Scoring Points for Character in the Presidential Race

I was disappointed in the "Scoring the Debates" box, Oct. 9. I agree with criteria such as "Knows facts," "Avoids mistakes," "Gets message across," and I suppose, "Doesn't overreact." But I wonder about including "Relaxed," "Gets share of time," "Quick, assured," "Polite," and even "Sense of humor." The list tends to be too general and superficial.

To qualify for the highest post in the land, shouldn't voters care about more substantial aspects of character such as being persuasive, practical, and idealistic - real leadership qualities? Robert C. Goodspeed, St. Louis

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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