I must be missing something. In her Jan. 9 Thursday Opinion essay, “How Democrats can attract Republican voters,” Sheila Bair asked Democrats to pick someone whom Republicans such as she would find suitable as their nominee. I appreciate that appealing to Republicans could be helpful in securing a Democrat as the next president. And that the president should appeal to a majority of the country, unlike the current one. But she and other Republicans have had plenty of time to find someone to run against President Trump and save her party from the situation it created. If this thought occurred to her in the past three years, she’s not letting on.

It’s particularly galling when, while praising former president Barack Obama’s inspirational leadership, she criticized him for his inexperience in his approach to the financial crisis that his predecessor — former president George W. Bush, apparently the candidate Ms. Bair voted for at least in part because of his governing experience — either caused or allowed to occur during his tenure. Now she’d like those of us who voted our conscience because of Mr. Bush’s philosophy and actions to save her from what turned out to be her own flawed decisions.

Sorry, but I can’t stomach the thought that she’s lecturing Democrats on thoughtfulness when it seems to be in short supply in her own party.

Tom Natan, Washington

In her Jan. 9 Thursday Opinion essay, Sheila Bair said she had “a sickening fear” that much of former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg’s “impressive fundraising is driven by the moneyed interests who profit from the current system and think his lack of experience will lead to preservation of the status quo.” Her use of the word “fear” can be taken as an admission that she has no evidence to offer in support of her “fear” and thus she should be commended for choosing her words carefully and using them precisely. 

I have donated small amounts to Mr. Buttigieg’s campaign, and I have volunteered at events that are free or priced in the $25 range as well as events where some donors had given the Federal Election Commission primary maximum. There is no difference in what Mr. Buttigieg says to one audience compared with another. He makes no promises, he offers no ambassadorships; he does reiterate his belief that effective presidential leadership cannot be conducted based on the word “again.” It’s not the status quo he seeks but, rather, “a new era of leadership.”

Tricia O'Neill, Lutherville