Your article naming President-elect Barack Obama as Person of the Year was insightful, interesting and original [Dec. 29]. After two elections in which it seemed the American people cast their vote for the guy they'd most like to have a beer with, your article illustrated why we as a country voted a different way this time. I'm proud not because we elected an African American but because we finally elected the smartest guy in the room. Erin Pagel-Mohr, REDLANDS, CALIF.
Choosing Obama as TIME's Person of the Year was so predictable. TIME has had a love affair with Obama since the day he announced his candidacy for President! Time should change its name to the New Republic and follow the ideology of that publication's management team. Ken Taylor, HARTFORD, TENN.
Your Person of the Year should have been Michael Phelps; his accomplishments were obtained with hard work and dedication. Obama was a creation of the media. Luciano Castro, MELBOURNE, FLA.
I am 85 and cannot afford to take the risk of a delayed thank-you. At a time of life when I am busy packing it in, this issue is a keeper. I plan to store it safely in my cedar chest for my offspring. Marie Whitener Hindery, SEATTLE
Why are you wasting space on Sarah Palin [Dec. 29]? Her time is past. Let sleeping dogs lie. Nothing would make me happier than to have a woman as our Chief Executive. However, she should be an able, qualified one (where is Hillary Clinton when we really need her?), not a Miss Cutesy Pants. Doris Paster, SOMERSET, N.J.
I was shocked by the advertisement for French President Nicolas Sarkozy written by his friend Tony Blair. Sarkozy's political "reforms" consist of destroying French society's historical bases. Sarkozy does not have the stature of a national or world leader, but he's the best at giving the illusion that he does. Laurent Boireau, PARIS
Those We Lost in 2008
You describe the late Charlton Heston as a "figure of epic contradictions," citing his marching with Martin Luther King Jr. in the '60s and his leading the National Rifle Association in the '90s [Dec. 29]. I fail to see any contradiction. The man consistently fought in important and not entirely risk-free ways for the rights and dignity of individuals. John Loosemore, HANCOCK, MICH.
A Shoe Is Thrown in Baghdad
I couldn't disagree more with what Bobby Ghosh wrote in "The Moment 12/14/08: Baghdad" [Dec. 29]. While I have been unhappy with most of President Bush's decisions, respect for the presidency should count for something. To me, Ghosh clearly disregards that with his less-than-objective rendition of objects being hurled at a U.S. (or any country's) President. What happened to that "journalists' code of objectivity" Ghosh writes about? Jeff Seyler, WILBRAHAM, MASS.
Drug Warfare in Mexico
Re TIME's Postcard from Culiacán: "Mexico's drug war" is in fact America's war fought in another country [Dec. 29]. You describe the narcotrafficking murders but fail to explain why they occur: as a direct result of demand for cocaine in the U.S. They do not demonstrate, as may be inferred, any inherently violent characteristic of Mexican society. About 90% of cocaine used in the U.S. passes through its southern neighbor, and Mexican civilians are dying so that American drug addicts can get their fix. David Sussman, WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS.