The Democratic Contenders
The selection of John Edwards as his running mate is the first truly significant step by John Kerry in his uninspired run for the presidency. DAVID BAGNARD Garden Valley, Idaho
By choosing North Carolina Senator John Edwards as his vice-presidential candidate, John Kerry has shown he has the sharp judgment needed to be our President [July 19]. Kerry's military experience combined with Edwards' background as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the joint House and Senate committee investigating 9/11 is just the right mix we need to protect our land, our people and our future. Kerry has some wonderful plans to improve this nation, and Edwards has the speaking ability to get those ideas across. Edwards is one of us. MELANIE A. RUSH Port Chester, N.Y.
I totally disagree with your portrayal of Edwards as "the Natural" choice to be Kerry's running mate. My pick for the natural person to hold high elective office is President George W. Bush. He is not afraid to lead and make tough decisions. Edwards depends on his good looks and smooth speaking for support; Bush sticks to his principles. I will always back a candidate who has true values and stands by them. That is why I will be voting for Bush again this November. DOUG LE MAHIEU Pella, Iowa
Before putting Senator Edwards on a pedestal, please look at what he has not done for the citizens of North Carolina. He has been occupied with running for President for the past three years. TIME should take a poll of North Carolinians and learn their true feelings for Edwards. Each state is supposed to be represented by two Senators in Congress. While Edwards is out campaigning, North Carolina has only one--Republican Elizabeth Dole. CHARLES E. DEES Washington, N.C.
The choice of Edwards is like a breath of spring. His good looks bring back memories of President John F. Kennedy. Is it possible that we could once again experience Camelot? The race between Kerry and Bush could be decided by the two V.P. candidates. Edwards is young, charismatic, intelligent and ambitious and is from a working-class family; Dick Cheney comes across as old, stodgy, curmudgeonly and boring. His health is a real negative. Keep in mind that the Vice President is just a heartbeat away from the Oval Office. Now, who do you want in the presidential line of succession--Edwards, who is trim and fit, or Cheney? McCONNELL SANDERS Los Molinos, Calif.
How can Kerry or Bush understand what life is like for the middle class? When was the last time either of them had to search under the sofa cushions for milk money? I have an idea that would really help jump-start the economy: instead of spending all those campaign contributions on stupid ads that no one pays attention to, why not send part of the money to every registered voter? We could try to pay off our debts and get the economy moving upward. SUZANNE PONTIUS West Alexandria, Ohio