In response to Valerie Guymon's letter (Readers' Forum, May 7) about Barack Obama: You must have been talking about someone else when you mentioned character, heart and soul in the same sentence with Obama. Here is a man who is friends with purveyors of hate and racism. Only when his ratings started to slide did he do damage control by trying to distance himself from these people. Character indeed. And, by the way, Obama happens to be a smoker so there goes the "breath of fresh air."

Tonia Freeman Doussett