NEW YORK -- It is the line that might have sunk a presidential campaign. "[Barack Obama] knows exactly what he's doing," Marco Rubio said at last Saturday's debate (again and again and again). "[He] is undertaking a systematic effort to change this country, to make America more like the rest of the world." Rubio's sin is said to be stylistic. He...Read more
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- As Donald Trump's GOP opponents descend on South Carolina, they are running smack into a phenomenon. In this state, Trump is riding a wave of adulation more common for rock stars, faith healers or South American dictators. His rallies run into the thousands -- some in excess of 10,000 -- with cars parked for miles down the side...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Maybe it's not us. Maybe it's the candidates.
This election cycle is thrilling, but not necessarily in a good way. Tuesday's vote in New Hampshire lent support to the theory that both Republican and Democratic base voters have gone rogue. Think about it: The winners, by huge margins, were a billionaire reality-show host who has ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- A most unfamiliar likeness of Jeb Bush appeared on Americans' television screens the morning after the New Hampshire primary.
This version looked alive.
The onetime front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination was asked, on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," what he made of the disturbing exit-poll finding that 64 percent of ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- In a devastating outcome for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, this was the most unkindest cut of all: Women flocked to Bernie Sanders. Not by single digits, but by a margin of 55 percent to 44 percent.
These numbers matter, and not, as Shakespeare wrote of Brutus stabbing Caesar, because "ingratitude, more strong than traitors' ...Read more
There is one reason young women should support Hillary Clinton for president. It happens to be, in my judgment anyway, precisely the same reason men should support her: because she is, by leaps and bounds, the only candidate in the race with the experience necessary to lead this country. Indeed, The New York Times, in endorsing her candidacy, ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Let's dispel once and for all with this fiction that Marco Rubio knows what he's doing.
A week ago, the youthful senator from Florida was in great shape. His surprisingly strong finish in the Iowa caucuses left him with a clear chance to consolidate mainstream Republican support -- and a path to the GOP presidential nomination.
First he killed him. Now he's suing him.
I have no idea whether Robert Rialmo, the Chicago police officer who shot 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier to death the day after Christmas, was justified in doing so. Certainly, the sequence of events Rialmo describes seems to suggest he was within bounds when he opened fire.
According to Rialmo, Bettie ...Read more
I, Alexandra (A Legacy of Stehle's Door)William M. O'Brien Jr.
It began very incidentally. One odd occurrence after another. Then came the dreams. And then the apparitions. Alexandra and Stephanie had figured something was wrong early on. Then, one bright Saturday morning, Johanna appeared. Chased into her apartment and hiding in a locked downstairs ...
I want to thank Rudy Giuliani. As supremely unenlightened as I may be about pop culture, hearing the former New York mayor's cranky critique of Beyonce's Super Bowl halftime show makes me feel almost hip.
"I think it was outrageous," he said, venting full You-Kids-Get-Off-My-Lawn geezer rage on ...Read more
Instead of "Yes we can," many Democrats have adopted a new slogan this election year: "We shouldn't even try."
We shouldn't try for a single-payer health care system, they say. We'll be lucky if we prevent Republicans from repealing Obamacare.
We shouldn't try for a $15-an-hour minimum wage. The best we can do is $12...Read more
WASHINGTON -- For a guy running against the establishment, Bernie Sanders sure seems to crave its approval.
In New Hampshire last week, the Democratic presidential candidate put out an ad touting his endorsements giving the false impression that two local newspapers -- the Nashua Telegraph and the Valley News -- had endorsed him. An early ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- It's time for establishment Republicans to face the truth about Marco Rubio: Once you get past the facade, there appears to be no there there.
The void behind his prettified rhetoric was stunningly revealed in Saturday night's debate. Rubio sounded like a malfunctioning cyborg as he kept repeating one of his prepared lines.
Let me tell you about my boat. It has a single mast and a cabin at the stern. It is painted white with a red stripe at the water line. I bought it in Denmark, at the port from where in 1943 Danish fishermen and others transported most of the country's Jews to safety in neutral Sweden. My boat measures 5 inches long. It is as huge as the human ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- When the Watergate tapes were released, some Americans were dismayed at the many "expletives deleted" that Richard Nixon employed in private conversation. But as historian Stephen Ambrose pointed out, Nixon had insisted that even the milder words "hell" and "damn" be deleted from the transcriptions, creating the false impression ...Read more
A couple of people described glancingly in news stories as "top Army and Marine Corps generals" just told the Senate every military job will be open to women in the next few years. The White House, I guess, will still be tenanted by people who ran screaming from military service. This proves once again that the "new economy" gives poor people ...Read more
Both President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush can say they have visited a mosque as president. Can you guess which one has gotten slammed for it by today's presidential candidates? Need a hint?
"Maybe he feels comfortable there," said Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Ha. Ha. Yes, The Donald is implying that the...Read more
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- When Ted Cruz last month mocked Donald Trump's "New York values," it wasn't entirely clear what he was implying.
Last week, we got a clue: For Cruz, "New York" is another way of saying "Jewish."
At an event in New Hampshire, Cruz, the Republican Iowa caucus winner, was asked about campaign money he and his wife borrowed ...Read more
DURHAM, N.H. -- To return to this state for another primary with a Clinton on the ballot is to be reminded about how much has changed in Democratic politics over the last two-plus decades, and how much remains the same.
The change reflects the party's evolution -- or maybe its reversion to type -- since Bill Clinton ran here in 1992. The ...Read more
So it turns out sitcoms can erase bigotry.
That's the bottom line of a study recently presented before a conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. And it doesn't even have to be a particularly good sitcom.
To judge, at least, from a screening of its first two episodes, the Canadian sitcom on which the study is based was ...Read more
"Do you ever get the feeling," asked humorist Robert Orben, "that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right?" But even after real, live Americans actually do vote in Iowa and New Hampshire, somehow we always seem to be left with more winners than losers. Because you, dear readers, are busy enough, your faithful ...Read more