Readers React: Why being from California isn’t an albatross around any presidential candidate’s neck

Sen. Kamala Harris at the United State of Women Summit at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles last May.
(Chris Delmas / AFP/Getty Images)
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To the editor: George Skelton offers some valuable presidential history, but his conclusion that there’s almost no chance the next president will be from California because of this state’s liberal reputation carries little weight.

In dismissing the possibility of a Golden State president, Skelton notes two exceptions — Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan — who were successful because they “transcended California.” But John F. Kennedy transcended Massachusetts, and both Bushes transcended Texas.

Modern history offers few, if any, instances in which presidents were elected largely due to their home state or candidates who lost because of their geographic base.


In fact, our two most recent presidents, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, were effectively stateless candidates, suggesting that voters are not focused on where candidates are from, but where they seek to take the country.

James Devitt, Larchmont, N.Y.


To the editor: I first got to California in 1951 on my way to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. I changed trains in Los Angeles, where in the distance I saw snowcapped mountains. On the ride down to San Diego, I saw people enjoying the beach. Coming from a small town in Minnesota, I thought California was just for vacations.

I guess I have been on a 40-year vacation.

Yes, some states have lower taxes and a lower cost of living, but to me it is a case of having to pay for what you get. In California, I get a lot more than I pay because the things I like — being close to the beaches, the mountains and the desert — are simply unavailable in other states.

I once suggested to my wife that we should think about moving back to our home state during our retirement years. Although we both have a lot of great memories, I was advised that if I moved back, it would be by myself.

Allen F. Dziuk, Carlsbad


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