Jennifer Senior’s profile of Barack Obama [“Dreaming of Obama,” October 2] lays out the rationale for an Obama-in-’08 movement. In an otherwise laudatory piece, however, Senior wonders whether Obama has enough experience to serve. By 2008, Senator Obama will have served twelve years in elected office—seven years in the Illinois Legislature and four in Washington. Obama’s years as a progressive inner-city state legislator are an important qualification. One final note: Three twentieth-century presidents were elected to the White House after four years or less in a statewide office (with no other elected experience)—Jimmy Carter, FDR, and Woodrow Wilson, who each served as governor for one term in Georgia, New York, and New Jersey, respectively.
—David Eichenthal, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Joe Trippi’s unfinished statement “If Obama won the presidential nomination, he couldn’t pick a Latino to be his vice-president, right? So if Hillary wins the nomination ... ” reveals why the Democrats keep losing elections. It is mind-boggling that after the dismal campaigns of 2000 and 2004, Democrats still think “balance” is a winning strategy. Barack Obama is the party’s political gift of a lifetime: a natural-born leader with intelligence, grace, and authenticity who can inspire a disillusioned electorate. Yet strategists such as Trippi obsess about packaging likely nominee Hillary Clinton with a “safe” (read moderate, white, male) running mate so as not to offend. It’s this kind of thinking that will lead to John McCain’s winning in 2008. It won’t even be close.
—Jason Anthony, Brooklyn
Buy (in Hoboken)
I’m an avid reader of New York, but I take exception to your implication that those of us flocking to Hoboken are merely seeking nightlife at Maxwell’s and a cheaper alternative to Über-kool Williamsburg [“Buy Low(er),” by S. Jhoanna Robledo, October 2]. Hoboken is one of the tri-state area’s best-kept secrets, nestled along the Hudson River, and adorned with tree-lined streets, great restaurants, and quaint boutiques. On second thought, maybe I should keep this secret to myself.
—Laura Lanman Givens, Hoboken, N.J.
Do my eyes deceive me? Joan Crawford had plastic slipcovers [“Legends at Home,” October 9]? Who woulda thought?
—Jane Dineen, Hackensack, N.J.
Getting His Due
Joel Siegel’s “Getting His Due” was thought-provoking [October 9]. As a child of a Holocaust survivor and former member of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust, among other initiatives, I believe that the needs of the survivors should be paramount. However, it’s unreasonable to expect a lawyer to work pro bono indefinitely. Survivors’ emotions are justifiably intense, but ignoring the costs of the legal process is unrealistic.
—Steven A. Ludsin, East Hampton, N.Y.
As a producer of the Emmy Award–winning documentary Blood Money: Switzerland’s Nazi Gold, I had a ringside seat to the events that brought about the historic settlement. It seemed the perfect symbiosis of altruism and goodwill that led politicians, Jewish organizations, and lawyers to subordinate their own interests and work so righteously on behalf of the survivors. However, many survivors are still waiting for their small portion of the claim money. Would not Burt Neuborne’s legacy be better served if he offered to defer compensation until the survivors were paid, so they can live their final years with a little more financial security?
—Gaylen Ross, Brooklyn
I have long observed my colleague Burt Neuborne’s commitment to the Holocaust cases. Siegel’s article is misleading on several counts: Of the almost 1 million class members, only about a dozen have opposed Neuborne’s fee petition. Also, the claim that U.S. survivors have not received a fair share of settlement funds has been repeatedly dismissed, including by the Supreme Court. Almost $1 billion has been distributed thus far, to more than 400,000 persons. The survivors were fortunate to have a lawyer of Neuborne’s ability and dedication.
—Norman Dorsen, NYU School of Law, Manhattan