A sampling of readers' letters, faxes and e-mail.

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Clinton’s night

Democrats need to respect supporters of the senator

Editor, The Times:

Yes, I am a woman who dared to have the hope and dream that Sen. Hillary Clinton would be nominated and elected as our first female president. She was the candidate who spoke directly to the core issues that matter most to me.

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Yes, I am a woman who dared to have the hope and dream of a Clinton-Obama ticket because I saw the path of continued leadership that could come out of that pairing. Yes, I know the reality was that Sen. Barack Obama won the nomination.

Yes, I also know the reality was that Sen. Joseph Biden was chosen. But to those who say, “Get over it,” or “If you can’t stand the heat, ladies, go back to the kitchen,” [“Cranky delegates: Grumpy Clinton fans should get over their loss and back Obama,” Times, Northwest Voices, Aug. 24], I simply say, “Don’t dis’ my dreams.”

I watched Tuesday night as Sen. Clinton, with grace and dignity, delivered an inspiring speech that honored my dreams as well as the unity and support that will be needed to elect Sen. Obama as president.

This is a country built on many hopes and dreams.

Some are never realized, but all deserve to be respected.

— Cheryl Brechtelsbauer, Shoreline

Nice speech, but faint Obama praise

I enjoyed Sen. Clinton’s speech, to a point [” ‘Barack Obama is my candidate,’ ” page one]. It was effective, to a point.

She exhibited the traits that have made her such a favorite to millions of voters. She was warm, personable, funny, smart and feisty. She did a very good job of attacking Sen. John McCain. I suspect her “No way. No how. No McCain” remark will be remembered. She also made it clear that she’s supporting Sen. Obama and that it would be stupid for others to do otherwise. That was all good.

Her reason for supporting Obama, however, could be condensed into a single line: He’s a Democrat and it would be disastrous to have four more years of Republican rule. There was not one sentence about the attributes of Obama himself.

If the candidate had been Harry Truman — or Mickey Mouse — just as long as he’s a Democrat, she’d be supporting him. There was not one mention of Obama being a strong candidate or having a clear vision. Not one mention of his character or his values. Not one mention of what a great leader he’d be or, better yet, of how in campaigns, tough things can be said, but she’s come to admire and respect him. None of that: nothing, nada.

Clinton did say, in effect, that the campaign is bigger than her. It would have been helpful, if she’d been able to find it within herself, to say that it has at least something to do with Barack Obama.

— Ed Rankin, Seattle

An inspired moment

I’m a happily retired English teacher. Two years out of the classroom with no itch to return: until Tuesday night.

Listening to Sen. Clinton masterfully deliver such a well-crafted call to action made me — at least momentarily — long for the classroom and a chance to once again help teens learn how to harness the power of language to better themselves and their world.

— Toni Miller, Kirkland

A bittersweet speech for this Clinton fan

I am a supporter of Sen. Clinton who is still a holdout regarding Sen. Obama. My problem stems from the way Obama and his staff have treated women during the campaign and even now.

While it is important to break the barrier regarding race in our political scene, it is equally important to break the barrier regarding gender.

I feel that women were again asked to step aside for a younger, less-experienced candidate. I still believe Obama does not have the experience necessary to lead the country domestically and in foreign affairs.

On Tuesday night, Clinton, wearing orange to show her solidarity with Women Count, did a fabulous job in her address to the convention. She would have made a fabulous president and could have led us to victory in November.

Women Count is an organization that works to see that women are given a voice and a place at the table; this has so far alluded us on the U.S. Supreme Court, in the media or in positions of power where our numbers are far from equal.

Up until last night, I was leaning toward voting for Ralph Nader. After Hillary’s appeal, I will vote for the Democratic ticket in November, but with no enthusiasm.

— Virginia Rogalsky, Bellevue

Losing local focus

It’s the politics close to home that matter

David Sirota wrote a great column on one of our democracy’s most insidious problems, and no one seems to have read it [“The pathology of presidentialism,” syndicated column, Aug 25]. The problem is that we have become so mesmerized by presidential politics, the candidates and their foibles that we have almost completely lost sight of local politics.

Sirota tells it right: that a lot of us don’t know who are our representatives in Congress are, who represents us in the state Legislature, who sits on our city and county councils, and who sits on school boards. The reasons for this are many — apathy, confusion or ignorance, but also because of the disintegration of our sources of information.

Media consolidation results in the absence of real reporting in favor of entertainment. The result of all of this and more is that we are losing our democracy. Democracy is not a spectator sport. If we don’t work our democracy, it will die. There are great problems to be dealt with by school boards, county government and state governments.

— Robert Stephens, Des Moines

Doggy disobedience

Dog-registration protest highlights flaws

Jane Balogh selected the wrong target — the King County elections division — to practice her civil disobedience [“Case of dog on voter rolls is over,” Local News, Aug. 26]. Had Balogh targeted the war, President George Bush, or even automobiles (see Critical Mass), she would have been allowed to break any number of laws to demonstrate her frustration with “the system.”

She may even have been one of the lucky protesters to sue the city or county and be awarded thousands of taxpayer dollars.

Instead, Balogh targeted the sacred cow of our county executive’s administration, and the prosecuting attorney’s office made certain she would regret it.

I share Balogh’s frustration and understand why there was skepticism after the last gubernatorial election. I returned a previous resident’s voter card more than five times with “moved” written across it; I finally called the elections office and followed their directions — and received another card.

I called again last fall and was assured that they had received my forms and the voter-registration roll would be corrected. Guess what showed up in the mail recently?

Yes, another card.

— William Bley, Seattle