'Welcome Back to the White House, Mr. President'
Andrew Sullivan's cover story (Oct. 1 & 8) draws many compelling parallels between Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, two iconic presidents. Yet in anticipating what a second Obama term might look like, Sullivan overlooks the importance of his staff. Reagan replaced nearly his entire cabinet. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush did the same, to a lesser extent, and we should expect President Obama to at least make new appointments at State and Treasury if he wins. Historically, the average tenure of a cabinet secretary is a little under three years. Today 11 members of Obama's cabinet are nearing their fourth anniversaries.
Heath Brown, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Seton Hall University, South Orange, N.J.
In the long-term, President Obama will probably be seen as more significant than President Reagan, whose reputation is largely based on myth. Considering the way he governed, Reagan wouldn't get a second look in today's GOP. The notion that he's the ideal conservative--by today's standard--is as hysterical as the GOP claiming to be the party of Jesus.
Wayne Whitlock, Chicago, Ill.
'I Pray My Daughters Have a Life like Mine'
Karen Elliott House's article on women in Saudi Arabia was very interesting. I have one quibble: The article states that women are not allowed in the mosques with men and so have to pray at home. I am very fortunate to call several young Saudi Arabian women friends, and they tell me that while they are segregated from the men during prayer, they are indeed allowed to pray in mosques.
Tory Wiedenkeller, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
'American Women Have it All Wrong'
Thank you for saying it out loud. In the process of trying so hard to have it all, we American women have ended up on very lonely journeys of perfection. …