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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are better than their recent tiff

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders
Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders speak after the Democratic debate in Iowa on Jan. 14.
(Getty Images)

To the editor: As someone who supports both Democratic presidential candidates, I did not view Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) handling of the issue regarding whether Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told her in 2018 that a woman couldn’t be elected president as a “win.” (“Elizabeth Warren brushed off Bernie Sanders and taught a master class in handling sexism,” Opinion, Jan. 15)

Lacking a recording of the 2018 meeting, how can anyone know exactly what was said, including what nuances that conversation may have held? I would have expected a more gracious acknowledgment of this reality instead of the mean-spirited “gotcha” impression that Warren’s responses and post-debate actions conveyed.

This contretemps, which has been magnified by the media, is a tempest in a teapot. Columnist Virginia Heffernan’s interpretation of the “kabuki” after the debate was unfairly biased against Sanders, including her gratuitous note that he is “notoriously irritable and suffers from cardiac issues.”

I trust that Warren and Sanders will mend whatever rift this has caused and concentrate on more important matters. They are much better than this.

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Gertrude Barden, Porter Ranch

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To the editor: Heffernan’s column depends on gender stereotypes to defend Warren in her feud with Sanders.

Despite Heffernan’s contemptuous view of Sanders as one of the “ruling class men,” he’s still entitled to a presumption of good faith, as is Warren. The candidates’ disagreement concerns a private conversation, and honest miscommunication can occur.

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Heffernan’s defense of Warren’s claim to be the only candidate to beat a Republican incumbent in 30 years was equally off base. Inventing a meaningless statute of limitations was an overly slick politician’s trick to create a false distinction between the candidates and also a backhanded way to invoke the age issue.

Like Warren, Heffernan gets her math wrong. Sanders’ win over incumbent Rep. Peter Smith (R- Vt.) occurred in November 1990, less than 30 years ago. But who cares about facts when there’s a false distinction to be made?

Heffernan may think that refusing to shake Sanders’ hand makes Warren a “master strategist,” but to some it looked more like petty nonsense. She should not be surprised if the people of Iowa don’t share her enthusiasm for Warren’s antics.

Daniel J. Stone, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I am a long-time subscriber to the Los Angeles Times, and it was with great dismay that I read Heffernan’s vitriolic column. Her piece reflects the desperation of those trying to resurrect the Warren campaign, and it serves no purpose.

To achieve this, the Warren campaign must redefine Bernie Sanders as a misogynist. This effort flies in the face of everything we know and understand about Sanders.

It’s a sad way for the Warren campaign to go down.

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Mindy Pfeiffer, Pasadena


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