by Patrick Appel

A reader writes:

Krugman and Drum make some good points, but they leave out the most important point. It's not about how people would react. It's how the President would react to the reactions. This very week, Sec. Clinton lost her cool when she thought a student ignorantly insulted her. She didn't explode or have a meltdown as some of her detractors would describe it. Nor did she strick a blow for women's equality as her fans would tell you. She was placed in an awkward situation by a random questioner and she showed just enough anger/exasperation to make the tone of her answer the issue.

The President, on the other hand, regularly gets compared to Karl Marx and Josef Mengele by far more formidable opponents and deflects it deftly without a bead of sweat.

Does he never misstep? Of course not. I would say his handling of the Gates matter was such an instance. But he still had the self-restraint and perspective to somewhat salvage the situation and to turn it into a learning moment.

We don't know if President Hillary Clinton would have had the stomach to tackle health care right away. If she did, yes we can assume that the attacks would have been just about as ugly. How would she have countered? If we are questioning our choice, that's the question we need to be answering.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.