David Von Drehle's cover story "The Five Faces of Barack Obama" assured me that Obama would be a good choice for President [Sept. 1]. The reason: he has the curiosity to look deeply into controversial issues. I am 80 years old and was raised in Wisconsin, where folks rarely considered other perspectives. I opted to live in Alaska from 1949 and on into statehood. I can well appreciate Obama's ability to examine an idea or policy that has been suitable and decide to move on if it no longer fits. This ability escapes most Americans. Sadly, the very positive attributes Obama possesses appear to be fodder for voters to doubt his abilities. The only salvation I can see, if any, will be when the older folks die off and the young realize our mistakes and embrace a candidate like Barack Obama. Rita Ihly, BELLINGHAM, WASH.
Your writer essentially says that Obama tells each of his supporters what they want to hear from him, regardless of whether he actually shares their beliefs. A great leader, as Obama claims to be, would not grovel for political advantage. A great leader should tell us what he deeply and sincerely believes we need to hear, even at the risk of losing the acclaim of the masses. Lucia Ion, PLANO, TEXAS
When I saw Barack Obama once again on the cover, two words immediately came to my mind: shockingly predictable. Matt Willis, FORT WORTH, TEXAS
Enough Obama Mania on your covers! Barry Howell, WHITE BEAR LAKE, MINN.
Fix the Vote!
Re the quote in "Back & Forth" about letting thousands of voting machines remain broken for November's election because of a scheduling backlog [Sept. 1]: We can find water on Mars and land a man on the moon, but we can't produce a working voting machine in eight years? Heads should roll. Norma Wilkinson, LONG BEACH, CALIF.
You, Too, Can Adore the Snore
I enjoyed your piece "The Snore Wars" [Sept. 1]. I would like to share a remarkable discovery I made while traveling the country on business and sharing hotel rooms with a male colleague who had a snore like an outboard motor. You cannot win a snore war by fighting the noise; you can win by embracing the sound. Simply set your breathing rhythm to the rhythm of the snore, and the sound becomes a sleep aid. Now I like it when my colleague goes to sleep first because I fall asleep faster. Colin Dangaard, MALIBU, CALIF.
One Size Does Not Fit All
As a 72-year-old working female, I am offended by Mike Murphy's caricature of Obama supporters [Sept. 1]. I bought a Prius because I have to drive 65 miles each way to work because jobs are scarce. I drink syrah to dull the pain of the damage done by eight years of Bush and friends. Joni Woolf, ELLAVILLE, GA.
In Defense of Field Hockey
Joel Stein's wisecrack about Smith College and field hockey was a cheap shot either at women's colleges, sexual preference or the sport [Sept. 1]. It wasn't funny. It was also wrong. Field hockey is largely a male sport internationally, and if Stein had tuned in to any of the Olympic matches, he would have seen jaw-dropping displays of athleticism and speed. Stein should have gone after beach volleyball. Elizabeth Hoffman, HUMMELSTOWN, PA.