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Dog-and-pony shows

To the Editor:

I believe Cal Thomas’ view on TV coverage of the political conventions (Sept. 4) is a case of shooting the messenger. Both of the conventions have become nothing more than dog-and-pony shows where platforms are announced weeks before the start of the convention and the winning candidate is known. They still go through the roll call by state, and we hear, “The great state of ....., land of ..... proudly cast our ...votes for the next President of the United States, ...”

When I was a kid, long before TV, my family would be huddled next to the radio listening to the convention. The newspaper had a listing of the 48 states with the number of delegates from each state and columns that we could write down the votes for each candidate. Back then, it was common to go through several roll calls before a candidate was chosen. Back then, maybe the politicians read their speeches; with radio, you couldn’t tell.

To give a good political speech today, the speaker has to be attractive, at ease, capable of delivering the message, and be able to read a Teleprompter.

The words don’t have to be his own; they have speech writers for that. It’s been reported that the two men who wrote Sarah Palin’s acceptation speech also wrote Paul Ryan’s.

I did not watch the Republican convention nor did I watch the Democrats’ version. I do plan to watch the debates when they are broadcast. With the debates, there are no Teleprompters, and hopefully the questions asked will be meaningful and make the candidate answer on his own, not words written by a handler. Frankly, I’m not enthused with either candidate.

William F. Otten Jr.

Lake in the Hills


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